OREGON vs. WISCONSIN ~ ROSE BOWL PREVIEW (1-1-20)!

DUCKS FACE OFF AGAINST BADGERS IN THE GRAND DADDY OF THEM ALL TO START NEW YEAR OFF WITH A BANG!

VEGAS BETTING ODDS:  WISCONSIN (-3)  vs. OREGON  ~  TOTAL: (51 1/2)

OREGON OFFENSE (#25) ~ (183 RUSH, 267 PASS)  vs. WISCONSIN DEFENSE (#9) ~ (102 RUSH, 191 PASS allowed)

WISCONSIN OFFENSE (#35) ~ (240 RUSH, 201 PASS)  vs. OREGON DEFENSE (#22) ~ (106 RUSH, 228 PASS allowed)

Well folks the Rose Bowl got themselves one helluva match up as these two teams will send out studs all over the field. I have no idea how these two teams though can match the wild and exciting finishes of the last 3 Rose Bowls (28-23, 54-48 in 3 Overtimes and 52-49) but I have a feeling this game won’t disappoint. By the stats you have two loaded Defenses that shut down the run. Two QB’s who rarely get picked off. One superstar RB and the other side with two pretty close to superstar status. Defensive stud play makers who definitely will play on Sunday and then two fantastic Offensive and Defensive Lines. This game has talent galore and may be the most intriguing Bowl game of them all (not counting Title game). 

Oregon easily could’ve played in the Playoff Final 4, but both lost key game they couldn’t hold on for the victory to get them there. Oregon went on Road as over a 2 TD favorite and lost at Arizona State in a game they put up 458 Total yards. Wisconsin was dominating the Buckeyes in the in the Title game but got shut out 27-0 in the second half, just running out of gas completely on both sides of the ball. Oregon luckily had a shot at redemption, beating a strong Utah team to a pulp to win the Pac-12 Title. So both teams come in here with totally different momentum and moods.

You don’t usually get to the Rose Bowl without good solid all around teams and both these teams are just that. Great on Offense and great on Defense. The Offenses are separated by just 8 yards average per game. Both Defenses allow 106 (Oregon) and 102 (Wisky) yards rushing respectively. Wisky has the more talked about player in stud RB J. Taylor, who needs just 91 rush yards to gain 2000 for a back to back season. Oregon’s top RB CJ Verdell rushed for 200 yards and 3 TD’s in the Pac-12 Title game and looked unstoppable. Oregon has the most talked about QB as J. Herbert is likely a top 10 Pick in this next NFL Draft. He’s completed 74% of his passes and has 32 TD’s and just 5 picks. Wisky QB Coan throws it less, but has 17 TD’s and only 4 picks. He is very improved in his decision making from last season and he keeps his team in games. 

Both teams have some really talented Defensive super stars. The Wisky combo of A. Baur and C. Orr is just as good as it gets (combined 24 sacks) as they pressure it seems every single play. Oregon has to me the best Defensive Player on the field in Troy Dye, who is all over the field and now he has his young stud Freshmen DE K. Thibodeaux coming off his best game as a CFB Player as he dominated Utah’s Offense in the Pac-12 Title game.

This game comes down to who can stop the other teams rushing attack. Oregon Defense has allowed over 4 yards per game just 3 games all season and an amazing 4 rush TD’s only all season. They are 11th in nation defending the rush. Wisky’s Defense is a tad even better than Oregon’s D at stopping the run. Both teams have experienced and Loaded Offensive Lines. Oregon returned all 5 guys and they are beasts. Not sure except vs. Utah’s beast front 4 on Defense have they seen what Wisconsin’s fierce past rush and solid tackling brings. But they surely did dominate Utah’s D and actually pushed them around all game. Wisconsin has the Best Center in the country so they rarely are out of place or in danger before the ball gets snapped.

KEYS TO GAME:

Wisconsin in it’s last 3 games allowed 8 TD passes. They allowed at least 2 passing TD’s in 6 of it’s last 7 games. Now they face Ducks QB Herbert who is looking to lift his Draft stock with a big passing game. Plus against Utah we saw Herbert run the ball a little more and he did really well. That really had Utah’s Defense guessing more and that played right into the Ducks play calling hands. 

Wisconsin leads the nation in Time of Possession and they must win it in this game or they can’t win. The last 8 games Wisky’s Defense allowed over 150 rushing yards they won only 2 of them. Oregon averages 183 rushing yards per game.  Wisconsin won every game they scored 24 points or more and lost the 3 they didn’t. The Badgers scored 37 points or more 6x this year. They ran for 200 yards and passed for 232 yards vs. Ohio States #2 Defense. They can score when the OL is clicking. 

Oregon lost two heartbreaking games all season. One on Hail Mary type pass in Opener vs. Auburn and then the shocker at Arizona State. They can play with anyone. I love their Offensive Line and Herbert just rarely makes a bad mistake. He can’t afford any vs. Badgers as they score Defensive scores like candy when they get turnovers. 

FINAL KICK:

This game will be decided by the team who forces the most turnovers. These two teams are as dead even as I’ve seen in years on both sides of ball. Both can run the ball but Oregon is a tiny bit more OK if the run game struggles at all. Badgers HC Chryst is a genius at game management. He is a perfect 4-0 in Bowls with the Badgers. Give this guy lots time to prepare and he will put forth a great game plan. Oregon is a little more chancy. They play TO WIN and NEVER, NOT TO LOSE. I love that and never grasp why best teams all don’t play that way. It comes down to the mindset of the Badgers kids, who just imploded worse than anyone all season in the second half to the Buckeyes, costing them a Big 10 Title. I think they come out inspired as the Rose Bowl inspires most teams as it’s on all by itself on New Years Day, watched by every sports fan in the USA. I am most interested to see how Ducks QB Herbert does as this is such a big game for him. His career has been very good, but not the level most thought. He’s got a big chance to go out flying with a big game. If Wisky stud LB’s don’t get pressure on the strong Ducks OL he has a shot at a big passing day. But don’t discount Verdell here. Taylor is the bigger name but Verdell is really coming on. This game will be a chess match and likely back and forth all game. I’ll make this fun and say this one goes to Overtime. Why not for the Grand daddy of them all.

Enjoy the game folks and may 2020 be your best year ever and most importantly a Healthy you for you and your families. May all your 2020 wagers be WINNING ones and enjoy the rest of the Bowls and the NFL Playoffs too.

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