Wisconsin vs. Oregon
2011-2012 CFN Bowl Central
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Oregon 45 … Wisconsin 38
relative to each
5 Highest - 1 Lowest
Oregon: The Ducks outgained the Badgers 345 rushing yards to 212 … Darron Thomas completed 17-of-23 passes for 268 yards and three scores with a pick … LaMichael James ran 25 times for 159 yards and a score. … Lavasier Tuinei eight catches for 158 yards and two scores. … DeAnthony Thomas ran two times for 155 yards and two scores, and caught four passes for 34 yards. … Safety John Boyett made 16 tackles with a half a sack. … LB Michael Clay made 13 tackles with two tackles for loss and a fumble recovery.
Wisconsin: The Badgers lost in fourth quarter time of possession 10:09 to 4:51. … Russell Wilson completed 19-of-25 passes for 296 yards and three scores, and he ran for a touchdown. … Montee Ball ran 32 times for 164 yards and a score, and caught four passes for 51 yards. … Nick Toon caught nine passes for 104 yards and a score. … Mike Taylor made 13 tackles with a sack, a forced fumble, and Chris Borland made 12 tackles with a sack and a fumble.
Fiutak - Wisconsin Hit Its Ceiling
Cirminiello - Chip Up. Kelly's Moment
Zemek - Bielema's Ignorance
Sallee - O Explosion
Johnson - Kelly Now Elite
Harrison - Oregon's Amazing Attack
PASADENA, Calif. (AP) -- Oregon's incredible offense busted up Wisconsin and the record books on the way to the Ducks' first Rose Bowl victory in 95 years.
Darron Thomas passed for three touchdowns, De'Anthony Thomas scored on runs of 91 and 64 yards, and the No. 6 Ducks earned their first bowl victory under coach Chip Kelly, holding off Wisconsin 45-38 Monday night in the highest-scoring Rose Bowl ever played.
And it wasn't over until a video review confirmed the Badgers (11-3) ran out of time at the Oregon 25, out of timeouts and unable to spike the ball in time to stop the clock for a last-gasp fling.
Lavasier Tuinei caught eight passes for 158 yards and two TDs for the Ducks (12-2), who had no postseason success to show for Kelly's otherwise wildly successful three-year tenure until this landmark offensive performance in the 98th Rose Bowl. Oregon hadn't won the West Coast's biggest game since 1917.
"It's been 95 years since you could say: Oregon Ducks, Rose Bowl champions," Kelly said after the Ducks held Wisconsin scoreless in the fourth quarter.
The Granddaddy of Them All had never seen this many points, beating the record 80 scored by Washington and Iowa in 1991.
With the Ducks wearing mirrored helmets and playing at their usual frantic pace, Oregon racked up 621 total yards, just shy of the Rose Bowl record.
Montee Ball rushed for 122 of his 164 yards in the first half for the Badgers (11-3), who lost the Rose Bowl for the second straight year despite managing 508 yards of their own. Ball tied Barry Sanders' FBS record with his 39th touchdown of the season, while Russell Wilson passed for 296 yards and two scores.
"This team showed what Oregon football is all about," said linebacker Kiko Alonso, named the game's top defensive player after getting a key interception.
Wisconsin had two drives to tie it after Oregon kicked a field goal with 6:50 to play, but Jared Abbrederis fumbled near the Oregon sideline after making a long catch. The ball plopped onto the turf without even bouncing, and Oregon's Michael Clay jumped on it with 4:06 left.
That video review went the Ducks' way, too.
The Badgers had burned two timeouts early in the second half, so Oregon was able to run the clock down to 23 seconds before punting.
Wilson connected on two long passes, but the officials went to video review after the clock went to zeros as Wilson rushed his team to the Oregon 25 with 2 seconds left, waited for the ball to be set, then took the snap and spiked the ball.
But the Badgers took too long. The officials ruled time had indeed expired, and the Ducks sprinted onto the field to the frenzied cheers of their outnumbered fans.
The Ducks and Badgers produced the highest-scoring first quarter (14-14) and first half (28-28) in Rose Bowl history, eventually surpassing the 80 scored in Washington's 46-34 win over Iowa in 1991. Oregon's yardage fell just short of USC's 633 yards against Illinois in 2008.
Sure, Baylor's 67-56 win over Washington in the Alamo Bowl last Thursday might have packed bigger sheer numbers. But Wisconsin and Oregon commanded a much bigger stage - and the Ducks unleashed every bit of their formidable offensive power.
