Score by Quarters
UCLA ended Iowa’s hopes for a national championship when the Bruins defeated the Hawkeyes in the 1986 Rose Bowl Game, 45-28.
In a game which showcased two heavy doses of offensive firepower, both teams scored a combined 34 points by halftime, with UCLA enjoying a 24-10 lead.
Iowa began the afternoon’s scoring assault with an interception of a pass by UCLA quarterback Matt Stevens to set up the Iowa offense for a seven-play drive capped by a 1-yard touchdown run by fullback David Hudson.
On the ensuing the drive, UCLA running back Eric Ball scorched the Iowa defense with a 30-yard touchdown run. Ball would go on to have a career day for the Bruins with four rushing touchdowns, tying multiple Rose Bowl Game records: rushing touchdowns, points scored in a Rose Bowl Game and points scored in his Rose Bowl Game career.
Though not supposed to be the featured back of the day, Ball managed to do just fine when starting tailback Gaston Green pulled a leg muscle in the second quarter.
“I didn’t know who he was; they were all running by me so fast,” said Iowa Head Coach Hayden Fry.
Iowa and UCLA exchanged field goals until Ball scored his second and third touchdowns of the day in the second quarter, giving the Bruins a 24-10 halftime lead.
The Bruins capitalized on Iowa running back Ronnie Harmon’s four lost fumbles in the first half, halting any offensive Iowa could muster.
“It’s one of those things,” Harmon said. “It was probably the worst day I ever had in my four years at Iowa, but you can’t look back.”
The Hawkeyes came out swinging on their opening drive of the third quarter with quarterback Chuck Long rushing for a 4-yard touchdown. But the Bruins weren’t finished with their scoring and back-up quarterback Matt Stevens found Mike Sherrard in the end zone to bring the score to 31-17.
Ball was not the only unexpected hero of the game, with Stevens leading the Bruins to victory with one touchdown pass and a touchdown run. Stevens found out two days before he would be starting over David Norrie, who was still recovering from a leg injury.
“I was nervous before the game,” Stevens said. “Then I sort of came down to earth and my teammates gave me confidence.”
Overcast; 71 degrees
Iowa – Hudson, 1-yard run (Houghtlin kick good)
UCLA – Ball, 30-yard run (Lee kick good)
UCLA – Lee, 42-yard field goal
Iowa – Houghtlin, 24-yard field goal
UCLA – Ball, 40-yard run (Lee kick good)
UCLA – Ball, 6-yard run (Lee kick good)
Iowa – Long, 4-yard run (Houghtlin kick good)
UCLA – Sherrard, 6-yard pass from Stevens (Lee kick good)
UCLA – Ball, 32-yard run (Lee kick good)
Iowa – Houghtlin, 52-yard field goal
UCLA – Stevens, 1-yard run (Lee kick good)
Iowa – Happel, 11-yard pass from Long (K. Harmon runs for the 2-point conversion)
UCLA: Terry Donahue
Iowa: Hayden Fry
In the 1986 Rose Bowl Game, Iowa lost 45-28 to UCLA in Chuck Long’s final game. A loophole with the NCAA redshirting rule allowed Long to play in his fifth bowl game. He is believed to be the only collegiate player to participate in five bowl games.
UCLA: Ball 22-227; Melfarr 5-42; Green 13-46; Greenwood 2-4; Dorrell 1-3
Iowa: Hudson 13-53; R. Harmon 14-55; K. Harmon 1-8
UCLA: Stevens 16-26-189
Iowa: Long 29-37-319
UCLA: Greenwood 1-15; Dorrell 3-59; Melfarr 1-9; Tennell 3-30; Sherrard 4-48; Anderson 2-14; Wilson 1-10
Iowa: Smith 4-44; R. Harmon 11-102; Happel 6-89; Early 1-6; Clark 1-2; Flagg 3-55; Helverson 1-17
UCLA: Henderson 2-77
Iowa: Kostrubala 2-65