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January 2, 2012

College Football Report - 2011 Bowl Picks - Rose Bowl Game Presented by VIZIO:

Rose Bowl Game Presented by VIZIO

#5 Oregon (11-2) vs. #10 Wisconsin (11-2)

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5 PM, ESPN, Monday, Jan. 2, Pasadena, CA

Why Watch: Two of the best rushing teams in the country, the Ducks get it done on the ground with speed, the Badgers with power. The Rose Bowl has always been one of college football’s most anticipated bowls and this year the Ducks and Badgers are both looking for bowl redemption after their close losses in the postseason last year.

Who to Watch: There’s no doubting the talent of Oregon running back LaMichael James. The junior brought in over 1,500 yards rushing for the third straight year, and once again etched himself among the nation’s best. The Ducks, however, have a freshman playmaker in De’Anthony Thomas who has the potential to be just as good, if not better. Thomas brought in 440 rush yards, led the team in receiving with 571 yards and added 910 return yards. In all, Thomas scored 16 touchdowns on the season. The charge to stop the Ducks ground game will be headed by Badgers linebacker Chris Borland. The sophomore finished the season with 131 tackles, including 18 behind the line.

How it’s Going Down: It doesn’t get much more exciting than these two offenses. Badgers running back Montee Ball, a Heisman finalist, is just two touchdowns away from holding college football’s single season touchdown record. Ball currently sits with 38 on the season. As good as both running game's are, the game could come down to whichever quarterback plays better. Oregon’s Darron Thomas has been flawless once again this season, while the Badgers have been led by Russell Wilson, possibly their best quarterback in a decade. In a speed versus power game, like this should be, the speed, and most importantly the conditioning of Oregon, will be too much for the Badgers to handle in the Pasadena heat. The three headed attack of James, Thomas and Kenjon Barner won’t disappoint. Pick: Oregon 39 – Wisconsin 31

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