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Badgers Leave Pasadena Empty Handed
After successfully defeating Michigan State in the Big Ten Championship, the University of Wisconsin Badgers football team headed to Pasedena, California on January 2nd, 2010, only to be defeated in their second consecutive Rose Bowl game by the Oregon Ducks, 45-38.
Some see the defeat as yet another example of the terrible luck the Badgers’ have experienced this season, bringing to mind the last minute losses against Michigan State and Ohio State.
“It was frusterating knowing we would have won those games and then watching it being stolen away. The Rose Bowl was no exception, but it was the most devestating. The potential for victory was there the whole game, but we just didn’t have any luck on our side,” said junior Greta Stawicki, who went to California to see the game in person.
To others, the heart-breaking loss was a combination of poor judgement and lack of defense. Having unwisely used up all their timeouts, the Badger’s were left with little hope and little time to make a spectacular game-saving play when the clock dwindled, leaving them 16 seconds to play. With two seconds left, the Badgers rushed to the line and Wilson spiked the ball right at the official’s whistle, but to no avail. After official review, the game was declared over.
It seemed that the determing factor in Oregon’s victory was their speed, and Wisconsin just couldn’t keep up. The Duck’s put up a remarkable average of 9.7 yards per play, a first in Rose Bowl history. A large part of that success can be credited to freshman De’Anthony Thomas, who championed the Rose Bowl record for longest rushing touchdown, running 91 yards for the score.
“While I don’t think the better team won, the faster team did and there’s no denying it. The Badgers are a good team, but we just couldn’t out run them,” said sophomore Nick Flatt.
Thomas was not the only one who came away from the game with his name tied to a record. Wisconsin junior running back Montee ball scored his 39th touchdown with his 3 yard drive into the end zone on Monday, equalling the national record for most touchdowns in a season and sharing the title with Barry Sanders.
“My name will be mentioned along with Barry Sanders, and that’s an honor,” said Ball, according to espn.com.
In additon, Ball racked up a total of 1,923 rushing yards this season, the highest in the nation. The question still remains whether or not Ball will return to the Badgers next year or if his football career will take him to the professional level.
From the moment the clock ran out for last year’s Rose Bowl game signifying Wisconsin’s loss against TCU, the Badgers were eager to return to Pasedena for another shot at the title. And yet again, they left empty handed, wondering how championship could have passed them by twice in a row. Could they return a third time in a row and leave with a championship under their belts?
“I don’t know if they’ll go return to Pasadena next season, but they’ll be back soon. The Badgers may not be the fastest team or have the best defense, but they have always been a good team and they always will be. If anything, this loss will push them even harder to a future victory,” said Flatt.