Tuinei was named the Ducks' offensive player of the game, but their flashiest star in those futuristic helmets was De'Anthony Thomas, the freshman from Los Angeles who showed off his electrifying athleticism on the longest scoring run in Rose Bowl history in the second quarter, going 91 yards up the middle. He added a mere 64-yard scoring run in the opening minute of the second half as Oregon won the matchup of the last two losers of the Rose Bowl.
Wisconsin lost 21-19 to TCU last season, and the Ducks lost to Ohio State two years ago before losing the BCS title game last year.
"It almost felt like there was some sort of magical force keeping us from getting it done in bowl games," Oregon guard Carson York said. "Glad we did it today."
LaMichael James rushed for 159 yards and an early TD in his likely college finale for the Ducks, while De'Anthony Thomas finished with 155 yards. Kenjon Barner also caught a TD pass from Darron Thomas.
Abbrederis and Nick Toon caught TD passes for Wisconsin, and defensive end Louis Nzegwu returned a fumble 33 yards for a score in the second quarter.
In the second half, the Ducks even slowed Ball. The Heisman Trophy finalist started strong in what's likely his final college game, even hurdling Oregon safety John Boyett in what's sure to be a big YouTube hit, but he had just three carries for no yards in the fourth quarter.
Both teams won their respective conferences' first-ever league title games to earn this trip to Pasadena. Although the Ducks' drought was generations longer, Wisconsin hasn't won in Pasadena since Jan. 1, 2000, when Ron Dayne led the Badgers to back-to-back Rose Bowl titles.
Oregon quickly debunked the theory that teams with extra time to prepare for the Ducks' inventive offense have a better chance to stop it. The Ducks were 1-4 in bowl games and season openers under Kelly until they carved up Wisconsin with the second-biggest yardage performance in Rose Bowl history.
Wisconsin set the tone from its opening drive, going 77 yards in seven plays for Abbrederis' wide-open 38-yard TD catch just 3:12 in. Ball carried on the Badgers' first four snaps, and play-action set up the pass - two themes that dominated Wisconsin's game plan.
Oregon answered with an 80-yard drive in just 2:07, culminating in James' 1-yard TD run. Wisconsin scored again on Wilson's 4-yard run before the teams finally traded punts, but De'Anthony Thomas broke through the Wisconsin line and sprinted down the Oregon sideline for a 91-yard score, surpassing Tyrone Wheatley's bowl-record 88-yard run in 1993 and capping the second-longest scoring drive in Rose Bowl history at 95 yards with Oregon's longest run all season.
Wisconsin opened the second quarter with Ball's record-tying run, but Darron Thomas found Barner open down the seam for a 54-yard score on Oregon's next play. Both defenses then got a brief chance to shine: The Ducks stopped Wisconsin on fourth down inside the Oregon 20, but blitzing Wisconsin linebacker Mike Taylor forced Darron Thomas' fumble moments later, and Nzegwu scooped and scored.
Oregon calmly answered with Tuinei's 3-yard TD catch with 30 seconds left. The teams' 56 combined points surpasses the record 45 scored by Wisconsin and UCLA in 1999.
De'Anthony Thomas' 64-yard TD run put Oregon ahead, and the Ducks then held Wisconsin to a mere field goal - but the Badgers' defense forced a punt, and Wilson made several heady plays on the way to an 18-yard TD pass to Toon.
The quarterbacks traded interceptions. Then Darron Thomas found Tuinei for his second score just 25 seconds into the fourth quarter, putting the Ducks ahead to stay.
Oregon (11-2) vs. Wisconsin (11-2) Jan. 2, 5 pm, ESPN
Here’s The Deal … Welcome to the new world of the Big Ten and the Pac-12, and welcome to the two league’s respective superstar programs.
USC appears to be ready to rock again and the Pac-12 South got a whole lot better with three big coaching changes.
Ohio State has Urban Meyer, and Michigan is putting together a whopper of a recruiting class to go along with already strong base of players.
But for right now, Oregon is the king of the Pac-12 after winning three straight titles and becoming a legitimate perennial national title contender, while Wisconsin has returned to an dominant level under Bret Bielema with a second straight Rose Bowl appearance after winning the inaugural Big Ten championship game.
But now, one of them actually has to win the big one.
It’s been over a decade since the Badgers won back-to-back Rose Bowls, and while the program has been solid enough to give the SEC some problems on New Year’s Day, and it’s been strong enough to be a fringe national title contender, it came up with an awful gameplan in the loss to TCU a year ago and has won just one of its last four bowls. When the Badgers were rocking and rolling under Barry Alvarez, this was one of the automatic teams in the post-season winning seven of eight from 1993 to 2002. Bielema might be a coaching star, and beating Michigan State for the Big Ten title was nice, but he needs this win to finally show that he and UW really do belong among the elite of the elite.
