American Football Database
1971 Rose Bowl
57th Rose Bowl Game
1 2 3 4 Total
Stanford University 10 0 3 14 27
Ohio State University 7 7 3 0 17
Date January 1, 1971
Season 1970
Stadium Rose Bowl
Location Pasadena, California
MVP Jim Plunkett (Stanford QB)
Attendance 103,839
United States TV coverage
Network NBC
Announcers: Curt Gowdy, Kyle Rote
Rose Bowl
 < 1970  1972

The 1971 Rose Bowl was a college football bowl game played on January 1, 1971. It was the 57th Rose Bowl Game. The Stanford Indians defeated the Ohio State Buckeyes 27-17. The MVP was Heisman Trophy winner Jim Plunkett.

Ohio State

Ohio State started the season ranked #1 and, despite being undefeated, fell to #2 behind Texas. They earned the Rose Bowl berth on the strength of their 20-9 victory over Michigan in the game that decided the Big 10 title. After Texas had lost to Notre Dame in the Cotton Bowl earlier in the day, Ohio State went into the Rose Bowl with a chance to claim the national championship with a win.


Stanford started the season by upsetting #4 Arkansas at Little Rock 34-28. After 2 more wins, they were caught looking ahead to their showdown with USC and lost at home to Purdue, 24-16. They then beat 3-time Pacific-8 champion USC in Palo Alto 24-14, won 3 more games and rose to #6 before clinching the conference title in the Rose Bowl decider over Washington, 29-22. They then suffered a pair of letdowns, losing to #13 Air Force 31-14 and to arch rival California, 22-14.


First quarter

  • Stanford - Brown 4-yard run (Horowitz kick), 10:20[1]
  • Stanford - Horowitz 37-yard field goal, 6:50
  • Ohio State - Brockington 1-yard run (Schram kick), 3:45

Second quarter

  • Ohio State - Brockington 1-yard run (Schram kick), 14:24

Third quarter

  • Stanford - Horowitz 48-yard field goal, 12:29
  • Ohio State - Schram 32-yard field goal, 8:33

Fourth quarter

  • Stanford - Brown 1-yard run (Horowitz kick), 10:03
  • Stanford - Vataha 10-yard pass from Plunkett (Horowitz kick), 8:18


Stanford's upset prevented Ohio State from claiming the national championship. That honor went to third-ranked Nebraska, which defeated No. 5 LSU, 17-12 in the Orange Bowl.


  • The 1971 Rose Bowl Game featured quarterback Jim Plunkett, who was Stanford’s first and only Heisman Trophy winner.
  • Plunkett is the only player to be named MVP in both the Rose Bowl Game and Super Bowl.


  1. Historical Media Guide, Pasadena Tournament of Roses Association, 2009

External links