Live Blog: Rose Bowl

Oregon and Wisconsin kickoff in a few minutes. Check back The Notebook throughout the game…

The Notebook’s pregame preview is right here.

The solider who won Dancing With The Stars last season flipped the coin. Inspiring, although was it necessary for the ref to explain that on the coin the “W” stood for Wisconsin, and the “O” for Oregon? UW wins the toss. The momentum is going our way.

Flagrant bias note: Regular readers know I’m a huge Wisconsin fan. I respect Oregon and Chip Kelly a lot, but no pretense at objectivity will be made.

FIRST AND TEN WISCONSIN! This is something Wisconsin students chant every time the PA announcer says it, even when it’s not earned, like now after a kickoff on the 22-yard line. Which means we’re not ashamed to do a celebratory chant even when the primary cause was a kickoff following a touchdown.

Love the way Ball is running between the tackles, but Wisconsin will need to mix it up. Paul Chryst is a great play-caller and is off to Pitt to be the head coach after this game. Big third down coming up. With as many points as are likely to be scored here, I consider this 2-down territory on the Oregon side of midfield.

Nice third down conversion on the pass to Ball. Even nicer that Michigan State won.

YES!!!!!! What a perfect throw! What a perfect play call! Wilson hits an out-and-up perfectly! Just remember, Wisconsin rolled down the field on the first drive last year against TCU before the Horned Frog defense got settled in. That’s the first seven of what will have to be 45-50 points for somebody today.

Pac-12 is 2-3 in the bowls so far this year, but won their matchup with the Big Ten when Illinois beat UCLA.

Good insight by Brent that Darron Thomas hasn’t run as much this year. LaMichael James has carried the rushing load as that big third-and-short run to about midfield just showed why.

And here come the Ducks. Great throw by Thomas off his back foot. Tie game.

FIRST AND TEN WISCONSIN! UW at the 21-yard line at the 9 ½ minute mark in the first quarter.

Would like to see a little more misdirection and rollouts from Wilson this time around.

Draw play works wonders. See, a change of pace was what UW needed. Wisconsin into Duck territory again.

Wisconsin 2nd-and-goal on 4-yard line. Have to think four downs to score. This is like the backyard, where field goals are unheard of and punts only happen when its 4th-and-20 on your own goal line..and TOUCHDOWN WILSON as I’m typing!

Question: Relative to their level, is Aaron Rodgers or Russell Wilson the best quarterback in the state of Wisconsin? Or after yesterday is the answer neither and that it’s Matt Flynn?

Oregon at their own 28, little more than five minutes left in 1Q

Why is Oregon running screens? That works to slow down a fast defense that’s overpursuing. Wisconsin’s the slower team and needs to stay at home. But I haven’t watched as many Oregon games, so it’s a question, not a second-guess.

FIRST AND TEN WISCONSIN! Badgers force a punt, have it at their own 42-yard line at the 4:36 mark.

3rd and 17. If you can pick up 10 and get to midfield go for it.

Sack and a false start. Not acceptable. Not when you have to keep pace in a game like this.

Wow, what a break! Oregon’s had double-digit penalties three times this year and gives up a gift first down on pass interference.

James White’s change of pace is a key part of the Wisconsin running game. Kenjon Barner does the same for Oregon.

Fourth and about 3 on the 37. Gotta go for it. Idiotic decision to punt, but downing it inside the 5 bails Bielama out.

Un-frickin’ believable. De’Anthony Thomas goes inside for 91 yards and a touchdown. This is why you don’t punt today unless you have to.

First quarter ends 14-14 on that play.


FIRST AND TEN WISCONSIN! Nice return by Abberderis. He had a nice punt return earlier today. Nothing for the highlight reels, but hidden yardage. Then again, with these offenses, field position might not matter. Ball on 35.

Third and short. I’d think about taking a shot down the field here, then go for it on 4th.

A great play action to the tight end and getting inside the Oregon 40 works for me.

Ball scores, ties Barry Sanders’ record for single-season touchdowns. Although we must note that Barry played only 11 regular season games and didn’t have a conference championship game. 21-14 Wisconsin.

