Oregon and Wisconsin gave us an incredible Rose Bowl game, combining for 83 points, a new Rose Bowl record, with the Ducks’ speed, and especially De’Anthony Thomas, proving to much for the Badgers, as Chip Kelly won his first bowl game 45-38.
Later on, it was Andrew Luck’s final game for Stanford, ending in a 41-38 loss against Oklahoma State, with Jordan Williamson stealing the show as the tragic figure of bowl season, missing three field goals in one game after missing three all season, including a potential game winner. Eventually, the Cowboys won the Fiesta Bowl in overtime, with Quinn Sharp kicking the winning three points.
Wisconsin reached their second straight Rose Bowl game, with Montee Ball and Russell Wilson spearheading the attack. This was more than just trying to win the Badgers’ first Rose Bowl since 2000. The Big Ten needs a big win, and Wisconsin looked ready to deliver. Problem is, Oregon. A team that lost in the Rose Bowl two years ago, and the National Championship game 12 months ago. A team that were very good against LSU this season and were stunned by USC.
Arguably, the best offense in the nation. The fastest. LaMichael James might not return next season, but he ran for 159 yards and a touchdown. De’Anthony Thomas? He had only 2 carries, but both were bingos. He scored two touchdowns, going for 155 yards. Wisconsin players had no chance of catching him.
Mark Asper (Oregon Guard) put it better than anybody could after the game - There was a play — basically a fly sweep where he’s running around the edge — and the guy I was running to block was trying to take an angle to run down De’Anthony. I was running at him and he was trying to catch De’Anthony and it got to a certain point where I said, ‘He’s not going to catch him.’ So I stopped and, like two steps later, I could see him thinking, ‘I’m not going to catch him.’ And he stopped and De’Anthony ran off.
Later, in Glendala, Arizona, it was more offense. Some find that troubling about the College game. Tons of points on the board, but the defenses are poor most of the time. Alabama and LSU are a different story, but the first game between the two teams this season was perhaps too much defense and conservatism.
No such thing between Oklahoma State, with Brandon Weeden slinging and Justin Blackmon, leaving for the NFL, receiving. There is nothing called a running game for the Cowboys, getting 13 yards in 15 carries. No need. Weeden threw for 399 yards, 3 touchdowns and an interception. Blackmon caught three touchdown passes, going for 186 yards.
Stanford had 178 more offensive yards. Andrew Luck threw for 347 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. They got 243 yards on the ground, 177 from Stepfan Taylor, who also ran for two touchdowns. It didn’t matter. Jordan Williamson couldn’t convert. He doesn’t excel in over 40 yard kicks, but he had to make at least one of three.
For Oklahoma State, it was more proof of how they deserved to be in the National Championship game. They didn’t lose to LSU this season, unlike Alabama. A ‘Bama win over the Tigers might give Oklahoma State a no.1 rankings in the AP poll, which they would probably deserve.
Andrew Luck remained the biggest story in this whole ordeal. He wasn’t disappointed with how the year ended, with the choice of staying for another year. His stocks weren’t hurt, and he had a great year with Stanford. He doesn’t mind sitting on the bench behind Peyton Manning for a year. After that? All we know is he’s going to go no.1. It’ll be a gamble to assume anything else.