Justin Herbert entered Wednesday with one rushing touchdown all year, but he scored three times with his legs against Wisconsin, leading Oregon to a 28-27 win in a back-and-forth Rose Bowl.
Herbert led the charge on offense, while safety Brady Breeze made huge plays on defense and special teams to help turn momentum. The Ducks were outgained by a healthy 322-204 margin but won the turnover battle 4-1, scoring their final three touchdowns off turnovers.
Breeze had a key play in two of those giveaways, returning a dropped punt snap 31 yards for a touchdown early in the second half and setting up the game-winning score by forcing a fumble with about eight minutes left.
On the next play after that fumble, Herbert (14-for-20 passing, 138 yards, interception) kept a read-option, made a man miss and went 30 yards to the end zone. Two drives later, his offense bled the clock down with two clutch first downs on passing plays.
Wisconsin answered Herbert's first touchdown with a 95-yard kickoff return from Aron Cruickshank to tie the game, and took a 10-7 lead with a field goal later in the first quarter. The teams traded scores for most of the evening, causing five lead changes.
Badgers running back Jonathan Taylor rushed 21 times for 94 yards, inching over the 2,000-yard mark in his career, but didn't have a carry longer than 18 yards. Wide receiver Quintez Cephus had a touchdown catch just before halftime to take a 17-14 lead to the locker rooms, but Breeze's fumble return quickly erased that lead.
Wiscontin quarterback Jack Coan (23-for-35 passing, 186 yards, touchdown, interception) thought he had completed a key first down on what turned out to be his final drive, but it was wiped off by an offensive pass interference penalty, and the Badgers punted a couple of plays later.
Then, Herbert iced the game with a couple of backbreaking completions, securing Oregon's first Rose Bowl win since 2015.
Sporting News tracked live updates, scores and highlights from the 2020 Rose Bowl on New Year's Day:
Oregon vs. Wisconsin final score
Oregon vs. Wisconsin live updates, highlights
Final: Oregon 28, Wisconsin 27
8:39 p.m.: Oregon will win. The Ducks pass on third-and-3, and Herbert hits Juwan Johnson for a solid catch-and-run.
8:35 p.m.: Herbert completes a pass for a first down, and it's now very dire for the Badgers.
8:33 p.m.: An iffy offensive pass interference call wipes off a first down, and Wisconsin punts a couple of plays later. Oregon now with less than three minutes to burn. Wisconsin has two timeouts.
8:28 p.m.: Herbert drops a snap on second down, then throws a perfect pass to Hunter Kampmoyer, who drops it. An odd three-and-out after a 7-yard run on first down.
8:24 p.m.: Coan's target falls on third down, and Wisconsin punts it away with two timeouts and 5:29 to go.
8:15 p.m.: TOUCHDOWN, Oregon. On the first play, Herbert keeps a read-option and goes 30 yards for his third rushing score. He entered the game with one all year. Oregon 28, Wisconsin 27.
8:13 p.m.: FUMBLE, Wisconsin. Brady Breeze with his second huge play of the game, forcing a fumble.
— Boo Boo Shoester (@FTBeard11) January 2, 2020
8:06 p.m.: A sack takes Oregon well out of field-goal range. Wisconsin will take over with a six-point lead and about nine minutes left.
7:58 p.m.: FIELD GOAL, Wisconsin. The Badgers stall and kick a 27-yarder to double their lead. Wisconsin 27, Oregon 21.
7:54 p.m.: Wisconsin converts a fourth-and-1 inside the 30. The Badgers have three fourth-down conversions on their past two drives.
End third quarter: Wisconsin 24, Oregon 21
7:44 p.m.: The Ducks offense goes three-and-out on their first drive of the half.
7:38 p.m.: TOUCHDOWN, Wisconsin. Another lead change. The Badgers chew up 6:59 to go 65 yards, capped by a 2-yard score on fourth-and-1. Wisconsin 24, Oregon 21.
7:21 p.m.: TOUCHDOWN, Oregon. A special teams disaster for Wisconsin. Badgers punter Anthony Lotti dropped the ball, and Oregon's Brady Breeze grabbed it it ran in from 31 yards out for a go-ahead score. Oregon 21, Wisconsin 17.
The Ducks' special teams making a difference pic.twitter.com/vjsdpmvTcw
— ESPN (@espn) January 2, 2020
7:04 p.m.: Here's some halftime entertainment, courtesy a first-half field-rusher.
A shirtless man enjoying himself running around at the Rose Bowl pic.twitter.com/3lpRan8KXx
— Brett McMurphy (@Brett_McMurphy) January 1, 2020
Halftime: Wisconsin 17, Oregon 14
6:46 p.m.: TOUCHDOWN, Wisconsin. The Badgers regain the lead just before the half. A replay review nullified a Quintez Cephus catch at the goal-line a few plays earlier, but Coan hits Cephus again for an 11-yard score with 11 seconds remaining. Wisconsin 17, Oregon 14.
6:30 p.m.: TOUCHDOWN, Oregon. This time, the Ducks don't waste their turnover. Herbert with his second rushing touchdown of the night. Oregon 14, Wisconsin 10.
Justin Herbert Rush TD this season ⬇️
Rose Bowl tonight: 2
Rest of season: 1 pic.twitter.com/2dUXz6ufyl
— ESPN (@espn) January 1, 2020
6:28 p.m.: INTERCEPTION, Oregon. Jack Coan is hit as he throws on third down, and it goes to the hands of Oregon.
— Boo Boo Shoester (@FTBeard11) January 1, 2020
6:21 p.m.: TURNOVER ON DOWNS, Oregon. The Badgers defensive line is showing out. Oregon has second-and-3, ran it three times and couldn't get the first down.
6:18 p.m.: FUMBLE, Wisconsin. The normally sure-handed Taylor coughs it up. Ripped out by Troy Dye, scooped up by Deommodore Lenoir. Potentially a significant momentum shift.
Oregon LB Troy Dye rips the ball away from Jonathan Taylor, Deommodore Lenoir recovers for the Ducks! pic.twitter.com/A8ObxVdEUW
— Boo Boo Shoester (@FTBeard11) January 1, 2020
6:11 p.m.: MISSED FIELD GOAL, Wisconsin. The Badgers couldn't overcome the holding penalty and played it safe on third-and-19 to get back in range for a field goal, but Collin Larsh misses from 47 yards out.
6:05 p.m.: Jonathan Taylor is starting to get going, but a holding penalty negates a big run and puts Wisconsin behind the sticks.
End first quarter: Wisconsin 10, Oregon 7
5 :52 p.m.: Been a quiet few drives after the game opened with a flurry of action.
5:33 p.m.: FIELD GOAL, Wisconsin. The Badgers go nowhere after the interception but still take the lead. WIsconsin 10, Oregon 7.
5:30 p.m.: INTERCEPTION, Wisconsin. Badgers linebacker Jack Sanborn leaps at the line of scrimmage and swaps a Herbert pass down to himself. Great field position for Wisconsin.
5:25 p.m.: TOUCHDOWN, Wisconsin. That lead didn't last long. Aron Cruickshank takes the kickoff 94 yards to the house. Oregon 7, Wisconsin 7.
5:20 p.m.: TOUCHDOWN, Oregon. QB Justin Herbert keeps it and scampers in from 4 yards out. Easy sledding for the Ducks. Oregon 7, Wisconsin 0.
5:17 p.m.: The Ducks pick up a third down and move inside the 30 with a WR screen.
5:13 p.m.: Oregon receives the opening kickoff, which goes for a touchback.