PASADENA, Calif. - The third time was not the charm for the University of Wisconsin.
Beaten by a combined nine points in the last two Rose Bowls, both games were it faltered late, Wisconsin bid to make amends ended with 2:03 remaining, as Stanford's Usua Amanam interception sealed a 20-14 victory in front of 93,359 fans at the 99th Rose Bowl Tuesday.
Everything went against Wisconsin (8-6) early from trick plays to stalled offense, digging themselves a 14-0 hole after only eight-plus minutes of game time. From that point on, Wisconsin dug in its heels and climbed back into the game.
Senior tailback Montee Ball rushed for 100 yards on 24 carries and scored his 83rd touchdown in the second quarter to cut the lead to 14-7. That score made him the first player in Rose Bowl history to score a touchdown in three straight Rose Bowls.
Senior quarterback Curt Phillips threw for 83 yards and a touchdown, but did the most damage with his legs in rushing for 64 yards on only five carries. His 38-yard scramble late in the second quarter and his four-yard touchdown pass to freshman Jordan Fredrick – his first career touchdown – cut the lead to 17-14 heading into halftime.
Nothing went right offensively after that, as Wisconsin had six second-half drives to take the lead after cutting the score to three but generate nothing offensively. Wisconsin’s defense gave its offense an opportunity to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat, but the Badgers’ final drive stalled when Phillips’ second-down pass from the Stanford 49 was intercepted after being deflected at the line of scrimmage.
Stanford’s 17 first-quarter points were enough for the Cardinal (12-2) to get its first Rose Bowl victory since 1972.
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No.8 Stanford 20, Wisconsin 14
7 plays, 80 yards, 3:36 TOP, 11:24 left
Kelsey Young 16-yard run (Jordan Williamson kick)
Key Play: On Stanford's version of the wildcat, a jet sweep turned reserve turned pass attempt ended when Jamal-Rashad Patterson made a tremendous catch on a high throw for a 34-yard gain to the Wisconsin 16.
5 plays, 79 yards, 2:24 TOP, 6:35 left
Stepfan Taylor 3-yard run (Jordan Williamson kick)
Key Play: Zach Ertz is showing that he is more than a tight end. Ertz ran by Dezmen Southward, who never looked back to see the pass be thrown, and couldn't defend a 43-yard catch that put the Cardinal on the UW 3.
5 plays, 49 yards, 1:57 TOP, 9:05 left
Montee Ball 11-yard run (Jack Russell kick)
Key Play: Finally some luck goes Wisconsin's way. after Jared Abbrederis dropped a touchdown pass thrown by Joel Stave on first down, a tipped pass off Henry Anderson's helmet floats perfectly to Abbrederis for a 22-yard gain down to the Stanford 11.
7 plays, 47 yards, 2:42 TOP, 6:19 left
FG Jordan Williamson 47
Key Play: Stanford's pass catchers are having a field day running routes over the middle of the field and Kevin Hogan is hitting his mark. At the Stanford 50, Hogan hit Ty Montgomery for 14 yards to get Stanford into field goal range.
10 plays, 85 yards, 2:04 TOP, :19 left
Jordan Fredrick 4-yard pass from Curt Phillips (Jack Russell kick)
Key Play: Three ACL surgeries? What surgeries? At his own 40-yard line, Curt Phillips tucks the ball and sprints down the sideline for a 38-yard gain down to the Stanford 22.
12 plays, 66 yards, 6:22 TOP, 4:23 left
FG Jordan Williamson 22
Key Play: Needing to hold Stanford to a field goal to have a chance, pressure from UW's defense forced an overthrow to an open receiver in the back of the end zone.
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