he team that made this game colorful and unique had not been to the Rose Bowl in 23 years. For many of those seasons, Iowa had more vowels than victories.
Today Iowa had more vowels than points. Freshman tailback Jacque Robinson of Washington ran for 142 yards on 20 carries and scored twice in the Huskies' 28-0 victory over Iowa before 105,611. It was the first Rose Bowl shutout in 30 years.
Washington Coach Don James said of Robinson, voted most valuable player of the 68th Rose Bowl, "When we played USC this year, Jacque played on the scout team. He was supposed to be Marcus Allen. Then, one of my coaches came over and told me that we had the best back on our team on the scout team. We moved him up."
It was, as Hayden Fry realized, a smart move. "Robinson made us look like pretty poor tacklers," said Iowa's third-year coach. His humor whipped into defeat by the first Rose Bowl shutout since USC beat Wisconsin, 7-0, in 1953, Fry added, "There's something about Iowa where you have to be burnt before something good happens. Today, we got burnt. It's a tragedy that it has to be this way."
As for Robinson, who gained 38 yards fewer today than he did during the Huskies' 9-2 Pacific-10 championship season, this was expected. "I was shooting to be the MVP today," he said. "And, yes, becoming the Heisman Trophy winner is one of my career goals.".
Robinson gained 60 yards in the first half on 13 carries and 82 yards in the second half on seven carries. He scored the game's first touchdown five minutes into the second quarter, picking up 34 of the 65 yards on that drive.
Then, he expanded a 13-0 lead that had remained unaltered since the half with a 34-yard touchdown run with 10 minutes left in the game.
Minutes later, two hang gliders circled the stadium. The Hawkeyes, who claimed fame and a name by winning the Big Ten with an 8-3 record, could have been pardoned for mistaking them for buzzards.
Iowa hadn't been shut out since losing, 57-0, to Nebraska at the start of the 1980 season. The Hawkeyes had beaten Oregon State and California in the 1957 and 1959 Rose Bowls. "When we started today," said Fry, "we thought we could win. Maybe we beat some teams this year that we shouldn't have. But, today, this was the worst game we played this year."
The Iowa defense had been a source of pride in the Big Ten this season. After all, it was ranked fifth in the nation against the run and 10th overall. And that was playing against what the NCAA computer decided was the 19th most difficult schedule in the country.
But the Huskies played a little defense, too. They did not allow Iowa inside their 29-yard line. They intercepted three passes and recovered both of Iowa's fumbles. Even when the Hawkeyes, desperate, tried some razzle, they were dazzled by the Huskies' defense.
"Those were kind of garbage plays," said Washington senior linebacker Mark Jerue, who had a game-high 13 tackles.
Washington entered the game trying to avoid becoming the fourth straight Pacific-10 team to lose a bowl game this season, Washington State (Holiday), UCLA (Bluebonnet) and USC (Fiesta) already having lost.
The first half was played tentatively and nearly was boring. Robinson opened the scoring early in the second period and Vince Coby ran one yard shortly before halftime, ending a 60-yard, nine-play drive that lasted but a minute 16 seconds.
As the third quarter ended with Jerue stopping Iowa's Phil Fletcher for no gain on fourth down at the Washington 36, the sun began to go down, making the shadows of the Iowa offense longer than its drives.
Washington then scored twice within two minutes early in the fourth quarter: the first touchdown coming on Robinson's 34-yard run, the second on reserve quarterback Tim Cowan's three-yard run.
"They didn't know they could whip us," said Fry, "until very late. Once they realized it, they took it to us. We just rolled over and played dead."
There were an estimated 30,000 Iowa fans here. Fans who did not come to see Disneyland but to see a Hawkeye victory. What they saw was Washington outgain their Hawkeyes, 328 yards to 264. Near game's end, the black part of the black-and-gold pom pons wielded with pride by so many Iowa fans, seemed to take a greater significance. Washington did not turn out like Oregon State in 1957 and California in 1959, after all.
"It was very, very embarrassing," said Fry, aware that Iowa's overall record since the 1959 Rose Bowl is 83-146-5, only 11 wins better than Northwestern. "We played like we had blinders on."
Fry, who has been suffering from the flu, received hospital treatment Thursday night, only hours before today's game.
An Iowa spokesman saidFry was released after a chest X-ray and an intravenous feeding.