Rose Bowl 2011: TCU vs. Wisconsin Preview

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Rose Bowl 2011: TCU vs. Wisconsin Preview
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

This Saturday, the Rose Bowl Game will be played for the 97th time. The game has traditionally featured the winners of the Big Ten and Pacific-10 conferences.

Since the Pac-10 champ Oregon Ducks are playing in the BCS National Championship Game, the Mountain West Conference champions Texas Christian Horned Frogs will make their first ever Rose bowl appearance.

They will face the Big Ten champion Wisconsin Badgers.

Texas Christian

TCU finished the season with a 12-0 record. They are ranked No. 3 by the BCS. TCU is making its sixth consecutive bowl appearance. The Horned Frogs led their conference in both scoring offense and scoring defense and are currently 10th in the NCAA in total offensive yards and ninth in rushing yards.

The Horned Frogs are led by senior quarterback Andy Dalton. He is fifth in the NCAA in QB rating (167) and 14th in passing touchdowns (26). Ed Wesley, averaging 6.6 yards per carry, is their leading rusher.

TCU, with its strong defense and astounding passing and rushing duo of Dalton and Wesley, will definitely be a formidable foe for the Badgers.

Wisconsin Badgers

The Badgers have an 11-1 record on the season. Their only loss came in the Big Ten opener against Michigan State. Since then, they have won their remaining seven games, including a win against then-No. 1 Ohio State. The Badgers are ranked No. 5 by the BCS.

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Wisconsin's defense has only allowed seven rushing touchdowns the entire season. Offensively, they have three running backs with at least 12 rushing touchdowns (James White, John Clay and Montee Ball). Freshman James White is fifth in the NCAA in yards per carry (7.0).

Their passing game is also strong. Senior quarterback Scott Tolzien is fourth in the NCAA in QB rating.

This is Wisconsin's seventh Rose Bowl appearance and ninth consecutive bowl appearance. The Horned Frogs will have a very difficult time containing Wisconsin's stellar offense.

Although Wisconsin seems like the overwhelming favorite, TCU will be a formidable foe. This matchup will by characterized by a strong rushing game from both teams, as well as powerful defense. Look for a knock-down, drag-out fight for four quarters.

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