Time runs out on Wisconsin in 45-38 Rose Bowl loss

In a season of last-second stunners, Wisconsin ran out of time

to try one of its own.

The ninth-ranked Badgers lost to No. 6 Oregon 45-38 on Monday,

with the game ending on a final-play review that went against them,

just as it did in a loss at Michigan State that spoiled their

undefeated start to the season.

With 2 seconds remaining, the Badgers needed more time to set up

a desperation play. But superstar quarterback Russell Wilson took

too long to spike the ball, and his team was left standing around

waiting while the referees checked to see if the clock had indeed

run out.

It had, ending a season that came up a few plays short and

dashing the Badgers’ hopes of avenging last year’s three-point loss

to TCU in the Rose Bowl.

”I’m kind of tired of tears of sadness,” coach Bret Bielema

said. ”I wanted to come out here and experience tears of

joy.”

The Badgers and the Ducks hooked up in a high-powered offensive

duel that produced 83 points, the most combined scoring in the

98-year history of the game. But Wisconsin fumbled away a chance to

tie it in the closing minutes, leaving the Badgers a frustrated

bunch once again.

They were blowing through the opposition early in the season,

looking like a serious national title contender, until losing

consecutive road games to Michigan State and Ohio State in the

closing seconds.

Then the Badgers rallied in the fourth quarter of the Big Ten

title game to beat Michigan State and earn their fifth trip to

Pasadena since 1994. They held five leads against the Ducks, who

caught up every time before dealing Wisconsin (11-3) a third

agonizing loss.

”It just makes it that much more gut-wrenching,” Bielema

said.

Wilson added, ”It’s pretty crazy how each one of them panned

out.”

On the Badgers’ final drive, Wilson moved them to the Oregon 25,

but there were 2 seconds left and no timeouts.

”I didn’t think there was any way that two full seconds ran off

the clock there,” said Wilson, who passed for 296 yards and two

TDs. ”It would have been nice to have a chance there. With 1

second left, I think we could have capitalized there.”

Wilson set the NCAA record for single-season pass efficiency

rating at 191.78, bettering the old mark of 186.0 by Colt Brennan

in 2006. He also became the first Wisconsin quarterback to throw

for at least 3,000 yards in a season.

Wisconsin had two drives to tie it after Oregon kicked a field

goal with 6:50 to play, but Jared Abbrederis fumbled near the

Oregon sideline after making a long catch. Oregon’s Michael Clay

recovered with 4:06 left.

That video review went the Ducks’ way, too.

”I have to be more careful with the ball,” said Abbrederis,

who made a TD catch on the opening drive. ”They made a big play. I

can’t dwell on the negative. We’re all human. This will make me

better.”

Montee Ball’s 3-yard touchdown run in the second quarter was his

39th of the season, tying the NCAA record set by Barry Sanders in

1988. He finished with 164 yards on 64 carries. He plans to decide

in the next couple days whether he’ll return for his senior

season.

”If I decide to come back, I’ll make sure I carry forward what

I did this season to next season,” he said.

Wilson’s future lies in the pros. He chose Wisconsin to play out

his final season of eligibility after graduating from North

Carolina State.

”Every single day I’ve cherished and every single moment is

truly special,” he said. ”To lose the way we did is only going to

make me stronger in the future and help me figure out something

else down the road. Maybe win a Super Bowl. You never know.”