James, Thomas lead Oregon past Wisconsin in Rose Bowl thriller

AHN Sports Staff

Pasadena, CA, United States (AHN Sports) – In a battle of top college offenses, the Oregon Ducks had too much speed for the Wisconsin Badgers.

LaMichael James and De’Anthony Thomas spearheaded an offense that racked up 621 yards in just over 24 minutes of possession in a 45-38 victory Monday in the 91st and highest scoring Rose Bowl ever in Pasadena, Cal.

Darron Thomas threw for 268 yards and three TDs and Lavasier Tuinei caught eight passes for 158 yards – his first 100-yard game of his career – for the Ducks (12-2), who won this bowl for the first time since 1916.

Heisman finalist Monte Ball ran for 164 yards and Russell Wilson threw for 296 yards and two TDs for the Badgers (11-3), who piled up 508 yards of total offense and converted 8-of-13 third downs.

The Ducks scored the only 10 points of the fourth quarter to rally from a 38-35 deficit. In a game that featured 1,129 yards of total offense, the Oregon defense produced a 3-and-out and then recovered a fumble in the fourth quarter to helped seal the victory.

Thomas scored on a Rose Bowl-record 91 yard run to tie the score 14-14 in the first quarter. He then broke free around left end for 64 yards for a 35-28 edge in the third quarter on his second and final carry of the game. The sophomore added 34 yards on four catches and 125 yards on five kickoff returns.

In a game of big plays, Oregon registered nine plays of scrimmage over 20 yards while Wisconsin recorded seven. The Ducks averaged 44 yards on those plays, the Badgers’ 32.

Ball tied Barry Sanders’ all-time TD record with his 39th score in the second quarter. James finished with 159 yards on 25 carries and one TD. James, the Heisman runner-up in 2010, entered leading the country with 149 yards per game while Ball was third at 135.

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