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TCU's Andy Dalton makes good in Rose Bowl game

Last bowl game he had three passes intercepted, but against Wisconsin he completed 15 of 23 passes for 219 yards with a touchdown and no interceptions.

January 01, 2011|By Gary Klein and Ben Bolch
  • TCU quarterback Andy Dalton scrambles for a touchdown against Wisconsin in the first quarter of the Rose Bowl on Saturday.
TCU quarterback Andy Dalton scrambles for a touchdown against Wisconsin… (Wally Skalij / Los Angeles…)

Texas Christian quarterback Andy Dalton bounced back in a big way from his three-interception performance in the Fiesta Bowl last year, efficiently managing the Horned Frogs' offense during a relatively mistake-free afternoon.

"That was a big motivation for me," said Dalton, who completed 15 of 23 passes for 219 yards and a touchdown with no interceptions. "I felt like I didn't play very well in the game last year."

Dalton, chosen as the game's top player on offense, rushed for a team-high 28 yards and a touchdown on a four-yard scramble late in the first quarter.

The senior finished his career having won 42 games, making him the winningest active quarterback in college football.

"I'm very proud of the way he came back," TCU Coach Gary Patterson said, "and I'm happy for him because he had to live for a year with [not getting] it done in the Fiesta Bowl."

Passing the buck

The most curious answer — or non-answer — of the Rose Bowl postgame:

Wisconsin Coach Bret Bielema when asked, "Can you talk about, except for the first and last drives of the game, how your offense was never really able to get going?"

Answer: "I'll defer that one."

Really? To whom?


Wisconsin is the only college team in the nation with three 1,000-yard rushers. Leading rusher James White was held to 23 yards in eight carries Saturday to finish with 1,052 yards.

Montee Ball carried 22 times for a game-high 132 yards to finish with 1,013 yards, and John Clay had 76 yards in 11 carries to finish with 1,012 yards.

Until the fourth quarter Clay, save for a one-yard touchdown run in the first quarter, was something of a forgotten weapon. The top offensive player of the 2009 Big Ten Conference season had only four carries in the first half before taking on the workhorse role for Wisconsin on its final drive.

Clay, a junior who is contemplating whether he will make himself available for the NFL draft, gained 59 yards in six carries during a march that ended with Ball's short touchdown run.

On the run

Wisconsin made a curious decision in the second quarter, choosing to fake a punt on its own 33-yard line.

Brad Nortman picked up a critical first down when the Badgers punter ran for 11 yards on a fourth-and-nine play. The play helped set up a field goal that pulled Wisconsin to within 14-13 at halftime.

"We ran it to perfection, " said Nortman. "Honestly, I didn't know where the first-down marker was. [TCU tacklers] were converging and I just gave it a whirl."

Odds and ends

A game that started with the highest-scoring first quarter in Rose Bowl history ended in the lowest-scoring Rose Bowl game since Wisconsin defeated Stanford, 17-9, in 2000. . . . The 40-yard run by Wisconsin's Ball on the first play from scrimmage was the longest run against TCU this season and tied for the longest in the last two seasons. . . . Wisconsin's Bielema became the eighth person to play and then coach in a Rose Bowl game. He played for Iowa in 1991 in a loss to Washington.

Staff writer Mike Hiserman contributed to this report.

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