PASADENA, CA (WSAU) Wisconsin lost its third straight Rose Bowl last night, 20-to-14 to eighth-ranked Stanford.
The Badgers spotted Stanford a 14-to-nothing lead early – which athletic director Barry Alvarez called a “microcosm of their whole season.” But Wisconsin battled back to get within three at the half. And then both defenses hunkered down, with a combined seven punts in the third quarter.
What looked like a game-winning touchdown drive for Stanford ended up with a 22-yard field goal by Jordan Williamson with 4:23 left, putting the Cardinal up by six. The Badgers then moved past midfield when quarterback Curt Phillips threw an interception to Usua Amanan with 2:03 left – and that gave Stanford its first Rose Bowl victory since 1972. Montee Ball ran for 100 yards in his final game as a Badger. And he became the first player to score a touchdown in three Rose Bowls, with an 11-yard run in the second quarter.
Phillips threw for 83 yards and a score, as Alvarez returned to his old coaching role for one game after Bret Bielema suddenly left for Arkansas almost a month ago. The loss ruined Alvarez’s perfect 3-and-0 Rose Bowl record with Wisconsin since 1993, and it capped off an 8-and-6 season for the Badgers.
Kevin Hogan threw for 123 yards for Stanford, which last played in the Rose Bowl in 2000 with a loss to Wisconsin. The Cardinal had a slight edge in total yards, 344-to-301. Stepfan Taylor ran for 88 yards and a T-D. Kelsey Young had the other touchdown on the ground for Stanford, which ended at 12-and-2.
Mequon native Ben Gardner – who went to Stanford after Wisconsin wouldn’t give him a full scholarship – had six tackles and a pass break-up against the Badgers.