Oregon has also been awful lately in bowl games, losing six of its last eight, but last year it lost in the BCS championship against Auburn in a thriller and pushed Ohio State hard in the 2010 Rose Bowl. That loss to the Buckeyes, though, was the Big Ten’s only Rose Bowl win since Wisconsin beat Stanford in 2000.
Oregon has been devastating with its high-octane, sped-up offense, but it hasn’t worked in the biggest of games. Sure, beating Stanford over the last two years has been impressive, but that’s been it as far as the résumé wins. Outside of the clunker in the 2009 opener against Boise State, it’s not like the Ducks haven’t been competitive in the losses, but they haven’t proven that their attack works against a top-shelf defense with speed – Stanford doesn’t have a top-shelf defense with speed.
Wisconsin doesn’t have a top-shelf defense with speed, either, and it has to show it can hold up under the stress. The Badgers had a nightmare of a time containing Ohio State’s Braxton Miller in the loss, and they were awful for the roughly 50 minutes – shining at the beginning and at the end – in the games against Michigan State, but they were dominant at home with impressive blowouts over Nebraska and Michigan State, and they obliterated a Northern Illinois team with one of the nation’s most productive offenses. But beating the MAC champion doesn’t necessarily move the needle when it comes to national respect.
This is how it’s supposed to be to start a new year. It’s supposed to be the best team in the Big Ten vs. the best team in the Pac-12 in Pasadena in perfect 80-degree weather and sunny skies. There but for the grace of a few plays, this could be the national title matchup, but winning a BCS bowl would be enough for either one.
Why Oregon Might Win: Wisconsin’s linebackers are terrific, but they’re not built to fly around. Mike Taylor and Chris Borland are bruising, intimidating tackling machines, but what they struggle with is teeing of a quick target in space. Ohio State’s Braxton Miller had them grabbing at air far too often, and the speed and quickness of the Oregon running game should be way too much for the Bucky back seven. That’s not to say that Wisconsin fits the stereotype that the Big Ten is slow, it’s just that Oregon is really, really fast. The Badger defensive back seven is a lot like Stanford’s in style and substance, and the Ducks ran for 232 yards and three scores on the Cardinal.
In many ways, several Wisconsin strengths won’t matter too much. The Badgers are all about control when it comes to the clock and the tempo, but that doesn’t matter to Oregon. The Ducks are dead last in the nation in time of possession, and that’s almost by design. The offense moves so fast and is so good at keeping up-tempo that grinding long drives not only aren’t there, they aren’t necessary. Yeah, UW will come up with a few long, pounding drives that beat up the Duck front seven, but LaMichael James and company will come back roaring with a scoring drive as quick as a hiccup.
Why Wisconsin Might Win: The Badgers can run ‘n’ gun, too. Don’t assume that just because the team is built to bury defenses with a grinding running game that the offense can’t score points in bunches on its own. In both games against Michigan State and against Ohio State, nothing much was happening with the offense until Wilson had to pick up the pace and start to make things happen. He can make things happen on the move, and he’s not merely a pocket passer who needs ten days to throw. No, the Badgers aren’t going to play at the warp speed the Ducks will, but the offense is able to handle any style and can do whatever is needed to put points on the board.
But, of course, this is Wisconsin, and it’s in Pasadena because it powers the ball better than anyone in America other than LSU. The Ducks held up well against the Tigers, but they allowed Michael Ford to rumble for 6.9 yards per carry and gave up 99 yards and a score to Spencer Ware. As much as any unit on any team this bowl season, the Badger O line will benefit from the time off after shuffling things up at times. Now, because of the month off, Peter Konz, arguably the best center in college football, suffered a dislocated ankle in mid-November, but now he’s back meaning the No. 1 line is ready to go.
What To Watch Out For: It’s not a stretch to suggest that whichever team gets the strongest game out of its star running back will win. Oregon’s LaMichael James won the Doak Walker Award as the nation’s best running back last year, and he led the nation in yards per game this year, but he didn’t get an invite to New York as a Heisman finalist and he didn’t win the Doak again. Banged up in the middle of the season with an elbow injury, he came back and still finished with 1,646 yards and 17 scores with 219 yards and three touchdowns in the Pac-12 title game against UCLA, and 146 yards and three touchdowns in the win over Stanford. He was able to fight through the problems over the second half of the season and should be even stronger after getting a month off.
