No.4 Wisconsin erased a second-half deficit in the final minutes when Montee Ball broke the goal line, but a questionable two-point conversion call sealed the Badgers fait, as No.3 TCU shocked the big boys from the Big Ten with a 21-19 defeat in front of a 94,118 at the Rose Bowl.
Trailing by eight late in the fourth, the Badgers meticulously drove 83 yards and 10 plays, relying on their running game to get them into the end zone. So when the Badgers went for two, attempting a shotgun pass that was batted down at the line of scrimmage by Tank Carder, the game's most valuable defensive player, it left fans of Camp Randall West.
"We actually had a blitz called … and we came up with a great tip," said TCU Coach Gary Patterson. "It's like your life passes before your eyes."
TCU senior quarterback Andy Dalton was named the game's most valuable player after completing 15 of 23 passes for 217 yards and one touchdown, finishing with a passer rating of 158.8.
Wisconsin (11-2) held TCU (13-0) to only 304 yards and a season-low 21 points, but the Badgers couldn't stop the Horned Frogs in the first quarter, allowing them to score 14 points and gain 133 yards, and could only manage three points in a second quarter in which they held the ball for 13 minutes, 30 seconds.
Montee Ball rushed 22 times for 132 yards and a touchdown and John Clay added 76 yards and one score on 11 carries, but the Badgers became four Ball yards short of being the first team in FBS team to have three running backs over 1,000 yards in a season.
It the end, there was no consolation in a loss that will sting for months to come.
Stories from Badger Nation
8 plays, 55 yards, 4:21 TOP, 10:39 left
FG Philip Welch 30
Key Play: If there was any question of whether or not Wisconsin would be able to run the football, the question was answered on the first play. Montee Ball went through a huge hole on the right side and rumbled 40 yards before being brought down at the 28.
10 plays, 77 yards, 4:16 TOP, 6:15 left
Bart Johnson 23-yard pass from Andy Dalton (Ross Evans kick)
Key Play: Andy Dalton, the most accurate quarterback this side of the Mississippi, looked polished on two third-and-long situations, twice completing a pass to Jimmy Dalton for the necessary yards. He then showed great touch on his pass to Johnson.
6 plays, 67 yards, 2:56 TOP, 3:14 left
John Clay one-yard run (Welch kick)
Key Play: After running the ball didn't get into the end zone, Tolzien took the matters into his own hands. Tolzien hit Kendricks for 14, Abbrederis along the TCU sideline for 18 and the dagger, a 27-yard play-action pass to a wide-open Bradie Ewing for 27 yards down to the one, setting up the Clay touchdown.
5 plays, 57 yards, 2:31 TOP, :36 left
Andy Dalton four-yard run (Evans kick)
Key Play: After a first-down run didn't work, Andy Dalton aired out a perfect pass to freshman Josh Boyce, who had a step on senior cornerback Niles Brinkley. The result was a 42-yard diving catch and a first down at the 13.
14 plays, 47 yards, 7:04 TOP, :00 left
FG Philip Welch 37
Key Play: Ala Iowa, Bielema decided to roll the dice at a team that doesn't rush the punter. On fourth-and-nine on their own 33, Nortman sold the fake perfectly, but had to work for his 11-yard gain to keep the sticks moving.
6 plays, 71 yards, 3:01 TOP, 11:56 left
Luke Shivers one-yard run (Evans kick)
Key Play: Wisconsin's secondary isn't not doing its defense any favors. After a questionable pass interference penalty gave TCU 15 free yards (only UW's second such penalty this year), Aaron Henry and Niles Brinkley collided on a tackle attempt in the flat, allowing Ed Wesley to go 33 yards down to the UW 25.
10 plays, 77 yards, 5:32 TOP, 2:00 left
Montee Ball four-yard run (pass failed)
Key Play: Despite pounding the football down the field, wearing down TCU's offensive line, the Badgers went in shotgun formation to go for two. The result was Tank Carder batting the attempt.