The 1958 Iowa Hawkeyes

on
I thought it would make sense to do a little research on the team that the Hawkeyes will be honoring with throwback jerseys against Ball State this year (by research I mean Google it, and it still took me all week to write this post). I didn't know a whole lot about the 1958 team because, well, it was before my time. What I did know: Rose Bowl Champs, National Champions (by the FWAA), 8-1-1... After doing a little research though, it's pretty clear that this was one of the best, if not the best, team in Iowa history and an obvious choice to honor.


The Coach:
Forest Evashevski - Coach Evashevski was the head coach at Iowa from 1952 to 1960. In his 9 seasons he finished with a record of 52-27-4, won 3 Big Ten Titles (1956, 1958, and 1960), won 2 Rose Bowls, had 5 teams ranked in the AP Top 10 at the end of the season, and coached 9 First Team All-Americans. After coaching, he was the Athletic Director at Iowa for 9 more years. For his accomplishments, Coach Evashevski was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1999.

Prior to his head coaching gig at Iowa, Evashevski was the man in charge at Washington State for 2 years and before that at Hamilton. In-between there was a stint in the military and before all of that, he was a star quarterback for Michigan.

This past year on October 30, 2009 Evashevski died at age 91. The Hawkeyes honored him by wearing a small helmet sticker that read "EVY" against Ohio State.

The Star Players:
Randy Duncan | QB - In his senior year, Duncan led the nation in Total Offense, Completion Percentage, and Passing Yards. He was named the Big Ten Player of the Year and finished second in the Heisman voting. Duncan was then the first overall pick in the NFL draft, but ended up playing in Canada. Most recently, Duncan was an honorary captain for the Hawkeyes when they played Maine in 2008.

John Nocera | FB - Nocera was the captain of the 1958 team. He was a power runner at fullback and went on to play for the Philadelphia Eagles. Nocera died of lung cancer in 1981.

Curt Merz | LE - Merz was a left end, which is really like a receiver. He was First Team All-American as a senior and went on to play for the Kansas City Chiefs, starting in Super Bowl I.

The Schedule:
Date Opponent Score
September 27, 1958 vs. Texas Christian W 17-0
October 4, 1958 vs. Air Force T 13-13
October 11, 1958 vs. Indiana W 34-13
October 18, 1958 at Wisconsin W 20-9
October 25, 1958 vs. Northwestern W 26-20
November 1, 1958 at Michigan W 37-14
November 8, 1958 at Minnesota W 28-6
November 15, 1958 vs. Ohio State L 28-38
November 22, 1958 vs. Notre Dame W 31-21
January 1, 1959 vs. California W 38-12

The Season:
The Hawkeyes started off the season against the Southwest Conference Champs, TCU, winning easily before a shocking tie to Air Force. They then went on to dominate 5 straight Big Ten opponents including a big win over the #4 Wisconsin Badgers in Madison. With a 5-0 record in the Big Ten, the Hawkeyes clinched the conference title.

Then came a very disappointing loss to Ohio State (they ruin everything!). Despite Duncan throwing for 249 yards, the Hawkeyes fell 38-28 to end the regular season 7-1-1.

The Rose Bowl:
The 1959 Rose Bowl was one of Iowa's most dominating bowl wins ever. The Hawks put up 516 yards of offense with 429 coming on the ground. Randy Duncan started thing off with a rushing touchdown in the 1st quarter, followed by a passing TD in the second. Then running back Bob Jeter took over. Jeter rushed for 194 yards on just 9 carries, including an 81-yard TD run in the 3rd quarter. Jeter was named the Rose Bowl MVP.

The defense was also dominating, allowing Cal to gain just 12 points on two 2nd half touchdowns. Iowa won 38-12, its second Rose Bowl victory in 3 years and also the last one. Iowa played in the 1981, 1985, and 1990 Rose Bowls as well, but lost all 3. The 1958 victory is arguable the biggest bowl win in Hawkeye history (thought the Orange Bowl was pretty big too).
Commenting Guide (accepted HTML)
Fight For Iowa is in no way affiliated with The University of Iowa, Hawkeye Athletics, or the Iowa Football program. The views on this site are solely those of the author.

Fight For Iowa by http://www.fightforiowa.com is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License.

Fight For Iowa is powered by Blogger

Site Terms & Guidelines