BCS Bowl Projections: Oregon Will Outgun Wisconsin in Rose Bowl Shootout
The Rose Bowl promises to be a battle between two offensive juggernauts as the No. 9 Oregon Ducks will outgun No. 15 Wisconsin Badgers in an epic shootout.
Both the Ducks (10-2, 8-1 Pac-12) and the Badgers (10-2, 6-2 Big Ten) are both primed to win their respective conference championship games.
Oregon was blessed with a mismatch as the USC Trojans (10-2, 7-2 Pac-12) were ruled ineligible for a bowl because of NCAA sanctions. Meanwhile, the Ducks draw the inferior UCLA Bruins (6-6, 5-4 Pac-12) on Dec. 2 and will bruise those Bruins.
For the Badgers, they will face the Michigan State Spartans (10-2, 7-1 Big Ten) at Indianapolis after the Spartans needed a lucky Hail Mary pass to edge Wisconsin 37-31.
Wisconsin has been playing some if its best football lately and will be primed for an offensive explosion with junior running back Montee Ball having a tremendous performance.
As for this Rose Bowl matchup, the Ducks and Badgers have two extremely dynamic offenses. Oregon posts 45.9 points a game (third) while Wisconsin forces 44.8 points (fourth). Total offense is also ridiculous as the Ducks are fourth (6,127 yards) and the Badgers are 10th (5,725 yards).
Both teams have great quarterbacks. Wisconsin senior Russell Wilson has 2,692 passing yards for 38 touchdowns and just three picks. Oregon's Darron Thomas isn't too shabby, either. The junior has 2,274 yards for 27 touchdowns and five interceptions.
Running back is going to be another fun unit to watch. The Badgers junior Montee Ball is having a Heisman Trophy worthy year as he has amassed 1,870 yards of total offense and 34 scores. Wisconsin also has capable backups in sophomore James White (689 yards, six touchdowns).
The Ducks counter with last year's Heisman runner-up LaMichael James, who will not win this year because an elbow injury kept him out of two games. James, a junior, has collected 1,427 rushing yards and 14 scores.
His backup, Kenjon Barner, has 830 yards on just 128 carries while pounding 11 touchdowns.
Oregon wide receivers De'Anthony Thomas and Lavasier Tuinei are tough players who have combined for 979 yards and 17 tallies. Their numbers are lower as the Ducks offense spreads the ball out.
The Badgers have solid receivers in Nick Toon and Jared Abbrederis, who have 1,537 yards and 15 scores between them.
As both offenses have stellar weapons, the game will come down to the offensive lines. The Ducks have one of the nation's best lines as Thomas has been sacked just 11 times. Meanwhile, Wisconsin's line is also solid, but the Badgers have allowed 20 sacks.
Every little edge is huge in a game where both teams are so close in talent. If Thomas has more time than Wilson, the Badgers would be in trouble.
The Ducks have solid linebackers in Josh Kaddu (9.5 tackles for loss, 6.5 sacks) and Michael Clay (71 tackles, two interceptions) while defensive ends Terrell Turner (46 tackles, 5.5 sacks) and Dion Jordan (36 tackles, 6.5 sacks) will limit Montee Ball's ability to have a huge game.
Despite both teams being offensively explosive, the Ducks will outgun the Badgers because of a superior offensive line protecting Thomas and their front seven containing Ball.
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