1990 Iowa Hawkeyes football
Big Ten co-champion
Rose Bowl, L 46–34 vs. Washington
ConferenceBig Ten Conference
Ranking
CoachesNo. 16
APNo. 18
Record8–4 (6–2 Big Ten)
Head coach
Offensive coordinatorCarl Jackson (2nd season)
Defensive coordinatorBill Brashier (12th season)
MVP
CaptainGreg Aegerter
Merton Hanks
Jim Johnson
Tony Stewart
Home stadiumKinnick Stadium
(Capacity: 70,220)
Seasons
← 1989
1991 →
1990 Big Ten Conference football standings
Conf Overall
Team W   L   T W   L   T
No. 7 Michigan + 6 2 0 9 3 0
No. 16 Michigan State + 6 2 0 8 3 1
No. 25 Illinois + 6 2 0 8 4 0
No. 18 Iowa + 6 2 0 8 4 0
Ohio State 5 2 1 7 4 1
Minnesota 5 3 0 6 5 0
Indiana 3 4 1 6 5 1
Northwestern 1 7 0 2 9 0
Purdue 1 7 0 2 9 0
Wisconsin 0 8 0 1 10 0
  • + – Conference co-champions
Rankings from AP Poll

The 1990 Iowa Hawkeyes football team represented the University of Iowa in the 1990 NCAA Division I-A football season. The Hawkeyes played their home games at Kinnick Stadium and were led by legendary coach Hayden Fry.

After starting 7–1 and rising to #6 in the polls, Iowa finished the season with an 8–4 record (6–2 Big Ten), winning a four-way tie for the Big Ten Conference championship by defeating the three other teams atop the conference standings – Michigan, Michigan State, and Illinois – in their respective head-to-head matchups. The Hawkeyes earned their third trip to Pasadena in ten years, but fell behind early in the 1991 Rose Bowl and lost 46–34 to the Washington Huskies. It would be another 25 years before Iowa would make a return trip to the Rose Bowl.

Schedule

DateTimeOpponentRankSiteTVResultAttendance
September 151:00 pmCincinnati*IPTVW 63–1066,700[3]
September 2211:00 amIowa State*
W 45–3570,389[4]
September 297:00 pmat No. 10 Miami (FL)*PPVL 21–4870,420[5]
October 612:00 pmat No. 18 Michigan StateW 12–776,873[6]
October 131:00 pmWisconsinNo. 25
  • Kinnick Stadium
  • Iowa City, IA
IPTVW 30–1069,890[7]
October 2011:30 amat No. 10 MichiganNo. 23ESPNW 24–23105,517[8]
October 271:00 pmNorthwesterndaggerNo. 15
  • Kinnick Stadium
  • Iowa City, IA
W 56–1469,501[9]
November 32:30 pmat No. 5 IllinoisNo. 13ABCW 54–2872,714[10]
November 1011:00 amOhio StateNo. 6
  • Kinnick Stadium
  • Iowa City, IA
ABCL 26–2770,033[11]
November 172:30 pmPurdueNo. 13
  • Kinnick Stadium
  • Iowa City, IA
ABCW 38–967,636[12]
November 241:30 pmat MinnesotaNo. 13L 24–3164,694[13]
January 13:30 pmvs. No. 8 Washington*No. 17ABCL 34–46101,273[14]
  • *Non-conference game
  • daggerHomecoming
  • Rankings from AP Poll released prior to the game
  • All times are in Central time

[15]

Roster

1990 Iowa Hawkeyes football team roster
Players Coaches
Offense
Pos. # Name Class
OL 75 Greg Aegerter Sr
WR 81 Jeff Anttila Fr
OT 78 Rob Baxley Jr
RB 43 Nick Bell Sr
TE 87 Alan Cross So
OT 65 Scott Davis So
C 60 Mike Devlin So
WR 82 Jon Filloon Jr
WR 3 Danan Hughes So
OL 69 Mike Miller Sr
FB 34 Lew Montgomery So
QB 7 Matt Rodgers Jr
RB 32 Mike Saunders Jr
WR 22 Sean Smith Sr
RB 21 Tony Stewart Sr
TE 84 Michael Titley Sr
OL 61 Dave Turner Jr
OL 73 Ted Velicer So
FB 46 Matt Whitaker So
Defense
Pos. # Name Class
DL 91 Bret Bielema So
DB 17 Phil Bradley Jr
DB 29 Greg Brown Sr
FS 18 Doug Buch So
DB 19 Gary Clark Jr
NG 88 Maurea Crain Fr
NG 54 Rod Davis Jr
LB 31 John Derby Jr
LB 49 Teddy Joe Faley So
LB 66 Melvin Foster Sr
DE 96 Ron Geater Jr
CB 45 Merton Hanks Sr
DB 5 Carlos James So
DT 71 Jim Johnson Sr
DT 93 Jeff Nelson So
CB 27 Eddie Polly Jr
DT 57 Matt Ruhland Sr
DE 99 Moses Santos Jr
DE 8 Leroy Smith Jr
DL 64 Mike Wells Fr
SS 15 Brian Wise Jr
Special teams
Pos. # Name Class
K 11 Jeff Skillett Jr
Head coach
Coordinators/assistant coaches
  • Carl Jackson – Offensive Coordinator
  • Bill Brashier – Defensive Coordinator
  • Don Patterson – Quarterbacks/Wide receivers
  • Bernie Wyatt – Recruiting Coordinator
  • Bill Dervich – Strength and Conditioning
  • Milan VooletichDefensive ends

