The 2012 Rose Bowl between the No. 6 Oregon Ducks and the No. 9 Wisconsin Badgers is a star-studded affair between two high-powered offenses. Quarterback Russell Wilson and tailback Montee Ball grab the headlines for Wisconsin, while running back LaMichael James and quarterback Darron Thomas have the spotlight for Oregon. But for a dark horse candidate for possible Rose Bowl MVP, look no further than freshman De'Anthony Thomas for the Ducks.
Thomas has been quite an all-purpose weapon for Oregon this season. He is third on the team with 440 rushing yards behind James and Kenjon Barner. Thomas averages a whopping 8.3 yards per rush, and has scored five touchdowns on the ground.
Through the air, Thomas leads Oregon with 42 catches, 571 receiving yards, and nine touchdown catches. He is the only player in the country with 400 or more yards rushing, receiving, and kick returning. Thomas has returned two kickoffs for touchdowns this season, averaging 27.7 yards per return. He was named Pac-12 Conference co-offensive freshman of the year, sharing the honors with wide receiver Marqise Lee of the USC Trojans.
In total all-purpose yards, Thomas has racked up 1,921 yards through rushing, receiving, punt returns, and kickoff returns, second on the team to the 2,012 yards by James. The freshman Thomas and his 16 touchdowns is certainly someone to watch against Wisconsin on Monday.
The 2012 Rose Bowl Game will be played on Monday, January 2, 2012 in Pasadena. Kickoff is scheduled for 2:10 p.m. PST. The game will be televised by ESPN, with Brent Musberger, Kirk Herbstreit, and Erin Andrews on the call.