Meanwhile, Wisconsin’s Montee Ball earned a spot as a Heisman finalist and probably should’ve won the Doak Walker – Alabama’s Trent Richardson took it home – after running for 1,759 yards and 32 touchdowns, and catching 20 passes for 255 yards and six scores. Officially, he’s just one score away from tying Barry Sanders’ 1988 mark of 39, but the NCAA – mainly because it’s too lazy to do the research – didn’t count bowl stats like it does now which means that five Sanders scores in the Holiday Bowl against Wyoming aren’t in the mix. Fine, so Ball isn’t Sanders, but just to be put in the same discussion in any way with the greatest running back season in college football history shows how special 2011 has been.
Ball didn’t have any highlight reel moments that captured America’s imagination, but he was steadily productive each and every game despite being the focal point of every team’s defensive scheme. Also, unlike Sanders in 1988, Ball didn’t play most fourth quarters because the Badgers were in blowouts. Extremely quick, able to run inside and out, and with great hands, he’s always moving forward and has the workhorse ability to handle the ball 25 times without a problem.
Of course, it helped to have Russell Wilson to make defenses pay. The NC State transfer will finish with a short career in Madison, but he became a legendary leader and playmaker with terrific comeback attempts against Michigan State – the first time around – and Ohio State before pulling off the late miracle in the Big Ten title game. If it wasn’t for Robert Griffin’s Heisman-winning season, Wilson’s season would go down as one of the greatest in college football history, battling with the Baylor star for the most efficient passing season ever averaging 10.14 yards per pass with 31 touchdowns and just three interceptions. His 191.60 rating is one of the best ever, and he needs to build on it by making all the right decisions against a fast and aggressive Duck secondary that held up well in the pass-happy Big Ten.
Not to be outdone is Oregon junior Darron Thomas, who missed the Colorado game and was ineffective at times, but still finished with 2,493 passing yards with 30 touchdowns and six interceptions. Known more for his ability to conduct the running game, he showed in the BCS Championship loss to Auburn that he could bomb away when needed – throwing for 363 yards and two scores, and he has proven himself time and again in key situations. He’s brilliant and leading the Ducks on soul-crushing scoring drives that turn close games into blowouts in a snap, and he has the ability and potential to be every bit as efficient and effective as Wilson, if not more so.
What Will Happen: Wisconsin won’t be able to handle the speed and athleticism. No team in America is faster, quicker, or more dynamic than Oregon with the athletes on both sides of the ball to wreak havoc in the Badger offensive backfield and hit home runs against the defensive front seven with ease. The Badgers win by getting up early and then wearing down their opponents, but by the time that formula starts to work against Oregon, it might be over.
Wisconsin was able to shut down Taylor Martinez and the Nebraska ground game, but Oregon’s attack is something different. All the prep work and all the best laid plans won’t matter because the Badgers can’t simulate the speed and precision of the attack. This will be a back-and-forth shootout, but the Ducks will be in control throughout.
CFN Prediction: Oregon 44 … Wisconsin 34
Click For Latest Line From ATS: Oregon -6.5 O/U: 73
Wisconsin has good all-around speed, but no one
moves faster than Oregon. The Badger ball control
attack won't matter; linebackers Chris Borland and
Mike Taylor will be a step too slow once LaMichael
James and Kenjon Barner get around the edge.
The BCS National Championship Game aside, this is the best matchup of the postseason. Darron Thomas and LaMichael James vs. Russell Wilson and Montee Ball is a recipe for a fantastic Rose Bowl. Ducks need this game after losing their last two BCS outings.
By Matt Zemek
Put-up-or-shut-up time, Bret Bielema and Chip Kelly. Time to win a BCS bowl and shed some baggage. Big Ten power against Pac-12 speed in Pasadena. Bring. It. On.
By: Barrett Sallee
Follow me on Twitter: @BarrettSallee
Russell Wilson finishes off his career in style in the Rose Bowl. Oregon defensive coordinator Nick Aliotti will have something for him in Pasadena.
By Russ Mitchell
Another very compelling contest. Makes you glad they didn't cross-schedule this with the Fiesta Bowl. Wisconsin's running versus Oregon's dynamic offense. Oregon plays a style of football rarely seen in the Big Ten, and that should be an opportunity for the Ducks. Moreover, the young team the LSU Tigers got in September is all grown up.
By Terry Johnson
Expect a shootout in this game, as both Wisconsin (fourth) and Oregon (third) rank in the top 5 in scoring offense. Montee Ball and LaMichael James going head-to-head will be the best matchup of the entire bowl season.
