Jan. 1, 2013
After turning off the microphone as the analyst for the Badger Radio Network, UWBadgers.com Insider Mike Lucas offers some final thoughts on Wisconsin's 20-14 loss to Stanford in the Rose Bowl.
BY MIKE LUCAS
PASADENA, Calif. -- Playmakers are generally the difference between winning or losing a one-possession game. Stanford made more plays than Wisconsin on the way to its 20-14 win in the Rose Bowl.
Wide receiver Jamal-Rashad Patterson made a play on a reverse pass from fellow wideout Drew Terrell that set up the first Cardinal touchdown.
On Stanford’s second offensive series, quarterback Kevin Hogan got planted by Wisconsin defensive tackle Ethan Hemer but not before he got the ball out of his hand.
On the other end, Zach Ertz pulled in Hogan’s pass, which set up the second Cardinal touchdown and shot Stanford into a 14-0 lead.
Keep in mind, the Badgers had given up the fewest plays (4) of 30 or more yards in the Big Ten this season, and they gave up two on Stanford’s first two series.
Still, they fought back, an endearing quality.
The Badgers showed their resiliency by overcoming a fourth-down stop on the goal line and a dropped pass in the end zone.
Even though they carried the momentum into the second half, they were unable to make enough plays that might have spelled the difference in the outcome.
There was a dropped pass on screen that had the makings of a big play on the first possession of the third quarter, a play that might have set the tone.
There was an opportunity for an interception that would have given the Badgers the ball inside the Stanford 20.
There was another opportunity for an interception that would have given the Badgers the ball inside the 30.
That was how the third quarter played out.
Wisconsin was very close to making plays -- and there was a degree of difficulty in each -- but it came up short and squandered excellent field position.
It came back to haunt the Badgers in the fourth quarter.
Barry Alvarez stabilized the program when he agreed to take over this team.
But not even a hall of fame coach could reverse the fate of the Badgers.
The future holds much promise with Gary Andersen and an impressive returning cast of players that will have even more incentive than ever to finish what they have started.
They pulled off their jerseys for the final time this season with the vow that they would make the most out of what they have learned under most trying circumstances.
Growing up is hard to, especially when someone is keeping score.