The so called “little guys” from TCU kept coming up with big plays in the biggest game in school history against Big 10 co-champ Wisconsin and rose to the occasion with a Rose Bowl victory. The No. 3 Horned Frogs knocked off the No. 5 Badgers in a thrilling 21-19 win.
TCU linebacker Tank Carder knocked down a pass on a potential game tying two-point conversion with two minutes left after Wisconsin had marched 77 yards to score a touchdown on a Montee Ball 4-yard run. The Horned Frogs recovered the ensuing onside kick attempt and ran out the clock to seal a thrilling upset.
Both teams came into the contest averaging 43 points a game and each put points on the board early. TCU quarterback Andy Dalton hit Bart Johnson on a perfect pass over the middle for a 32 yard touchdown pass and Dalton added a four-yard scamper into the endzone as the Horned Frogs took a 14-10 lead after the first quarter.
The Badgers had countered with a strong burst of a running game early and scored on a John Clay 1-yard run and added two field goals to trail 14-13 at halftime.
Dalton, who was named offensive player of the game, accounted for 140 of TCU’s 141 first half total yards.
TCU opened the second half with a six play, 77 yard drive capped by a Luke Shiver one-yard touchdown run. The second half saw limited scoring, but TCU controlled the clock and field position with big first downs and their defense, led by Tank Carder who was named Rose Bowl defensive player of the game, stifled the Badgers offense.
Wisconsin’s massive offensive line, which outweighed the TCU defensive line by 50 pounds per person, was supposed to wear down the “little guys” of TCU. Instead it appeared that the quickness of the Horned Frogs took over the battle of the trenches down the stretch.