Defense was optional in Pasadena on Monday as Oregon quarterback Darron Thomas and a combination of running backs LaMichael James and DeAnthony Thomas led the Ducks over Wisconsin in the 2012 Rose Bowl, 45-38.
The game got out to a fast start as both offense clicked early, setting Rose Bowl records in the first half for scoring and single play from scrimmage (DeAnthony Thomas’s 91-yard first-quarter touchdown scamper). Wisconsin hung in with every Oregon score, as senior quarterback Russell Wilson and running back Montee Ball had performances reflective of their impressive 2011 campaigns. The Badgers’ first three touchdowns were the result of a beautiful Wilson play-action pass, a Wilson run and a Ball 3-yard score.
Through the first half, the Badgers had far outpaced the Ducks in terms of time of possession, but James — who finished with 161 rushing yards — and Oregon were quick to score, including James’s first-ever touchdown rush in a BCS bowl game.
The second half was not quite ...