Written By: Colby Wonacott
Contributing Writer For Telegraph Local
In 2016, Oregon football looked destined to become a forgotten program team after finishing 4-8. Four years later on the first day of the new year, Oregon beats Wisconsin 28-27 in an instant bowl classic. Oregon QB Justin Herbert was once booed by his home crowd, now holds the Rose Bowl trophy as he concludes his career at Oregon.
When asked about how feels directly following the game-ending, Herbert responded saying this:
“From 4-8 to 12-2, there is no greater feeling…to be able to be out here with your teammates and guys you love it doesn’t get any better than this”
With a minute to go in the 4th quarter, it was 3rd down & 3 yards until the 1st down. Out of timeouts, Wisconsin needed to get a stop as they were down by 1. Oregon’s coaching staff could have played it safe and ran the ball and possibly making the 1st down against a Wisconsin defense who was stacking the line. Instead, they choose to put the ball in Herbert’s hands who threw a quick pass to Juwan Johnson picking up the 1st down. Out of time outs, Herbert kneeled down with the time expiring.
Oregon’s coach Mario Cristobal response when asked why he put the ball in Justin’s hands late in the game:
“There playing (cover) zero…If it’s there, trust your best players to make the plays, to have confidence in your players when the game is on the line. And they got it done. “
Absolutely yes Oregon’s best players made the biggest plays of the game with on player in particular.
Brady Breeze won the trophy for defensive player of the game. Breez was more than spectacular, he was special. Breeze led the Ducks with 11 tackles, one forcing a fumble right when it seemed Wisconsin started clicking on offense. On the very next offensive play, Herbert used his legs to score a 30 yard TD.
Breeze recovered 2 fumbles in tonight’s game, one on an attempted punt by Wisconsin. The punter fumbled the snap as the ball went bouncing on the turf. Breeze scooped the ball up with one hand and went sprinting into the endzone. When asked about that play, Breeze gave his thoughts when he saw the ball on the floor.
“Just saw the ball sitting right there, right place right time. Felt like it was a little gift from God, you know to get me a little touchdown in the Rose Bowl. “
According to ESPN Wisconsin had possession of the ball, 38:03 while Oregon had possession of 21:57. Wisconsin, for the most part, was controlling the game. Wisconsin had 100 more yards of total offense than Oregon. Yet, the only numbers that truly matter in the end are total points scored. Oregon created turnovers and turned them into points.
While slowing down future 1st round running back Johnathon Taylor to 94 yards on 21 carries and zero TD ESPN says. Jack Coan did not have the greatest night either as he only threw for 186 yards with 1 TD & 1 INT.