Happy New Year and welcome to The Daily’s liveblog of the 2013 Rose Bowl matchup between No. 6 Stanford and Wisconsin. We’ll be updating this page with instant coverage and analysis. Please refresh this page for the most recent updates. All times are Pacific.
It’s been a while since the Cardinal has come out on top in the Granddaddy of Them All—41 years to be exact. Tomorrow on New Year’s Day, No. 6 Stanford (11-2, 8-1 Pac-12) finally has the chance to end that drought as it squares off against Wisconsin (8-5, 4-4 Big Ten) at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena.
Multiplicity was the theme from Wisconsin defensive coordinator Chris Ash when he was asked to describe Stanford’s offense during the Badgers’ defensive press conference on Friday.
There was a point in mid-October when Stanford’s goal of claiming the Pac-12 crown seemed a world away. The Cardinal was coming off a tough overtime loss to Notre Dame, a result that was decided by one of the more controversial calls in college football this season. The Fighting Irish had handed the Cardinal its second loss of the year and the once vivid memory of its upset over USC back in late September was fading fast in the rearview mirror. With a host of ranked opponents still left on the grueling backend of its schedule, the outlook on Stanford’s postseason fate at the midpoint of the season was far less sunny than Pasadena.
Stanford defensive coordinator Derek Mason and five Cardinal defenders held sessions with the media on Thursday before the team began practices for Tuesday’s Rose Bowl against Wisconsin.
Stanford’s Stepfan Taylor and Wisconsin’s Montee Ball have combined for 9,252 career rushing yards, the largest total for two starting running backs the history of the Rose Bowl. The previous record, set by Ball and James last year, was a measly 8,069 yards, and this will be just the fourth Rose Bowl in the last 40 years to feature two tailbacks who have combined for at least 7,000 over their careers.