Adam Hoge: Oregon 38 Wisconsin 35
Phil Mitten: Oregon 52 Wisconsin 48
Chuck Schwartz: Oregon 42 Wisconsin 37
Jake Harris: Wisconsin 30 Oregon 27
John Veldhuis: Wisconsin 38 Oregon 35
Adam Tupitza: Oregon 30 Wisconsin 24
Louis Bien: Oregon 41 Wisconsin 35
Sam Zastrow: Oregon 48 Wisconsin 42
As soon as the Badgers clinched their second-straight Rose Bowl berth with a win over Michigan State in the Big Ten Championship Game, the narrative for the 98th-annual Rose Bowl game began to emerge. The Badgers were set to face the Pac-12 champion Oregon Ducks, widely known for their high-octane offense as well as their sometimes outlandish uniforms. In short: the Ducks are quick and small, while the Badgers are big and slow. Same old, same old.
While there is an element of truth to that moniker, the reality is somewhere in the middle. The Ducks aren't a one-phase show: they can be physical on defense and make plays on special teams. And while the Badger offense is one of the best in the nation, they have their fair share of dynamic playmakers who break the mold of a slow and plodding offense. So with two highly-regarded offenses facing off in the bowl game of all bowl games, the key question shifts to the other side of the ball: which defense has a better chance to slow down the opposing offense?
Expect a game of momentum shifts, at the least. Both offenses are extremely efficient and have their fair share of firepower. But after a sub-par showing against Michigan State in the championship game, the Wisconsin defense has their work cut out for them if they want to contain LaMichael James and the rest of the Ducks.
As you can see from our contributor survey, the Ducks seem like the favorites to get more key defensive stops. While the Badger defense is highly rated statistically, blown coverages and and too many missed opportunities have tripped up the team in several games this season. All of the B5Q contributors expect plenty of points to go up on the scoreboard - but in the end the majority expects the Ducks to make more defensive stops, and leave the Rose Bowl stadium with a trophy in tow.
Who Has The Edge?
Offense: Push - Two high octane offenses will need to be as efficient as possible.
Defense: Oregon - The Badger defense looked soft against Michigan State in the championship game, and has hurt the team with mental lapses at times.
Special Teams: Oregon - Kickoff coverage has plagued the Badgers all season, and the Ducks have solid special teams to begin with.
Coaching: Oregon - Pretty even, but Bielema still has some lingering questions about timeout management.
Intangibles: Wisconsin - Pretty even again, but the Ducks have struggled when their opponent gets more than a week to prepare for their zone-read attack.