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First quarter: Wisconsin 14, Oregon 14

1/2/2012

PASADENA, Calif. — Strap yourself in. We are having a wild and wildly entertaining 2012 Rose Bowl.

Oregon's De'Anthony Thomas capped an exciting first quarter with a 91-yard run on the final play to tie the score at 14. The Ducks' speed advantage was on full display with that burst, as safety Aaron Henry couldn't catch up with Thomas down the sideline.

We had scores on the first three possessions, as Wisconsin pounded the Ducks on the ground with Montee Ball, then opened up play-action for a Russell Wilson touchdown throw and a Wilson bootleg scoring run. The Badgers got an important three-and-out and then pinned Oregon deep in their own territory, but it didn't matter because of Thomas's run.

The Rose Bowl combined scoring record is 80 points. Long way to go, but that could be threatened.

So far, it's about what we expected. Wisconsin's power game is causing Oregon lots of problems, and the Badgers need to keep Ball in the game. There's just not the same respect for play-action when James White comes in. The Ducks have ripped off some big gains in the running game, too, and when their skill players get outside the tackles, it's a dangerous situation for the Badgers' defense.

There should be lots more fireworks coming our way.