The 2012 Rose Bowl will pit the number three scoring offense in college football, the Oregon Ducks, against the number four scoring offense, the Wisconsin Badgers. When the two teams meet on January 2, however, the game may come down to who has the stronger defense. Oregon defensive coordinator Nick Aliotti believes the Ducks will be that team.
Ken Goe of the Oregonian talked to Aliotti recently and broke down some of the coach's winning numbers. Notably, Aliotti's teams have won or shared in seven conference championships in his 16 seasons as a major defensive coordinator. The Ducks and their defense are heading to their third straight BCS game under Aliotti.
Perhaps most significant is the fact that in the 2011 NCAA football season, the Oregon Ducks defense ranked first in both fewest yards allowed per play and sacks. They also ranked second in interceptions.
With credentials like those, it appears that the vaunted Badgers offense will more than have their hands full at the Rose Bowl.