Legend
  • (C) Team captain
  • (S) Suspended
  • (I) Ineligible
  • Injured
    Injured
  • Redshirt
    Redshirt

Rankings

Further information: 1990 NCAA Division I-A football rankings

Ranking movements
Legend: ██ Increase in ranking. ██ Decrease in ranking.
— = Not ranked. RV = Received votes.
Week
PollPre1234567891011121314Final
APRVRVRV2522151361313181718
CoachesRV25RV2419131351211151516

[16]

Game summaries

Cincinnati

Cincinnati at Iowa
1 234Total
Bearcats 7 300 10
Hawkeyes 0 282114 63

See also: Cincinnati Bearcats football


Kicking off the start of the 1990 Iowa Hawkeye season, the Hawks welcomed in the Cincinnati Bearcats. The Bearcats finished out the '89 season at 1–9–1 as the Hawks finished out at 5–6. In a game that ended up in a blowout, the Hawks cruised to a 63–10 win. Iowa managed to set records as well as they pummeled the Cincinnati defense. After Cincinnati built a 7–0 lead after an interception and a 1-yard touchdown run from Joe Abrams, the Hawks took command for the afternoon. After a scoreless first quarter, quarterback Matt Rodgers led the Hawks to 28 unanswered points, following two touchdowns from Rodgers, and one each from running backs Nick Bell and Tony Stewart. Cincinnati scored its last points of the game with a late field goal and ended the half with Iowa up 28–10. After halftime, Iowa went on cruise control. Iowa went on to score 21 points in the 3rd and 14 in the 4th to win the contest 63–10. Rodgers ended the game going 15–27 on passes with 191 yards. Hawkeye offense racked up 662 yards with 455 yards rushing. The defense was excellent as well. The Bearcats were allowed only 4 first downs and 69 yards rushing.

[17]

Iowa State

Iowa State at Iowa
Battle for the Cy-Hawk Trophy
1 234Total
Cyclones 7 7714 35
Hawkeyes 7 10217 45

See also: 1990 Iowa State Cyclones football team


The Hawkeyes won a high-scoring affair with in-state rival Iowa State, their eighth in a series of fifteen straight wins in the rivalry.

[18]

at Miami (FL)

Iowa at #10 Miami
1 234Total
Hawkeyes 0 1470 21
Hurricanes 14 10717 48

See also: 1990 Miami Hurricanes football team


After pulling to within 24–21 midway through the third quarter, Iowa fell to the mighty Miami Hurricanes in the Orange Bowl, 48–21. It was Miami's 33rd consecutive home win. Even in showing some competitiveness at the game in Miami, FL, few Hawk fans could have guessed what was going to follow, especially following the 5–6 debacle of the previous season, which represented the first season Iowa had not gone to a bowl since 1980.

[19]

at Michigan State

Iowa at #18 Michigan State
1 234Total
Hawkeyes 0 903 12
Spartans 0 007 7

See also: 1990 Michigan State Spartans football team


In opening Big Ten play, Iowa started what ended up being their third Rose Bowl run in ten seasons. What set this conference season apart from others was that the Hawkeyes played most of their best football on the road. In weeks 1, 3, and 5, Iowa upset what ended up being the other three teams that tied for the Big 10 championship that season, all at their home venue. First was a wind-blown, defensive struggle at East Lansing, with Iowa holding onto a 12–7 victory. Hayden Fry admitted after the game that every pass he had Matt Rodgers throw was with the wind, which was blowing at a diagonal across Spartan Stadium.

[20]

Wisconsin

Wisconsin at #25 Iowa
rivalry Game
1 234Total
Badgers 0 1000 10
Hawkeyes 3 9018 30

See also: 1990 Wisconsin Badgers football team


After falling behind 10–3, the Hawkeyes scored the final 27 points of the game to earn a victory over the Badgers in the first meeting between Hayden Fry and former Iowa assistant Barry Alvarez.

