It was evident early in Oregon's 45-38 win over Wisconsin that this Rose Bowl would be unlike any other -- and not just because of Oregon's blinged-out helmets.
The Ducks and Badgers set Rose Bowl records for points scored in the first and second quarters, scoring a combined four touchdowns in each frame. Even though the two teams slowed down (just slightly) in the second half, they'd eventually combine to score the most points ever in Rose Bowl history.
James finished the game with 25 carries for 159 yards. Wilson kept the ball on the next touchdown, running a bootleg all the way into the end zone:
The Ducks and Badgers traded punts on the next two drives, but De'Anthony Thomas made up for lost time as the clock expired to end the opening quarter with a 91-yard run into the end zone, tying the game at 14-14:
Wisconsin's Montee Ball responded on the next possession with his 39th touchdown of the year, tying Barry Sanders' FBS record:
Thomas also factored into the next touchdown -- but this time it was his fumble that set up a score by Wisconsin defensive Louis Nzegwu:
But just like they did to close out the first quarter, the Ducks played until the very last second of the first half, evening the score at 28-28 on this Thomas-to-Lavasier Tuinei touchdown from three yards out:
Get to work, Puddles!
The Ducks opened the scoring in the second half, needing just 49 seconds before De'Anthony Thomas found the end zone from 64 yards out:
That put the Ducks up 35-28, their first lead of the game. The Badgers responded with a field goal to cut into the lead before Russell Wilson found Nick Toon from 18 yards out to regain the lead, 38-35:
From here on out, though, it was all Oregon. Thomas found Tuinei one more time for an 11-yard touchdown in the opening seconds of the fourth quarter, giving the Ducks a 42-35 lead they'd never relinquish. It would prove to be the game's final touchdown:
Oregon added another field goal to give them a full seven-point lead, but Wisconsin's window for a comeback essentially closed when Abbrederis fumbled with four minutes and change left on the clock:
The Ducks milked 3:54 off the clock on the ensuing possession, giving Russel Wilson and Co. the ball back with no timeouts and just 23 ticks left. To his credit Wilson was able to gain 64 yards in that span, but the clock struck zero a split-second before he could spike the ball to stop the clock, ending any chance for a miracle ending.