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Second Half Thread: A Defensive War of the Roses

Go Ducks!

Rose Bowl Game presented by Northwestern Mutual - Oregon v Wisconsin Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

The #6 Oregon Ducks (11-2, 8-1) trail the #8 Wisconsin Badgers (10-3, 7-2) 17 to 14 at the half in the 106th Rose Bowl.

1ST QUARTER: Oregon’s Mykael Wright setup to take the opening kickoff, but Wisconsin’s Zach Hintze kicked it out the back of the end zone for the touchback. CJ Verdell picked up nine yards on the games opening carry then Travis Dye picked up the first down with a three-yard gain. The Ducks kept it on the ground with a QB keeper that gained short yardage and then completed their first pass of the game, a 16-yard reception from Juwan Johnson. Tight end Hunter Kampmoyer failed to bring in a pass on first down, then Wisconsin gave Herbert a free play with a (Wisconsin Defensive Offside) but the Ducks weren’t able take full advantage of it. Verdell gained a yard on 2nd-and-5 and Mycah Pittman, back from injury, caught a nine-yard pass for the first down. Verdell had another unproductive carry on first down, but Kampmoyer kept the momentum in favor of the Ducks with a nine-yard catch. Verdell picked up a fresh set of downs on the next play and Kampmoyer caught another pass, this time for 15 yards. Herbert ran it into the end zone himself on the next play, a four-yard touchdown run.

Ducks 7 - Badgers 0

Oregon fans were still celebrating when Aron Cruickshank returned the Ducks’ kickoff 95 yards to even the score in dramatic fashion.

Badgers 7 - Ducks 7

Things got worse for the Ducks when Herbert immediately ended the drive with an interception that went straight to inside line backer Jack Sanborn, the son of Paul Sanborn, the Oregon offensive lineman who played from 1980 to 1982. The Duck defense responded well to the quick change by holding the Badgers to a field goal. A screen to Mason Stokke was quickly snuffed out for a loss and a Kayvon Thibodeaux near-sack resulted in a Jack Coan incompletion.

Badgers 10 - Ducks 7

Oregon was unable to earn a first down on their next drive due to an aggressive Wisconsin defense that was eager to blow up Oregon’s screenplays. Cyrus Habibi-Likio entered the game but failed to pick up a yard on first down, and even after a (Wisconsin Defensive Offside) gave the Ducks a better shot at converting, Juwan Johnson was tackled for a one-yard loss on 3rd-and-5.

A 51-yard punt from Blake Maimone had the next Wisconsin drive starting at their own 24-yard line. Jonathan Taylor picked up six combined yards on two consecutive carries, but on 3rd-and-4 Taylor dropped a short pass that killed the drive.

Herbert earned a fresh set of downs with an 11-yard pass to Johnny Johnson III, but after that the Ducks only lost yards on the drive. Eric Burrell sacked Herbert for a loss of seven, then Verdell was quickly gobbled up on the next play when Calvin Throckmorton let a defender barrel through the line untouched. Herbert was unable to connect with Pittman on 3rd-and-19 which resulted in another Duck punt after an (Oregon False Start).

Jonathan Taylor began to pick up steam at the close of the first quarter. Taylor seemingly picked up 12 yards on first down but it was taken back due to a (Wisconsin Offensive Holding). Coan connected with Jake Ferguson, grandson of Barry Alvarez, for a 22-yard reception. Taylor had back-to-back carries of seven yards but Wisconsin ended the quarter with another penalty (Wisconsin False Start).

Rose Bowl Game presented by Northwestern Mutual - Oregon v Wisconsin Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

2ND QUARTER: Jack Coan hit Jake Ferguson for a six-yard gain on 1st-and-15 at the Oregon 44, then after a Taylor one-yard carry a pass to Quintez Cephus set up a 4th-and-1, which the Badgers were able to convert with a successful QB sneak. Taylor seemingly had another huge run, but yet another (Wisconsin Offensive Holding) brought it all back. Kendric Pryor caught a short slant but was immediately tackled by Isaac Slade-Matautia, then was tackled by Thomas Graham Jr for a loss on a screen pass. Garrett Groshek picked up just nine of the 19 necessary yards to earn a first down, then Ducks rejoiced as Collin Larsh’ 47-yard field goal attempt missed.

Verdell carries on first and second down went nowhere as the Ducks attempted to reclaim the lead starting at their own 29-yard line. Herbert threw an incompletion on third down resulting in another Oregon three-and-out.

Taylor picked up 10 yards on first down, but Troy Dye ripped the ball from Taylor on the next play and Deommodore Lenoir recovered the fumble. Unfortunately for the Ducks, they were unable to score or even earn a fresh set of downs as the Oregon run game stalled and Cristobal elected to go for it on 4th-and-1 at the Wisconsin 27 but Verdell was stuffed for no gain.

Coan connected with Isaac Guerendo and then Taylor picked up a first down with a nine-yard carry. But three plays later, on 3rd-and-6, the Oregon passrush greatly affected Coan and Thomas Graham Jr was able to collect an easy pick which he returned 24 yards.

Herbert hit Johnson for a gain of 15 yards, then Verdell picked up 13 more on the ground. And on 1st-and-goal, Herbert ran it in for a five-yard score, his second rushing touchdown of the game.

Ducks 14 - Badgers 10

Jack Coan showed resolve by leading his team down the field after his ugly pick. Pyror gained three yards on a catch, then Coan gained seven yards with his legs. Ferguson gained nine yards on first then on third down Mason Stokke converted. An (Oregon Defensive Pass Interference) gave the Badgers improved field position and on 3rd-and-3 from the Oregon 11, Coan connected with Cephus for a touchdown that gave the Badgers a 17-14 lead with 11 seconds remaining in the first half.

Badgers 17 - Ducks 14

Oregon elected to run out the clock.

***** Halftime Score: Badgers 17 - Ducks 14 *****

Rose Bowl Game presented by Northwestern Mutual - Oregon v Wisconsin Photo by Joe Scarnici/Getty Images