[21]

at Michigan

#23 Iowa at #10 Michigan
1 234Total
Hawkeyes 0 7314 24
Wolverines 7 763 23

See also: 1990 Michigan Wolverines football team


After a win over (what ended up being cellar-dweller) Wisconsin at home, Iowa traveled to the Big House in Ann Arbor. The Wolverines were still smarting after a tight, tough loss the previous week against Michigan State and it was Homecoming week. But Iowa kept it close throughout. Following a botched two-point conversion by the Wolverines after they had taken a 20–10 lead, the Hawkeyes went to work. Following one Hawkeye touchdown countered by a Michigan field goal, the Hawkeyes put together a drive for the ages, never facing a third-down. Tony Stewart grabbed the last of a series of key passes from Matt Rodgers with one hand, giving the Hawkeyes the ball at the Michigan 1-yard line. Paul Kujawa ran it in from there, and with the extra point, the Hawks took the lead by the eventual final score of 24–23. A sack by Moses Santos and an interception by linebacker John Derby sealed the stunner. It was Michigan's first loss on Homecoming since the 1967 season.

[22]

Northwestern

Northwestern at #15 Iowa
1 234Total
Wildcats 0 077 14
Hawkeyes 6 29147 56

See also: 1990 Northwestern Wildcats football team


Nick Bell rushed 16 times for 136 yards and 3 touchdowns. Tony Stewart added 122 yards on 15 carries as the Hawkeyes rushed for 371 yards.

[23]

at Illinois

#13 Iowa at #5 Illinois
1 234Total
Hawkeyes 21 14910 54
Fighting Illini 0 14014 28
  • Sources: [ Box score]

See also: 1990 Illinois Fighting Illini football team


The Hawks key road triumphs weren't finished as they traveled to Champaign, Illinois. Against an Illinois team that had the inside track to the Rose Bowl, Iowa put together one of their best offensive games in the Fry era, especially for a key road game. The Hawkeyes used an early fumble by the Illini to begin an exhibition by RB Nick Bell, the likes of which had rarely been seen in the Big 10 between two undefeated teams (in conference play). Bell literally ran over the Illini, scampering for 130 yards in the 1st quarter alone. The Hawks led by an amazing 28–0 early in the second quarter, and they stretched it to 44–14 by the end of the 3rd quarter, before settling for a 54–28 final. It was most likely from the efforts of that game that Nick Bell was named by the media as the Big 10 player of the year.

[24]

Ohio State

Ohio State at #6 Iowa
1 234Total
Buckeyes 0 14013 27
Hawkeyes 7 1036 26

See also: 1990 Ohio State Buckeyes football team


The Hawkeye bubble burst in Iowa City with a last-second loss to Ohio State. Buckeye WR Bobby Olive caught the game winning TD, his second scoring reception of the 4th quarter, from QB Greg Frey with 0:01 left on the clock. Ohio State also scored a 48-yard touchdown as the first half expired.

[25]

Game statistics OHIO ST IOWA
First downs 13 19
Rushes–yards 29–55 53–199
Passing yards 223 172
Total yards 278 371
Penalties 11–93 7–55
Turnovers 1 2
Time of possession 25:28 34:32

Purdue

Purdue at #13 Iowa
1 234Total
Boilermakers 0 306 9
Hawkeyes 7 71014 38

See also: 1990 Purdue Boilermakers football team


The Hawkeyes, entering as 26-point favorites, bounced back with what proved to be a Big 10-clinching win at home against Purdue.

[26]

at Minnesota

#13 Iowa at Minnesota
Battle for Floyd of Rosedale
1 234Total
Hawkeyes 0 1077 24
Golden Gophers 7 1437 31

See also: 1990 Minnesota Golden Gophers football team


Knowing that they were Rose Bowl-bound before they even took the field, the Hawkeyes dropped their final road game at Minnesota, 31–24. In that game, Tony Stewart became the Hawkeyes all-time leading rusher (at least at that time), though he lost a key fumble on that play.

