Montee Ball ran for 137 yards on 27 carries with four total touchdowns, leading the No. 15 Wisconsin Badgers to a 42-39 victory over the No. 11 Michigan St. Spartans in the inaugural Big Ten Championship Game at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. This means the 2012 Rose Bowl matchup is set, with the Badgers facing Oregon Ducks in Pasadena on January 2.
Wisconsin quarterback Russell Wilson threw for three touchdowns and passed for 187 yards on the night. One of his touchdown passes went to Ball, who has 38 on the season, one shy of the FBS record set by Barry Sanders in 1988.
The Badgers got off to a roaring start, building a 21-7 lead after one quarter, but the Spartans scored 22 unanswered points in the second period for a 29-21 halftime lead. The two teams battled back and forth in the second half, trading scores until Wisconsin ultimately seized the lead with 4:45 remaining on a seven-yard rushing touchdown from Ball.
It was the second meeting of the season between the two schools, as Michigan State won 37-31 on a last-second Hail Mary pass on October 22 in East Lansing. In two meetings this season, Michigan State and Wisconsin combined for 149 points and 1,658 yards of offense.
Kirk Cousins threw for 281 yards and three touchdowns for Michigan State, who were trying for their first trip to the Rose Bowl in 24 years. Le'Veon Bell ran for 106 yards on 18 carries and one touchdown for Spartans.
Wisconsin is 3-1 all-time against Oregon, though the two schools haven't faced one another since 2001.
Rose Bowl History
The Badgers are 3-4 all-time in the Rose Bowl, with their last appearance coming last season:
- 1953: USC 7, Wisconsin 0
- 1960: Washington 44, Wisconsin 8
- 1963: USC 42, Wisconsin 37
- 1994: Wisconsin 21, UCLA 16
- 1999: Wisconsin 38, UCLA 31
- 2000: Wisconsin 17, Stanford 9
2011: TCU 21, Wisconsin 19
The 2012 Rose Bowl Game will be played on Monday, January 2, 2012 in Pasadena. Kickoff is scheduled for 2:10 p.m. PDT. The game will be televised by ESPN, with Brent Musberger, Kirk Hirbstreit, and Lisa Salters on the call. Stay tuned for more updates as the game approaches.