PASADENA, California — Stanford showed why it finished just outside the final four in the College Football Playoff and romped to a 45-16 victory over Iowa in the Rose Bowl on Friday.
Christian McCaffrey caught a 75-yard touchdown pass on the opening snap and later returned a punt 66 yards for another score while setting the Rose Bowl record with 368 all-purpose yards, propelling the Cardinal to their second Rose Bowl win in three trips over the past four years.
In Friday’s other bowl games, Ezekiel Elliott’s four touchdowns led Ohio State to victory over Notre Dame in the Fiesta Bowl, Mississippi dominated early in beating Oklahoma State in the Sugar Bowl, Michigan’s defense was outstanding against Florida to take out the Citrus Bowl, and Tennessee swept past Northwestern in the Outback Bowl.
Stanford quarterback Kevin Hogan passed for 223 yards and three TDs in his final game for the Cardinal, but it was McCaffrey who led the team to victory.
The running back, who finished second behind Alabama’s Derrick Henry in the Heisman voting for college football’s player of the season, left no doubt about his brilliance with one of the most dynamic performances in the 102-game history of the Rose Bowl. He had 172 yards rushing, 105 yards receiving and 91 on kick returns, putting an appropriate cap on the season in which he set the NCAA record for all-purpose yards. McCaffrey also became the first player ever to rack up more than 100 yards rushing and 100 yards receiving in a Rose Bowl.
It was the first trip in 25 years for the Hawkeyes (12-2), who followed up their 12-0 regular season with two postseason losses.
Ohio State’s Ezekiel Elliott ran for 149 yards and matched a Fiesta Bowl record with four touchdowns to lead the Buckeyes past Notre Dame 44-28.
Ohio State (12-1) rolled past the Fighting Irish (10-3), quick-hitting its way to one scoring drive after another and 496 total yards.
Elliott was Ohio State’s drive capper in the first half, scoring on three short runs. He turned into the show stopper in the second, leaving Notre Dame defenders flailing as he raced for a 47-yard score.
The Fighting Irish had some good offensive moments behind DeShone Kizer, but couldn’t keep up.
Mississippi quarterback Chad Kelly threw for 302 yards and four touchdowns — three to Laquon Treadwell — to lead Ole Miss to a 48-20 win against Oklahoma State.
Ole Miss (10-3) jumped out to a 34-6 lead by halftime. The highlight of that onslaught came late in the second quarter when left tackle ran in for a touchdown after a lateral pass from Kelly to a teammate who then threw downfield.
Oklahoma State (10-3) lost its final three games after 10 straight wins. The Cowboys fell into a 41-6 hole midway through the third quarter and never mounted a legitimate challenge.
Kelly’s four touchdown passes and Treadwell’s three touchdown catches tied Sugar Bowl records.
Michigan beat Florida 41-7 in a Citrus Bowl that was billed as a clash of two strong defenses, but only one showed up.
Jake Rudock threw for 278 yards and three touchdowns but it was the defense of the Wolverines (10-3) that earned most credit, holding the Gators (10-4) to 28 total yards in the second half.
Michigan (10-3) had three touchdown drives of at least 70 yards and finished with 503 yards of offense against a Florida defense that entered the game ranked sixth nationally. Leading by 10 at the half, Michigan scored on each of its first two possessions in the third quarter to take a 31-7 lead.
Tennessee capped a strong season by cruising past Northwestern 45-6.
Joshua Dobbs threw for 166 yards and ran for two touchdowns, while Jalen Hurd ran for 130 yards and one touchdown for the Volunteers (9-4). They finished with at least nine wins for the first time since 2007.
Northwestern (10-3) failed in a bid to finish with a school-record 11 victories.