During commercials saw on that Raheem Morris at Tampa and Steve Spagnuolo with St. Louis are out. Both were the toast of the town a year ago. Can we adopt a rule that any organization that talks about how a guy turned them around one year is not allowed to fire them the next?

Wisconsin’s kick coverage is its usual sterling self. 10:44 left in 2Q, Oregon at own 44….and touchdown pass to Barner as I’m typing. I can’t keep up. I need an oxygen tank myself, as Herbstreit just told Brent. 21-21 tie.

FIRST AND TEN WISCONSIN! Good kick coverage by Oregon this time. UW at own 24 with about ten minutes left in 2Q.

Good point brought up by Brent, about Oregon missing corner Cliff Harris. Had that in my preview notes this morning and neglected to bring it up. More opportunities on the corners for Wisconsin in the passing game. Another key third down here coming up.

And that third down conversion comes on a throw to the corner. Wisconsin on the move again in Oregon territory.

Wisconsin fans demanding an interference call in the end zone, but I didn’t see it. This is my Fake Objectivity comment.

What idiot decided to go for it on 4th-and-1?!?! Wait a minute…

Seriously, that’s a game-deciding play right there. Wisconsin’s defense has to come up with a big answer. I’m trying not to laugh or cry as I type that.

Oregon ball, their own 20, at the 4:16 mark.

Don’t overlook the fact Oregon gets the ball after halftime. Any points here are huge.

We haven’t seen a turnover yet…yes, this my effort to jinx the Oregon offense into coughing one up.

Wow, is that a close call. I honestly don’t know if that’s a forward pass or not.

Unreal that my attempt to jinx Oregon into a turnover might actually work, as a sack and fumble off Thomas sets up a TD return…and the call stood! 28-21 Wisconsin!

Still not sure about the call. The big thing I’m shocked at is how quick they upheld the call. Oregon fans can cite this as an example that even a diehard Wisconsin fan thought it was questionable. By comparison, I had no doubts that the play against Michigan State in the Big Ten Championship Game was a roughing the kicker.

Great coverage by UW’s kickoff team. Oregon ball at own 13 with a little more than three minutes left to halftime.

As a footnote to the kickoff, Oregon tried to bring it out from four yards deep in the end zone. Just how bad the UW kick coverage has been this year is evidenced by the fact I think it was a good move, even if it didn’t work. Heaven forbid Bielama actually hire a special teams coach instead of doing it himself.

Oregon hitting the edges in the ground game with the running backs. This is exactly what everyone expected. Oregon inside the UW 40-yard line. As I type this, Thomas hits a pass down into the red zone.

My big concern right now is that Oregon leaves too much time on the clock after scoring. Yes, too much time. Bielama is notorious for getting stupidly aggressive in the last minute or so of a half.

3rd and goal. Holding Oregon to a field goal would be a huge moral victory.

Nice short throw to the outside for the touchdown. Not even sure what inspired a review of this one. 28-28 with thirty seconds left.

Halftime, 28-28. I’m off to grab a shower after taking a long pregame walk in this bitter northern Wisconsin cold.


Oregon starts the second half at their own 20. I’m still downing some fried chicken, a dinner I’m enjoying in honor of the 2011 Red Sox.

This is ridiculous. You can’t take five minutes to finish a meal without missing a touchdown. 35-28 Oregon thanks to another big play on the edge.

Great kickoff return by Abberderis! Into Oregon territory about the 37 at 14 minute mark. Who is the genius that coaches our special teams?! Wait a minute, never mind…

Wow, what a leap by Ball to get to the 15! More athleticism than you see from our basketball team!

How huge was that unforced slip by Ball on 2nd-and-8 on the 15? Forces a field goal attempt. On 4th-and-8 even I’d kick it here. 35-31 at 10:51 left in 3Q.

Touchback Oregon. Close call on whether the runner was out of the end zone. Can see it either way. Our fans are a little riled up. Bielama does another boneheaded clock management system trying to challenge the call, blowing a timeout and doing it after a play has been run.

Oregon is punting! Good try by Abberderis returning up the middle, but Ducks make play at 37-yard line. I wonder how many times and how many different ways I’ve misspelled Abberderis’ name today. But this is a live blog and no editing is being done. We live with our mistakes today.