[27]

Rose Bowl

#17 Iowa vs. #8 Washington
1 234Total
Hawkeyes 0 7720 34
Huskies 10 2367 46
  • Sources: [Box score]

Main article: 1991 Rose Bowl

See also: 1990 Washington Huskies football team


The Rose Bowl placed an over-matched Iowa against one of the best teams in the country that season, the Washington Huskies, led by head coach Don James. The Hawkeyes trailed badly at the half and trailed 39–14 after three quarters. With Washington reserves taking over in the fourth quarter, Iowa scored two touchdowns to draw within thirteen. With another Washington touchdown the margin was back to twenty, and Iowa's late last score and conversion brought them to within a dozen where the game ended, 46–34. It was Hayden Fry's last trip to Pasadena, and he ended up 0–3 in those games.[28]

Postseason awards

See also: 1990 College Football All-America Team and 1990 All-Big Ten Conference football team

Team players in the 1991 NFL draft

Main article: 1991 NFL draft

Player Position Round Pick NFL Club
Nick Bell Running Back 2 43 Los Angeles Raiders
Merton Hanks Defensive Back 5 122 San Francisco 49ers
Michael Titley Tight End 10 275 Miami Dolphins
Tony Stewart Running Back 11 297 Seattle Seahawks

[29]

Other notable players

References

  1. ^ The University of Iowa Athletic Communications. "University of Iowa Football 2011 Media Fact Book: IOWA MVPs" (PDF). The University of Iowa Athletic Communications. p. 145. Archived from the original (PDF) on July 30, 2016. Retrieved October 9, 2017.
  2. ^ "Iowa football team names 10 co-winners of MVP award" (PDF). UPI. December 8, 1990. Retrieved October 9, 2017.
  3. ^ Wingert, Scott (September 16, 1990). "Iowa Smashes Records, Kicks Cincinnati, 63-10". The Telegraph Herald.
  4. ^ "Big Eight Roundup". Daily Union. September 23, 1990.
  5. ^ Hinshaw, Lydia (September 30, 1990). "'Canes Clip Hawkeyes, Await Battle With Seminoles". Daytona Beach Sunday News-Journal.
  6. ^ "Iowa 12, Michigan St. 7". Ocala Star-Banner. October 7, 1990.
  7. ^ "Iowa 30, Wisconsin 20". Ocala Star-Banner. October 14, 1990.
  8. ^ "1990 Football Team -- University of Michigan Athletics".
  9. ^ "Iowa 56, Northwestern 14". Gadsden Times. October 28, 1990.
  10. ^ "No. 13 Iowa, No. 5 Illinois". Kingman Daily Miner. November 4, 1990.
  11. ^ Sherman, Ed (November 11, 1990). "Ohio State Stuns Iowa, Stays Alive". Chicago Tribune.
  12. ^ "Iowa 38, Purdue 9". Gainesville Sun. November 18, 1990.
  13. ^ "It's Like a Road Game at Home". Star Tribune. November 25, 1990.
  14. ^ Cunningham, Dave (January 2, 1991). "Fry Proves Prophetic In Loss To Washington". Orlando Sentinel.
  15. ^ "1990 Iowa Hawkeyes Schedule and Results". sports-reference.com. Retrieved November 10, 2015.
  16. ^ "Iowa 1990 AP Football Rankings". collegepollarchive.com. Retrieved November 9, 2015.
  17. ^ "Iowa 63, Cincinnati 10". Chicago Tribune. September 16, 1990. Retrieved December 5, 2015.
  18. ^ "In Battle of Iowas, Hawkeyes Extend Win Streak, 45-35". Los Angeles Times. September 23, 1990. Retrieved December 5, 2015.
  19. ^ "Hawks go down gamely: 10th rated Miami tops Iowa, 48-21". The Gazette. September 30, 1990. Retrieved September 7, 2015.
  20. ^ "Iowa defense, Foster stonewall Michigan St". Chicago Tribune. October 7, 1990. Retrieved December 5, 2015.
  21. ^ "Iowa punishes Wisconsin with all-day running game". Chicago Tribune. October 14, 1990. Retrieved December 5, 2015.
  22. ^ "Iowa makes it 2 for 2 in Michigan". Chicago Tribune. October 21, 1990. Retrieved December 5, 2015.
  23. ^ "Tuneup For Showdown: Iowa Routs NU". Chicago Tribune. October 28, 1990. Retrieved December 5, 2015.
  24. ^ "College Football; Scent of Roses for Hawkeyes". The New York Times. November 4, 1990. Retrieved November 10, 2015.
  25. ^ "Ohio State Stuns Iowa, Stays Alive". Chicago Tribune. November 11, 1990. Retrieved December 5, 2015.
  26. ^ "No Room to Run, So Iowa Passes Purdue". Los Angeles Times. November 18, 1990. Retrieved December 5, 2015.
  27. ^ "Iowa Finds Rose Amid Thorns: Big Ten: Hawkeyes lose to Minnesota but gain the bowl berth out of four-way tie for conference title". Los Angeles Times. November 25, 1990. Retrieved December 5, 2015.
  28. ^ "Washington Outlasts Fast-Finishing Iowa". The New York Times. January 2, 1991. Retrieved November 10, 2015.
  29. ^ "1991 NFL draft". pro-football-reference.com. Retrieved November 10, 2015.