Wilson Provides Key to Wisconsin Win

The extra month of preparation, coupled with the skill of Russell Wilson both on the ground and in the air, could prove the weapon to killing some Duck in Monday's Rose Bowl.

LOS ANGELES - In the past three years, the Oregon Ducks have run amuck over opponents.

Preparing for their up-tempo offense in a typical seven-day week leaves opponents breathless, often searching for oxygen tanks by the fourth quarter.

Because Oregon has another gear in the second half, a quality that can't be mimicked in three or four days of practice.

But with 14 practices, Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema believed his Badgers can make a drastic change in its conditioning in time for Monday's Rose Bowl.

Advantage Badgers?

"I really do think the fact that we have an extended prep is a very beneficial thing for us," Bielema said. "It allows them or allows us to slow the game down a little bit."

"I can only imagine having to prepare for a team like this in a week, but that's what our defensive coordinators get paid for," UW defensive back Aaron Henry added. "It has been an extremely long prep.

"But I think it's been beneficial for us. Some things that we probably wouldn't have seen in a week when we had two, three, four weeks to prepare for, we're finally able to see it."

But time isn't the only edge Wisconsin has.

Just like Ohio State and Auburn have shown versus the Ducks in past bowl games, a mobile quarterback uses UO's own game against them.

Two years ago, a Terrell Pryor-led Ohio State team beat the Ducks 26-17 in the 2010 Rose Bowl. Pryor, who was named the game's Most Valuable Player, rushed for a team-high 72 yards and passed for a career-high 266 yards.

And then in 2011, as the Ducks' faced Cam Newton and the Auburn Tigers in the BCS title game, Newton flaunted his Heisman skills both in the air and on the ground in its 22-19 win over Oregon.

Now, on Jan. 2, Oregon faces another dual threat star in UW's Russell Wilson who can challenge the Ducks similarly.

Wilson leads the nation with a 191.6 quarterbacking rating, which includes five rushing touchdowns and 31 touchdown passes on just three interceptions.

"When you look at [Wilson's] efficiency on the field he's a lot like Robert Griffith, the Heisman Trophy winner," Oregon head coach Chip Kelly said. "There's not a hole in his game; and he's so -- he's just got an innate intelligence about himself and he doesn't really ever put himself in a bad situation."

The Pac-12 is often known for being a quarterback's league, but Oregon hasn't seen the likes of a true dual threat since its past two nonconference opponents in Pryor and Newton.

There is one player similar, except Oregon has him, in quarterback Darron Thomas.

Wilson's intelligence, coupled with Wisconsin's extra preparation, could prove a duo just lethal enough to kill some duck.

"You can have everybody covered and he'll scramble and he'll find a way to make plays," Oregon rover Eddie Pleasant said. "He doesn't come down with one guy tackling.

"We're got our work cut out [for us]."

If Bielema & Co. can use their slim advantages to their advantage, the rosiest team of all truly has a shot at winning the Granddaddy of them all.

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