Wisconsin Badgers: 3 Keys to Victory over Oregon in 2012 Rose Bowl

Chris KennedyCorrespondent IDecember 31, 2011

Tenacious Taylor
Tenacious TaylorJonathan Daniel/Getty Images

While the Wisconsin Badgers are making a repeat performance in this year's Rose Bowl game (and looking to avenge last year's loss no less), they are the underdogs. 

Both teams' offense can put up a lot of points so the game won't be decided on that side of the ball. If the Badgers are to pull off the upset, they must get defensive. These 3 things must happen.

1. The Wisconsin secondary has to play smart and fast. Fast they can handle. The smart...well, therein lies the problem. In fact, were it not for an unforgivable blown coverage in the end zone on a hail Mary versus Ohio State and a fluke batted pass for another hail Mary loss against Michigan State, Wisconsin would be in the national championship game. The secondary must be "assignment-sure" if they are to upset the Ducks.

2. The Wisconsin defensive line has got to step up. The defensive line has been un-impactful to say the least this season. Oregon hits quick-quack but a little surge in quarterback Darron Thomas's face would help out their Badgers buddies backing them up.

3. Linebackers Borland and Taylor need to keep playing like Supermen to save the day.  Mike Taylor and Chris Borland, respectively, lead the Big Ten in tackles this past year. The good news is they are both aggressive, sure tacklers who find the ball. The bad news is their defensive brethren had them working mostly alone, like a certain caped crusader.