White with the change of pace into Oregon territory. Can’t expect the defense to stop Oregon two straight times so points here are an absolute must.

Big first down on the scramble by Wilson. Very bad containment by Oregon. How can you not be alert to Wilson getting outside the pocket?

Third and four. Can you say 2-down territory…not necessary, another catch by Ball over the middle for the first down. UW inside the red zone.

Great throw by Wilson to the corner. Those always make me nervous in a spot, because it can go the other way in a hurry. But the play call and throw were on the money. 38-35 Wisconsin.

I’m going to be disappointed if Brent doesn’t make some thinly veiled reference to the game having gone over the Vegas total of 72. If Brent or Al Michaels can’t make a gambling reference in the game, what is society coming to?

Oregon ball at the 25, 4:41 left in 3Q.

I realize Thomas makes a great throw to the back shoulder against tight coverage, but this is still beyond frustrating. Oregon already inside the 30. I better post this or I’ll miss another touchdown while typing.

The Badger defense uses the sideline to help defend a play on the edge. Who would have ever thought that would work? Third down…intercepted off the tipped ball!!

Wisconsin’s ball on the 16, 2:40 left in 3Q

Another third-and-short. I’m thinking play-action and going to the tight end or Toon over the middle here…instead we go to the shotgun and it’s a turnover. Mistakes are even. Oregon’s got two turnovers to Wisconsin’s one, but Oregon also had the big 4th down stop in the second quarter.

“LaMichael James starting to pound away…ominious words by Brent…third quarter ends with Oregon facing 2nd-and-10 at 20-yard line. 38-35 at the quarter.


Another big-time third it conservatively on defense…Oregon would settle for a game-tying field goal…but when you miss tackles in the open field, strategy means nothing. Too much speed. 1st down.

Another solid throw by Thomas for the touchdown. 42-38 Oregon.

FIRST AND TEN WISCONSIN! UW ball at the 32-yard line, 14-plus minutes left.

Lousy offensive sequence. UW defense’s biggest series of the year coming up after this punt.

Special teams comes up absolutely huge, pinning Oregon on the 10.

Internet connection briefly shut down. But Oregon has a 2nd-and-25 inside midfield and uses three downs to pick up the first. This is not looking good.

4th-and-2 in the red zone…if I’m Kelly running Thomas outside with some kind of option. Sitting on the seven-minute mark I think he’s right to go for the throat rather than play it safe.

Kelly goes for the field goal instead. If you’re an Oregon fan who’s upset you are pointing to this blog and noting that a Wisconsin fan feels like he dodged a bullet. 45-38 Oregon.

FIRST AND TEN WISCONSIN! UW ball on the 30-yard line, 6:43 left in the game.

Oregon’s defense is taking over inside. Tough to call plays for anything with that happening. Wilson has to pull a rabbit out of his hat. Short pass to the 33 sets up 3rd-and-7. I can’t even say 2-down territory because an Oregon field goal locks it up…Wilson to Toon bails it out by a nose!

If you bet Wisconsin you’re dying now, because you only got (+6). Again, why hasn’t Brent made some allusion to this? Has he gone straight?

What a heartbreaking way to lose a fumble after a great throw. Abberderis just started running too soon…ball needed to be tucked away.

Oregon ball at own 27, 4:06 left.Herbstreit on the money in pointing out how Bielama blew a timeout earlier.

3rd-and-5 with 1:10 left, no UW timeouts, this is for the dagger…very conservative play call and Oregon will punt it away and give Wilson a desperation chance.

Sitting here with my mom and grandmother and commiserating over Abberderis’ pain. Unlike the coaches or players in the NFL, they don’t get paid big money and you feel for them. And I feel like somewhat of a horse’s posterior for getting mad at him moments earlier.

Unless, there’s a miracle throw, this comment will wrap it up, as Wisconsin has 16 seconds to go 88 yards. Congrats to Oregon and thanks to Bucky for an amazing season.

Actually we’re almost to midfield with nine seconds left. Maybe there’s hope…

You have got to put a second back on the clock!

Well, congratulations to Oregon all over again. Check out the Fiesta Bowl live blog next.