The No. 8 Wisconsin Badgers (10-4, 7-2 B1G) cannot overcome a four-turnover game and lost to the No. 6 Oregon Ducks (12-2 overall, 8-1 PAC-12), 28-27.
Wisconsin out-gained Oregon 322-to-204, but the minus three turnover margin was too much to overcome for the Badgers.
From the opening kick, the game appeared as though it would be a close match up.
Oregon opened the game with a 12-play, 75 yard drive that lasted just over five minutes and was capped off by a Justin Herbert, 4-yard rushing touchdown.
Herbert would later add a second rushing touchdown of the first half on a 5-yard rush.
With the early 7-0 lead, Oregon kicked off to Aron Cruickshank, who returned said kick, 95 yards for a score. A Collin Larsh point after, would even up the score at 7-7.
Just like that Wisconsin answers back with a 95-yard kick return touchdown from Aron Cruickshank (@Ac_Hollywood_) to tie up the #RoseBowl. pic.twitter.com/gN0Qbw6baZ— Heat Check (@HCSBlaze) January 1, 2020
This was the second time this season that Cruickshank has returned a kick for a touchdown.
The momentum appeared to be well on Wisconsin’s side, as Jack Sanborn intercepted Herbert on Oregon’s following offensive play.
Wisconsin then cashed in on the short field, with a 44-yard field goal, by Larsh.
While Wisconsin was able to get off to a quick start thanks to special teams and a turnover, two Wisconsin turnovers, as well as some untimely penalties thwarted its offense early in the game.
While Oregon was able to capitalize on a Jack Coan interception and the short field that it provided, the Ducks struggled to move the ball against Wisconsin’s defense.
Of Oregon’s 110 first half yards, 108 were compiled on its two scoring drives (75 and 33 yards).
Apart from its two scoring drives, Oregon gained two total yards on 15 plays in the two opening stanzas.
Wisconsin ended the first half of the game, scoring in the final two minutes of the half, for the tenth time in fourteen games this season.
Coan connected with Cephus on an 11-yard touchdown pass with 11 seconds left. Cephus drew a pass interference call on a play earlier in the drive, which put Wisconsin in position to score the go ahead score.
Wisconsin’s offensive trouble continued as the second half started, as Wisconsin could not convert on third down and on fourth down punter Anthony Lotti fumbled the snap and Oregon’s Brady Breeze returned the fumble 31 yards for a touchdown.
Wisconsin was able to reclaim the lead on a Mason Stokke two-yard touchdown run on fourth-and-one.
Wisconsin also converted another fourth-and-one on the drive, with a 34-yard completion to Jonathan Taylor. The drive totaled 11-plays, 65 yards and just over seven minutes.
Wisconsin’s offensive troubles resurfaced later in the fourth quarter, as Danny Davis fumbled on a jet sweep, which setup a 30-yard rushing touchdown by Herbert.
Wisconsin looked poised to reclaim the lead, late in the fourth quarter, having just converted a first down on a Coan completion to Jake Ferguson on third-down.
However, on the play, Davis was penalized for offensive pass interference and Wisconsin was unable to convert the third-and-20 that followed.
“OPI” pic.twitter.com/Rs6vIoYTWY— Warren Sharp (@SharpFootball) January 2, 2020
Following a Conner Allen punt, Oregon was able to run out the clock, to seal the victory over Wisconsin.