Justin Herbert rushed for three touchdowns, Brady Breeze made several key plays, and No. 6 Oregon outlasted No. 8 Wisconsin to win the 106th Rose Bowl Game, 28-27, on Wednesday in Pasadena, Calif.
The Ducks (12-2) gained just 204 total yards of offense, but a special teams touchdown by Breeze and two Herbert touchdown runs on short fields after turnovers powered them past the Badgers (10-4).
Breeze forced a fumble in the fourth quarter that set up Oregon’s game-winning touchdown, a 30-yard touchdown run by Herbert on the next play, putting the Ducks up one with 7:41 to play.
Breeze also gave Oregon the lead early in the third quarter when he scooped a fumbled punt snap and went 31 yards to the end zone.
That was the second special teams touchdown of the game. Wisconsin’s Aron Cruickshank ran a kickoff back 95 yards for a score following Oregon’s game-opening drive.
Herbert scored the first of his touchdowns on a 4-yard bootleg, capping a 75-yard drive to open the game. His second touchdown went 5 yards and unfolded similarly, right down to Herbert delivering a stiff-arm on a would-be tackler just before the goal line.
After Oregon’s methodical, opening drive, the Wisconsin defense limited the Ducks to just 129 yards the rest of the way. Running back C.J. Verdell, who rushed for 208 yards in the Pac-12 Championship Game on Dec. 6, finished with just 49 on Wednesday.
Herbert finished 14-of-20 passing for 138 yards. He was intercepted at the line of scrimmage on Oregon’s second possession by linebacker Jack Sanborn, who also had eight tackles.
Sanborn’s pick set the Badgers up deep in Ducks territory, but only produced a field goal, for a 10-7 lead.
Wisconsin (10-4) scored its first offensive touchdown just before halftime when Badgers wide receiver Quintez Cephus drew a pass interference penalty near the goal line.
Quarterback Jack Coan found Cephus three plays later for an 11-yard scoring strike that put Wisconsin ahead 17-14 going into halftime. The Badgers scored in the third quarter on Mason Stokke’s 2-yard touchdown run, retaking a 24-21 lead, and extended it to 27-21 on Collin Larsh’s second made field goal.
The Oregon defense limited Doak Walker Award-winning running back Jonathan Taylor to 94 yards rushing on 21 carries. It was enough to put Taylor over 2,000 yards for the season — making him the second back-to-back 2,000-yard rusher in NCAA history (Troy Davis in 1995 and 1996) — but Taylor’s fourth-lowest output of the season.
—Field Level Media