With the high-powered offenses of the Oregon Ducks and Wisconsin Badgers, the 2012 Rose Bowl was a good bet to be a high-scoring affair. It did not disappoint as the two schools combined for a Rose Bowl-record 83 points in a 45-38 win by the Ducks.
It was the first Rose Bowl win by Oregon in 95 years, their first since beating Penn 14-0 in 1917. The win also snapped a two-year losing streak in BCS bowls for the Ducks, who lost the Rose Bowl to Ohio State in 2010 and the BCS Championship Game to Auburn in 2011.
Unfortunately for Wisconsin, they became just the seventh team to lose Rose Bowls in two or more consecutive years. The Badgers lost 21-19 to TCU in the 2011 Rose Bowl. Here are the seven teams to lose two or more Rose Bowls in a row:
- 3 - California (1949-1951)
- 3 - Michigan (1977-1979)
- 2 - Stanford (1934-1935)
- 2 - Ohio State (1975-1976)
- 2 - USC (1988-1989)
- 2 - Michigan (2003-2004)
- 2 - Wisconsin (2011-2012)
Oregon wide receiver Lavasier Tuinei caught eight passes for 158 yards and two touchdowns, including the go-ahead score early in the fourth quarter, and won offensive MVP honors. Freshman sensation De'Anthony Thomas had 315 all-purpose yards on just 12 touches, including two long touchdown runs for the Ducks. Oregon linebacker Kiko Alonso had an interception and 1.5 sacks, earning defensive MVP honors.
Wisconsin running back Montee Ball ran for 165 yards on 32 carries and a touchdown. The Badgers boasted a pair of receivers to surpass 100 yards receiving, with Jared Abbrederis catching four for 119 yards and Nick Toon pulling down nine passes for 104 yards through the air. Each receiver caught a touchdown pass from Wisconsin senior quarterback Russell Wilson, playing in his final college game.
The win for Oregon caps an incredible three-year run that saw three straight Pac-12 titles, three BCS bowls (one win), and an eye-popping 34-6 record under the watchful eye of head coach Chip Kelly. Asked for his opinion after the game about what critics have to say about the Pac-12 and their lack of defense, Kelly provided a classic answer: