Badgers (11-2) vs. Ducks (11-2)
What a matchup. Oregon vs. Wisconsin. Both teams are back in the BCS Bowl game for a 2nd straight season and feature Heisman finalists from the last 2 seasons in Montee Ball of Wisconsin and LaMichael James of Oregon.
These 2 teams both rank in the top 5 in the nation in points scored and while Wisconsin has a better defense, well in terms of the rankings, Oregon is a 6-point betting favorite in this game.
Let’s take a look how these teams match up:
Wisconsin’s Russell Wilson had a stellar season leading the Badgers and their 64th ranked passing offense with 2,879 yards with 31 TD and only 4 INT. He has a solid WR corps and can also avoid the pass rush with his legs.
While Oregon is known for their rushing offense QB Darron Thomas led the Ducks and their 68th ranked pass offense and passed for 2,493 yards with 30 TD and 6 TD.
He has a decent WR corps and can avoid the pass rush with his legs.
Montee Ball had a great season and got himself invited to the Heisman ceremony and fellow RB James White, who rushed for over 600 yards this season, joins him. James led the nation in rushing yards per game and backup Kenjon Barner also had over 900 rushing yards this season.
Oregon’s leading receiver this season was RB De’Anthony Thomas while the Badgers have 2 solid WR’s in Nick Toon and Jared Abbrederis, who each had over 800 receiving yards this season and each averaged over 14 yards per catch.
Edge: have to go with Wisconsin, as Thomas is questionable for the Rose Bowl with an undisclosed injury.
Wisconsin ranks 46th in the nation in run defense and Oregon ranks 45th so that will be key in this game since each run D will be facing a great rushing attack.
The Ducks had major issues defending the pass this season ranking 83rd in the nation in pass defense while the Badgers ranked 8th.
However, just like the run defense the overall defense of Wisconsin may be a little overrated, as they did not face many great offensive teams like Oregon did.
The Oregon pass defense also had more INT, but still have to give the slight edge to Wisconsin.
The Ducks ranked 3rd in the nation with 43 sacks while Wisconsin only ranks 71st in the nation with 23 sacks. Edge: Oregon
Oregon head coach Chip Kelly was the Pac 10 Coach of the Year in 2009 and 2010 and last season he was named the Sporting News Coach of the Year and the Associated Press Coach of the Year, but he is 0-2 in bowl games.
Bret Bielema of Wisconsin is 2-3 in bowl games, but has yet to win a BCS bowl game after the Badgers lost in last season’s Rose Bowl.
Edge: Oregon, as Kelly is one of the most innovative coaches in the college game today.