by CFP Staff
Following an Alejandro Maldonado 30-yard field goal to give the Ducks a 45-38 lead, the Badgers had a great opportunity to tie the game. Jared Abbrederis caught a pass over the middle running from left to right but as he neared the sideline he opted to stay in-bounds to fight for extra yards and fumbled the ball. Oregon ate nearly four minutes off the clock before Wisconsin finally got it back to start its last drive with just 18 seconds to operate.
Wisconsin RB Montee Ball had 164 yards on 32 carries and had 1 TD to tie Barry Sanders’ FBS record for touchdowns in a season. However, bowl games didn't count in Sanders' era so his 5 TD's in the Holiday Bowl aren't included in his mark. Sanders actually ended the 1988 season with 42 rushing TD's and 2 receiving TD's for a total of 44 in 12 total games. Ball's season was, no doubt, spectacular, but his final season numbers of 33 rushing TD's and 6 receiving scores came in 14 games and still fall 5 short of the inimitable Sanders' true total.
It was the second consecutive Rose Bowl loss for Wisconsin which fell a 2-point conversion short of a rally in a 21-19 loss to TCU last year. The Badgers completed their season an 11-3 record that included a 42-39 victory over Michigan State in the first-ever Big Ten Football Championship Game. Wisconsin was co-champion of the Big Ten last year. They fell to 11-12 in bowl games.
Oregon closed out the season at 12-2 with its third straight outright PAC-10/PAC-12 title. The Ducks defeated the UCLA Bruins 49-31 in the first-ever Pac-12 Football Conference Championship Game.
It was the first meeting between the teams since 2001 and just their fifth meeting of all time. Wisconsin leads the series 3-2, but Oregon has won the last two.
51.6% of CollegeFootballPoll.com voters picked Wisconsin to win and the Congrove Computer Rankings at CollegeFootballPoll.com forecasted a 1.73-point Badger victory.
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