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Topic: Rose Bowl: #6 Oregon (11-2) vs. #8 Wisconsin (10-3)

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Re: Rose Bowl: #6 Oregon (11-2) vs. #8 Wisconsin (10-3)
« Reply #28 on: December 29, 2019, 03:20:49 PM »

#8 Wisconsin Badgers (10-3) vs. #6 Oregon Ducks (11-2)
New Years Day @ 5:00 - Pasadena, CA - ESPN
For the Badgers to kick off the 2020 right, both teams need to reverse some recent Pasadena trends.  Oregon hadn't won a Rose Bowl since the third version of the game, back in 1917 against Penn, until winning their last two.  Wisconsin, who had gone 3-0 in the 90s, lost three consecutive Rose Bowls this decade.  As non-playoff Rose Bowls go in this CFP era, this is about as good as it gets.  You've got a pair of top 10 teams, the Pac 12 champ, and the Big Ten runner up, both with things to prove, neither one disappointed to be here.  To the winner, you can say you had a really good year, save one fluky result.  Oregon would love to get that Arizona State game back, and just had a bad break against Auburn.  Wisconsin would love that Illinois game back, and simply wasnt quite as good as an elite Ohio State team.  You've also got a pair of singular talents in Oregon's Justin Herbert and Wisconsin's Jonathan Taylor, who, if you told me preseason, would have been in New York for the Heisman Trophy presentation, would not have surprised me at all.  Taylor finished third in the nation in rushing, although both his total yardage and yards per carry were career lows.  He improved in other areas though, to be a more complete back, becoming a bigger red zone threat, not just a home run hitter, and developed as a weapon in the passing game.  Herbert has always been more about his NFL potential than his actual production.  He actually had a lower Total QBR than Jack Coan,  but did improve across the board from 2018.  A big part of that was improvement from his receivers, who led the nation in dropped passes in 2018, but were rated by PFF as the #15 group this year, even with the loss of starting tight end Jacob Breeland to a season ending injury.  Part of that was a scheme which emphasized downfield passing much less this year.  In this case, that might play into what Wisconsin's defense does best, tight coverage to limit completions, but are susceptible to the big play.  Only LSU held opponents below Wisconsin's 50.7% opponents completion percentage, but Bucky was 67th nationally in yards per completion allowed, and only three Big Ten teams allowed more 50+ yard passes.  Time of possession doesn't matter much anymore, and you certainly would be hard pressed to find two programs with a wider mindset towards it, but this isn't quite the explosive Oregon offense we were used to the last time they were on top.  Granted they still aren't looking to grind it out, ranking in the bottom 20 of the FBS in terms of third downs faced per game.  Wisconsin is the second best third down defense in the country.  If the Wisconsin defense can win first and second down, they'll win this game, because they dominate third down, and Oregon doesn't tend to even get there.  This Duck offense is rolling right now, as we saw against Utah.  Wisconsin looks a lot like Utah to me, although I don't see it getting ugly.


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