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Rose Bowl a battle of similar philosophies between Ducks, Badgers

Oregon's calling card under head coach Mario Cristobal has been a tough running game and domination on the offensive and defensive lines. Which is just what Wisconsin hangs their hat on too.

Posted: Dec 27, 2019 3:02 PM
Updated: Dec 27, 2019 3:28 PM

Los Angeles, CA. -- The last time Oregon and Wisconsin met in the 2011 Rose Bowl, the game was a battle of divergent philosphies. Chip Kelly and the Ducks had beaten teams with speed and finesse, changing many paradigms in college football. Bret Bielema's Wisconsin team was like many Badger teams of old. They were led by a big offensive line, a dominant running game and led by a quarterback that could make plays when they needed him to. 

Eight years later, the times have changed. At least for Oregon. 

The Mario Cristobal era has seen the Ducks offense change from that of a Chip Kelly led team to something similar to Wisconsin. Oregon has beaten opponents all year by being physical up front, establishing the running game and dominating the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball. But that is just what the Badgers calling card is as well. 

"Wisconsin is a really good team," says linebacker Troy Dye. "I don't think we've seen anybody like it. There's a lot of challenges we've never really faced. We're looking forward to it."

The Ducks may not have faced a challenge like Wisconsin. The closest thing, stylistically, may have been Utah. But the Ducks have a much bigger task in Wisconsin in Wisconsin running back Jonathan Taylor,  who is near the top in almost every statistical category for running backs in the country.

"The bad thing about playing Utah is Zach Moss isn't as fast as Jonathan Taylor," Oregon cornerback Thomas Graham, Jr. mentions. "Jonathan Taylor, from the film I've seen, has some unreal speed. That's the one thing that's the biggest problem for us I think."

Taylor compared Oregon's defense to the top opponent they Badgers have faced all season.

"Oregon has a lot of speed on defense," says Taylor, the 2019 Doak Walker award winner. "Similar to [Ohio] State, those guys had a lot of speed on defense as well. We're expecting those guys to be able to run."

KEZI 9 Sports will have coverage throughout the rest of this week and next week leading up to game day on New Years Day between Oregon and Wisconsin. 

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