1952 Rose Bowl
38th Rose Bowl Game
1234 Total
Stanford 7000 7
Illinois 60727 40
DateJanuary 1, 1952
StadiumRose Bowl
LocationPasadena, California
MVPBill Tate (Illinois RB)
FavoriteIllinois by 7 points[1][2]
RefereeRollie Barnum (Big Ten;
split crew: Big Ten, Pacific Coast)
United States TV coverage
Rose Bowl
 < 1951  1953

The 1952 Rose Bowl was the 38th edition of the college football bowl game, played at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California. Held on Tuesday, January 1, at the end of the 1951 college football season, it was the first nationally televised college football game.[3]

The fourth-ranked Illinois Fighting Illini of the Big Ten Conference defeated the #7 Stanford Indians of the Pacific Coast Conference, 40–7.[4][5][6]

Since the two conferences agreed to match up in Pasadena, starting with the 1947 Rose Bowl, the Big Ten had won all six games.[6]

Game summary

Stanford led 7 to 6 on a Harry Hugasian touchdown until late in the third quarter. Illinois then scored 34 unanswered points, 27 in the fourth quarter.[7] Illinois running back Bill Tate rushed for 150 yards and two touchdowns,[8] and was named Player of the Game. All-American Johnny Karras rushed for 58 yards and a touchdown for Illinois, which had 434 yards of total offense.

It was the second Rose Bowl win for Illinois head coach Ray Eliot, the first was in 1947. Stanford head coach Chuck Taylor became the first to play and coach in the Rose Bowl, having played as one of Stanford's undefeated Wow Boys eleven years earlier, in 1941.[9]


  1. ^ "Sunshine and dry field are promised for the Rose Bowl game today". Spokesman-Review. (Spokane, Washington). Associated Press. January 1, 1952. p. 10.
  2. ^ "Teams ready for major bowl games". Eugene Register-Guard. (Oregon). December 31, 1951. p. 7.
  3. ^ "400,000 await eleven bowl tilts". Deseret News. (Salt Lake City, Utah). United Press. December 31, 1951. p. A4.
  4. ^ "Illinois drowns Indians in 4th quarter cloudburst, 40-7". Spokesman-Review. (Spokane, Washington). Associated Press. January 2, 1952. p. 12.
  5. ^ "Big bowl battles feature Illinois over Stanford 40-7". Eugene Register-Guard. (Oregon). Associated Press. January 2, 1952. p. 12.
  6. ^ a b Wood, Hal (January 2, 1952). "Big Ten continues rout of Coast foes". Deseret News. (Salt Lake City, Utah). United Press. p. A7.
  7. ^ "The Rose Bowl 1952". Archived from the original on December 19, 2008. Retrieved December 10, 2008.
  8. ^ "Rose Bowl 1952". Archived from the original on July 18, 2007. Retrieved December 10, 2008.
  9. ^ "Coaching Legends - Appeared as Both a Player and a Head Coach". Tournament of Roses.