Oregon capped off their solid season with their first BCS bowl win under head coach Chip Kelly with a thrilling 45-38 win over Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl.
Oregon 45, Wisconsin 38
When: 5:00 PM ET, Monday, January 2, 2012
Where: Rose Bowl, Pasadena, California
Head Official: Brad Allen
This season’s Rose Bowl was the highest scoring game in its long history and Oregon won their first Bowl of the Roses in 95 years. Yes I said 95 years. 1917 was their last one folks.
Here are 5 reasons why Oregon came out on top in the Rose Bowl.
1. Offense baby, offense
Well quick strike offense baby, quick strike offense. While Wisconsin had 20 more passing yards than Oregon, the Ducks dominated the ground game with 345 rushing yards and the Badgers had 212. Even though Oregon had the edge in rushing yards Wisconsin had the ball over 10 more minutes.
De’Anthony Thomas was a freak on Monday.
2. The Badgers could not stop the big play
Many of the yards that Oregon had in the Rose Bowl came off big plays. Thomas scored on runs of 91 and 64 yards and Kenyon Barner scored on a 54-yard TD pass.
3. 4th quarter play
While you would not think a game that saw 85 points being scored would be decided on defense, it was in fact the case. The Badgers were ahead 38-35 when the 4th quarter began, but the Oregon defense held Wisconsin scoreless for the rest of the game. This was for me the key to the game.
4. Poor Wisconsin clock management
The Ducks had a 45-38 lead late in the game, but Wisconsin was driving deep to make a game tying or game winning TD.
Badgers’ QB Russell Wilson connected on two long passes to move the Badgers to the Oregon 25-yard line. He waited a little too long for the ball to be set and when he hiked the ball and spiked it to give his team one more chance the clock had hit zero and the game was called.
There was a video review to see if there was any time left on the clock, but there was not and the call on the field stood giving the Ducks the Rose Bowl win. On the flip side Darron Thomas managed a great game.
5. Oregon contained Montee Ball when it counted
Ball was a Heisman finalist this season and for the game he rushed for 164 yards, but 122 of those yards came in the first half and in the 4th quarter Ball had a grand total of 0 yards on 3 carries.
Bad play calling?
But Oregon came out with a better plan in the second half thanks to halftime adjustments.
Next Up: The Ducks can head into the off-season with their heads held high after their great Rose Bowl win and they should be in title contention next season, once again.
This is even though star RB LaMichael James will be leaving for the NFL. (My opinion only…as of now James has made it clear that he will talk things over with his family and teammates before coming to a decision.)