The Wisconsin Badgers fell behind 14-0 and never quite caught up, dropping their 3rd straight Rose Bowl 20-14 to the Stanford in Pasadena.
The Cardinal scored touchdowns on their first two drives before the Badger defense would tighten their belts and allow only a pair of field goals the rest of the way.
Things were looking up for the Badgers when Curt Phillips engineered a 10-play, 85-yard drive, capped off with a 4-yard TD pass to Jordan Frederick and closed the gap to 17-14.
The Badgers would start the second half with the football, but unfortunately, Stanford’s defense held them off the scoreboard the rest of the way.
Wisconsin would get one final chance, trailing 20-14 with 4:23 left. Wisconsin moved from its 25 to the Stanford 49, but Phillips had a pass attempt tipped at the line of scrimmage and land in the hands of Stanford defensive back Usua Amanam and that would end the Badger threat.
Senior running back Montee Ball rushed for 100 yards and a touchdown, setting a record for scoring a touchdown in three straight Rose Bowl games. The touchdown was the 83rd of his career. But Ball also returned for his senior season to win the Rose Bowl. Instead, he’ll depart Madison going 0 for 3 in the big game.
The Badgers still rushed for 218 yards on 45 carries (4.8 ypc), against a Stanford defense that entered the game allowing just 87.7 rushing yards per game.
Curt Phillips finished 10 of 16 for 83 yards and a touchdown. The Badgers had cleared freshman Joel Stave to play in this game. He threw one pass, a long shot down field for Jared Abbrederis, which the Badger junior should have caught but dropped.
Barry Alvarez is now 3-1 in Rose Bowl games. He’ll hand the keys to the car to new coach Gary Anderson, who was on the Badger sidelines watching his new team against Stanford.