The Wisconsin Badgers dropped their second straight Rose Bowl in back-t0-back seasons, falling 45-38 to Oregon in Pasadena.
The Badgers committed a pair of second half turnovers that were too much to overcome in a tight game. Yet, the Badgers still had a brief sign of life, driving in the final seconds. But with the ball at the Oregon 25 yard line, time expired on the Badgers when Russell Wilson elected to try to spike the ball instead of run one more play.
Defense hasn’t been a strong suit for the Badgers all season, so it’s not surprising that Oregon rolled up 621 yards (345 rushing) .
Wilson threw for 296 yards and two touchdowns while running back Montee Ball rushed for 164 yards and a touchdown, but was held to 42 yards in 11 carries in the second half.
The two turnovers that hurt the Badgers, a Russell Wilson interception and a 4th quarter fumble after a catch by wide receiver Jared Abbrederis. Prior to the Rose Bowl, the Badgers had only turned the ball over 8 times in 12 games.
The second straight Rose Bowl defeat is a crushing blow for the Badger seniors, who will end their careers as back-to-back Rose Bowl losers.
The Badgers end their season with three losses, every one of which was a crushing blow to the Badgers. They are losses that clearly won’t define how valuable Russell Wilson was to the program.
The game could also be the last for running back Montee Ball, who could announce soon that he’s turning pro.