The 1993 Alamo Bowl featured the California Golden Bears, and the Iowa Hawkeyes. One of the bowl's invites was expected to be a school from the Texas-based Southwest Conference (SWC). However, only two of the SWC's eight teams (Texas A&M and Texas Tech) reached the necessary six wins for bowl eligibility and those teams were committed to the Cotton Bowl Classic and the Hancock Bowl, respectively. Texas had played a rigorous non-conference schedule, going 0–3–1, and finished with an ineligible 5–5–1 record.
Cal placekicker Doug Brien connected on field goals of 37 and 20 yards in the first quarter, as Cal took a 6–0 lead at the end of the first quarter. In the second quarter, Brien's third field goal, a 30 yarder gave Cal a 9–0 lead. Cal quarterback Dave Barr threw a 6-yard touchdown pass to Mike Caldwell as Cal went up 16–0. A 61-yard interception return by linebacker Jerrot Willard gave Cal a 23–0 lead at halftime.
In the third quarter, Iowa's Brian Hurley kicked a 42-yard field goal to get the Hawkeyes on the scoreboard at 23–3. Dave Barr threw a 34-yard touchdown pass to Iheanyi Uwaezuoke to take a 30–3 lead at the end of the third quarter. In the fourth quarter, Barr added a 12-yard touchdown pass to Brian Remington as the final margin became 37–3.