Badgers Fall Short In Rose Bowl

The Wisconsin football team needed one more second Monday as they lost to Oregon in the Rose Bowl, 45-38.  Down seven late in the fourth quarter, the Badgers forced a punt by the Ducks.  With the ball at their own 13 and 16 seconds left, quarterback Russell Wilson hit Jared Abbrederis and Nick Toon with back-to-back passes, moving the ball to the Oregon 25.  However, as Wilson tried to spike the football following the second completion, time expired and so did Wisconsin’s chances.  Its the second straight year that the Badgers have lost in the Rose Bowl and they finish the season with a record of 11-3.

The first half featured 56 points and ended in a 28-28 tie.  Wisconsin started the scoring on the first possession of the game as Wilson and Abbrederis hooked up from 38 yards out.  Oregon immediately answered with a 1-yard run by LaMichael James.  Wilson put the Badgers up 14-7 with a 4-yard touchdown run with 5:55 to play in the opening quarter.  The Ducks answered on the final play of the first quarter as De’Anthony Thomas went a Rose Bowl record 91-yards for a score.

Wisconsin snapped the 14-14 tie as Montee Ball scored from 3-yards out early in the second, but once again Oregon immediately answered as Darron Thomas threw a 54-yard scoring pass to Kenjon Barner.  The Badgers next score came courtesy of the defense.  Ashwaubenon linebacker Mike Taylor hit Thomas forcing a fumble that Louis Nzegwu returned 33 yards for a 28-21 lead with 3:26 to play in the half.  But the Ducks would tie the game as Darron Thomas tossed a 3-yard TD pass to Lavasier Tuinei with 30 seconds to play in the second quarter.

Oregon got the ball to start the second half and took only 49 seconds to score.  De’Anthony Thomas burned Wisconsin for a second time, running 64 yards for a touchdown.  Wisconsin would eventually take the lead in the third as Phillip Welch kicked a 29-yard field goal and Wilson threw an 18-yard scoring strike to Toon.  Those two scores would put the Badgers up 38-35 at the start of the fourth.  In that final quarter, Oregon would regain the lead as Tuinei caught his second touchdown pass and then with 6:50 remaining Ducks kicker Alejandro Maldonado made a 30-yard field goal for the winning margin of seven points.

Russell Wilson wrapped up his college career by completing 19 of 25 passes for 296 yards, two touchdowns and an interception.  Montee Ball carried 32 times for 164 yards and a score.  Ball’s touchdown was his 39th and tied the NCAA single-season record held by Barry Sanders.  Jared Abbrederis caught 4 passes for 119 yards and a touchdown and in his final college game, Nick Toon hauled in 9 passes for 104 yards and a score.  Aaron Henry was also appearing in his final game for the Badgers and he intercepted a pass.

Oregon receiver Lavasier Tuinei caught 8 passes for 158 yards and two touchdowns.  He was named the Rose Bowl’s offensive player of the game.  Ducks linebacker Kiko Alonso had a sack and an interception and was named the defensive player of the game.  Oregon finishes the season with a record of 12-2.

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