The 98th edition of the Rose Bowl might turn out to be its most high scoring, if the first quarter is any indication. Russell Wilson, Montee Ball, and the Wisconsin Badgers had long touchdown drives on their first two possessions of the game, but the Oregon Ducks answered. De'Anthony Thomas ran for 91 yards as time expired in the opening quarter to tie the game at 14-14 in Pasadena.
Wilson threw a 38-yard play action touchdown pass to Jared Abbrederis to give the Badgers a 7-0 lead, the culmination of a 77-yard drive that took all of 3:12. After the Ducks tied the game on their first possession, Wilson marched Wisconsin down the field on another touchdown drive, this one 79 yards in 3:46, ending with a four-yard touchdown run by Wilson.
Ball ran for 78 yards on nine carries for Wisconsin in the opening quarter. He needed just 105 yards to pass Ron Dayne for the most rushing yards by a Wisconsin player in a single season.
The Ducks' first quarter touchdown drive took all of 127 seconds, with the big play a 35-yard pass to Lavaiser Tuinei that brought Oregon down to the one-yard line. LaMichael James punched the ball in for the tying score. James ran for 29 yards on just three carries in the opening 15 minutes. Ducks' quarterback Darron Thomas ran three times himself, but for just eight yards.
Oregon was forced to punt on its second drive of the first quarter, while Wisconsin punted on its third drive of the quarter.
The first quarter tallies: 182 yards, five first downs for Oregon; 172 yards, nine first downs for Wisconsin.