Wisconsin Wins If...
Some Keys To A Rosy Bowl Outlook
So we're finally here. Game day. New Year's Day. The Granddaddy of them all, the Rose Bowl.
If Wisconsin wins a 4th straight Pasadena game, they need these 4 keys:
1. Don't let TCU play like an underdog. They are the favorites, now up to 4 full points as of game morning. But they've talked like Rodney Dangerfield all week, getting no respect. They carry the mantle for all the little schools, the non-BCS teams. The Horned Frogs would like nothing more than to post a big program win against a Big Ten school. Wisconsin needs to play hungry like the true underdog that they are...
2. Wisconsin's defense needs to play with a chip on their shoulder. The Badgers rarely give you a cliche answer, and when I asked LB Culmer St. Jean about TCU's #1 ranked defense, St. Jean didn't say it's offense vs. defense. He said the Badgers defense needs to outplay the Horned Frogs D, and prove they can hold up their end of the bargain.
3. Wear down the smaller Frogs. Whether its been the offensive line or a pass rusher (see Wendell Bryant sacking Cade McNown in the middle of the rose for a victory), Wisconsin has won each of its 3 Rose Bowls by grinding down the opponent. I think a healthy John Clay could be an X factor to add to Montee Ball and James White, while J.J. Watt needs to continue and be relentless in getting after TCU QB Andy Dalton.
4. Special teams and turnovers. TCU's return game is elite. But David Gilreath set the tone against #1 Ohio State returning the opening kick for 6. And the odds of overcoming turnovers, is not good. The Badgers offense is explosive, but they can't overcome multiple turnovers against a team hungry for a marquee victory.
I'll say Wisconsin 41, TCU 34 in a close one.
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