Thursday, January 5, 2012

Badgers lose another Rose Bowl

After a roller coaster season that included some of college football's most memorable finishes, Wisconsin's 2011 football campaign has come to a close after a heartbreaking 45-38 loss to Oregon in the Rose Bowl Game. And just as it did with the first loss back in October, the Badgers' final contest ended with a replay, this time confirming the call that senior quarterback Russell Wilson's spiked pass did not hit the ground before the clock hit zero.
This Rose Bowl Game was one for the ages even before the frantic finish. The Badgers (6-2 Big Ten, 11-3 Overall) and Ducks (8-1 Pac-12, 12-2 Overall) traded scores throughout the first half, with Rose Bowl records set for highest scoring first quarter (28) and half (56). But after leading throughout the first half and having to kick to begin the second, the halftime draw at 28 felt like a certain deficit.
Even while it was turning into a shootout, this game looked like it would end, as it did, with the Badgers regretting two consecutive red zone possessions that ended with a combined three points.
Late in the 2nd quarter, Wisconsin drove to the Oregon 17 yard line facing 3rd and 1. After junior running back Montee Ball was stopped for no gain, Wisconsin shunned a field goal attempt in favor of a fourth down try, remembering a similar situation last season that ended with kicker Philip Welch missing a crucial field goal. Instead of trying to run up the gut again, UW tried to roll Wilson out on a play action fake but Oregon's defense was ready, sacking Wilson for a three-yard loss and a huge shift in momentum.
Let's hope they return to Rose Bowl next year and win.  GO BUCKY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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