Follow me on Twitter @PhilHarrisonCFN
You talk about contrasting styles. The flash and glitz of Oregon against the Big Ten stereotype. The Big Ten is on trial yet again in this one.
Best Bowl Moments
Best Badger Bowl Moment: Wisconsin won three Rose Bowls under the watchful eye of Barry Alvarez, but none generated more electricity in Madison than the 1994 victory. The 21-16 triumph over UCLA was the school’s first on New Year’s Day, adding to the luster of the Badgers’ first Big Ten title in 32 years. More than 70,000 rabid fans made the trip to Pasadena, giving Wisconsin a unique home-field advantage in the Bruins’ home stadium.
Best Duck Bowl Moment: There have been Rose Bowls, a Cotton Bowl and a slew of minor bowls in Oregon’s history, all of which paled in comparison to the 2002 Fiesta Bowl. Joey Harrington threw four touchdown passes, Steve Smith picked off three passes, and the No. 2 Ducks put a bow on the most successful season in school history by pummeling No. 3 Colorado, 38-16.
Rose Bowl History
TCU 21, Wisconsin 19
2010 Ohio State 26, Oregon 17
USC 38, Penn State 24
USC 49, Illinois 17
USC 32, Michigan 18
Texas 41, USC 38
Texas 38, Michigan 37
USC 28, Michigan 14
Oklahoma 34, Washington St 14
Miami 37, Nebraska 14
Washington 34, Purdue 24
Wisconsin 17, Stanford 9
Wisconsin 38, UCLA 31
Michigan 21, Washington St 16
Ohio State 20, Arizona State 17
USC 41, Northwestern 32
Penn State 38, Oregon 20
Wisconsin 21, UCLA 16
Michigan 38, Washington 31
Washington 34, Michigan 14
Washington 46, Iowa 34
USC 17, Michigan 10
Michigan 22, USC 14
Michigan State 20, USC 17
Arizona State 22, Michigan 15
UCLA 45, Iowa 28
USC 20, Ohio State 17
UCLA 45, Illinois 9
UCLA 24, Michigan 14
Washington 28, Iowa 0
Michigan 23, Washington 6
USC 17, Ohio State 16
USC 17, Michigan 10
Washington 27, Michigan 20
USC 14, Michigan 6
UCLA 23, Ohio State 10
USC 18, Ohio State 17
Ohio State 42, USC 21
USC 42, Ohio State 17
Stanford 13, Michigan 12
Stanford 27, Ohio State 17
USC 10, Michigan 3
Ohio State 27, USC 16
USC 14, Indiana 3
Purdue 14, USC 13
UCLA 14, Michigan State 12
Michigan 34, Oregon State 7
Illinois 17, Washington 7
USC 42, Wisconsin 37
Minnesota 21, UCLA 3
Washington 17, Minnesota 7
Washington 44, Wisconsin 8
Iowa 38, California 12
Ohio State 10, Oregon 7
Iowa 35, Oregon State 19
Michigan State 17, UCLA 14
Ohio State 20, USC 7
Michigan State 28, UCLA 20
USC 7, Wisconsin 0
Illinois 40, Stanford 7
Michigan 14, California 6
Ohio State 17, California 14
Northwestern 20, California 14
Michigan 49, USC 0
Illinois 45, UCLA 14
Alabama 34, USC 14
USC 25, Tennessee 0
USC 29, Washington 0
Georgia 9, UCLA 0
Oregon State 20, Duke 16 (at Durham, N.C.)
Stanford 21, Nebraska 13
USC 14, Tennessee 0
USC 7, Duke 3
California 13, Alabama 0
Pittsburgh 21, Washington 0
Stanford 7, SMU 0
Alabama 29, Stanford 13
Columbia 7, Stanford 0
USC 35, Pittsburgh 0
USC 21, Tulane 12
Alabama 24, Washington St 0
USC 47, Pittsburgh 14
Georgia Tech 8, California 7
Stanford 7, Pittsburgh 6
Alabama 7, Stanford 7
Alabama 20, Washington 19
Notre Dame 27, Stanford 10
Navy 14, Washington 14
USC 14, Penn State 3
California 0, Washington & Jefferson 0
California 28, Ohio State 0
Harvard 7, Oregon 6
Great Lakes 17, Mare Island 0
Mare Island 19, Camp Lewis 7
Oregon 14, Pennsylvania 0
Washington State 14, Brown 0
Michigan 49, Stanford 0
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