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Rose Bowl: Barry Alvarez Leads Wisconsin vs. Stanford

by Frank Doyle on December 31, 2012

in NCAA Football

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Rose Bowl: Wisconsin Badgers vs. Stanford Cardinal

It’ll be just like old times when Barry Alvarez leads the Wisconsin Badgers into battle against the Stanford Cardinal in the Rose Bowl. On the request of the Wisconsin players, Alvarez will move from his Athletic Director position to assume the role of head coach – a post he left back in 2005. Alvarez took the Badgers to three Rose Bowls during his tenure and won all three, but this is purely a one-night only sort of thing. Wisconsin hired former Utah State coach Gary Anderson as its head coach after Bret Bielema bolted for Arkansas. Anderson doesn’t plan to get in Alvarez’s way during the team’s preparation for its game against Stanford saying he’ll be a “fly on the wall.” As far as the players are concerned, this is the best way to handle the whole situation. “It’s the best thing that could happen,” linebacker Mike Taylor told reporters. “He’s familiar with what we do and he built this program. That’s why kids like me come here.”

Get the Ball Rolling

If the Badgers are going to have any chance knocking off Stanford, Montee Ball will need to have a huge day. Ball, who is the all-time FBS leader in rushing touchdowns (76) and total touchdowns (82) has his work cut out for him against a Stanford defence that allows only 87.7 yards per game (third best in the country). With this being Ball’s last game in college, he’ll look to do everything he can to win his first Rose Bowl and boost his position in the NFL draft. If the Big Ten Championship game is any indication, Wisconsin will be fired up for this test against Stanford. The Badgers hammered Nebraska70-31 in the conference title game and Ball rushed for 202 yards with three touchdowns.

Cardinal Wary of Wisconsin

Even though the Badgers lost five games this year, Stanford coach David Shaw knows better than to take them lightly. “What I saw the other night was a team that was confident, a team that knew who it was and a team that played extremely well,” Shaw said of Wisconsin’s win over Nebraska. “They really exploded. We’re going to have to step our play up in order to be ready to play with these guys.”

Prediction

Too much Kevin Hogan here. Since he took over for Josh Nunes, Stanford has dropped Oregon, Oregon State and UCLA. His mobility will give Wisconsin problems and he’s doing a good job of taking care of the ball. As long as that continues, Stanford gets the better of Wisconsin in a tight 21-17 win.

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