by CFP Staff
January 1, 2011
Scott Tolzien's 2-point conversion pass was batted down after Montee Ball's 4-yard touchdown run with 1:59 left to play and TCU recovered the onside kick to hold on for a 21-19 win over Wisconsin (11-2) at the Rose Bowl.
The Horned Frogs completed their 2010 season 13-0 and became the first non-automatic qualifying BCS team to play in, and win, the Rose Bowl. TCU also became the third non-AQ team to win a BCS bowl.
The Mountain West Conference, which TCU will represent for one more year before moving to the Big East in 2012, finished the bowl season 4-1.
Wisconsin's loss put a punctuation mark on a bad New Year's Day for Big Ten teams which went 0-5 in their bowl games. Michigan and Michigan State lost their games by a combined 101-21. Altogether, the Big Ten was outscored by 102 points in the five losses. Three of the Big Ten's defeats came at the hands of the SEC which entered the day 0-3 in this year's bowl games.
This was TCU's 2nd straight BCS bowl game, losing 17-10 in last year's Fiesta Bowl to Boise State. It was Wisconsin's third appearance in a BCS bowl game, but its first since winning the 1998 and 1999 season Rose Bowls.
Wisconsin took the opening kickoff and Montee Ball immediately ripped off a 40-yard gain. The drive ultimately stalled at the TCU 13 and the Badgers had to settle for a field goal. The Horned Frogs countered with a 77-yard drive, culminating their first possession with an Andy Dalton 23-yard pass for a 7-3 lead.
The Badgers came right back on the ensuing series to take a 10-7 lead on John Clay's 1-yard run, but TCU answered again when Dalton ran in from 4 yards out for a 14-10 advantage at the end of the 1st quarter. The Horned Frogs would not trail again and what began as a track meet turned into a defensive slugfest.
Wisconsin added a field goal just before halftime for the only points of the 2nd quarter.
TCU opened its largest lead at 21-13 on the opening drive of the second half, driving 71 yards to paydirt on Luke Shivers 1-yard run.
The win improved TCU's all-time bowl record to 12-14-1, but the Horned Frogs have won 5 of their last 6 bowl games. The Badgers fell to 11-11 with their third bowl loss in their last four bowl trips.