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Grading Wisconsin’s fourth straight Rose Bowl loss

I don’t want to write this because I’m so mad. But I love you, B5Q readership.

NCAA Football: Rose Bowl-Oregon vs Wisconsin Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

Rubric - Wisconsin Football Unit Grades

Grade Description - accounting for degree of difficulty
Grade Description - accounting for degree of difficulty
A Excellent: Top-5 level performance
B Very good: Top-tier Big Ten performance
C Acceptable: Average for the Big Ten
D Unacceptable: Below average for the Big Ten
F Failure: Rutgers level performance
N/A Insufficient evidence for a grade

For the love of every four letter words that I choose to not type.

Wisconsin dominated the 2020 Rose Bowl. It lost 28-27.

Wisconsin dominated the 2020 Rose Bowl, out-gaining Oregon 322-204. It lost the turnover battle 4-1. It lost the “penalty” battle 9 (79 yards) - 2 (20 yards).

Wisconsin dominated the 2020 Rose Bowl. And here we are. To start a brand new freaking decade 0-1. Happy New Year.

Offense: C+

O-line: C+


Wisconsin’s offense wasn’t all that great statistically, but it went against a pretty good defense. Three turnovers on offense, though...

Defense: B+

Pass rush: B+
Pass coverage: A-
Run defense: B+


I really liked the pass coverage. For most of the game, Justin Herbert struggled to find anybody open when passing.

Yeah, Herbert ran for three touchdowns, but that’s not a big problem if the other units do their job.

Special Teams: A- and F

Kicking: D+
Punting: F
Returning: A+
Coverage: I don’t know; stop asking


Yeah, it gets two grades. This was not a C- effort by special teams. There was absolutely nothing slightly below average about it.

Aron Cruickshank answered Oregon’s opening touchdown with a kickoff return.

Collin Larsh made two field goals. He missed one. (Note: Wisconsin lost by one point).

Cruickshank had several more good returns.

Anthony Lotti dropped a snap that lead to a scoop’n’score. (Note: Wisconsin lost by one point).

Coaching: N/A

Strategy: N/A
Adjustments: N/A
Play-calling: N/A


I can’t talk to you right now. I don’t know what the deal was. I think if the refs did their job, Wisconsin wins. If Wisconsin holds onto the ball, it wins.

Then again, I’m not a big fan of Chryst going for a field goal halfway through the fourth quarter.

Overall grade: C-

Unit Grades: C+
Big plays: D
Game Control: D
Penalties & Discipline: N/A


Indiana is up next!

Bonus grades

Refs: F-; expelled; life ban from campus

You know why.

(Author’s note: apologies to those viewing this on mobile. You may have more luck reading the table directly from the source.)

2019 Wisconsin Football Grade Book

Category Mich NW MSU @ Ill. @ OSU Iowa @ Neb Purdue @ Minn B1G Championship Rose Bowl
Category Mich NW MSU @ Ill. @ OSU Iowa @ Neb Purdue @ Minn B1G Championship Rose Bowl
Overall A- C+ A+ D- B- B- C B- A- B- C-
Unit Grade Composite A C+ A D B- B- C+ B B+ B- C+
Big Plays A- B A D C+ B- C B A C D
Game Control B D A+ F N/A C D- C A D D
Penalties & Discipline C- C+ A F C+ D C+ C- A B+ N/A
Offense A D A D+ C+ B B+ B+ A- B- C+
QB B D A D N/A C C- B- A B- C
OL A+ D+ A D- C+ B- A- B B+ B- C+
RB / FB A+ B B+ C N/A A A A B B+ B-
WR / TE B D A B N/A B+ B+ A A B C
Defense A A- A+ D- B C+ D+ C B B- B+
Pass rush A- A+ A+ D+ B C+ C+ C+ B+ B B+
Pass coverage B+ B+ A+ F B C- D+ D B- C+ A-
Run defense A+ B+ A+ F B B F B+ A+ B- B+
Special Teams C+ D B- C+ B C- B+ A+ B+ F A- & F
Kicking C- B+ B C B C- B A+ B D+ D+
Punting B C C B- B C- B- N/A C- F F
Returning C+ F B C+ B C- A N/A A D A+
Coverage C- B C C+ B N/A B N/A B+ D N/A
Coaching A C A F N/A B- C- C+ A B- N/A
Strategy A+ C A D N/A B- D+ C B+ B N/A
Adjustments B C N/A F N/A B C B A F N/A
Play Calling A C A F N/A B- C B- A+ B N/A