Printed on: January 02, 2013

Cardinal Rose

By Greg Beacham
AP Sports Writer

PASADENA, Calif. -- Al-though Stanford didn't score many style points in the 99th Rose Bowl, the Cardinal could celebrate because they didn't let Wisconsin score any points at all after halftime.

Stepfan Taylor rushed for 89 yards and an early touchdown, Kevin Hogan passed for 123 yards, and No. 8 Stanford won its first Rose Bowl since 1972, beating the Badgers 20-14 on Tuesday night.

Usua Amanam made the decisive interception near midfield with 2:30 to play as the Pac-12 champion Cardinal (12-2) ended their four-decade drought in the Granddaddy of Them All with arguably the biggest bowl win yet during the long-struggling program's recent renaissance.

Stanford clamped down on the Big Ten champion Badgers (8-6), who lost the Rose Bowl in heartbreaking fashion for the third consecutive season. Montee Ball rushed for 100 yards and his FBS-record 83rd touchdown, but Wisconsin managed only 82 yards after halftime.

With impressive defense of its own, Wisconsin still stayed in position for an upset in the one-game return of Hall of Fame coach Barry Alvarez, who was back on the Badgers' sideline in his red sweater-vest seven years after hanging up his whistle.

But the Badgers' third straight Rose Bowl appearance ended in much the same way as the last two: With the Wisconsin offense failing to get the late score they desperately needed.

Stanford won its first conference title and earned its first Rose Bowl appearance in 13 years with seven straight wins.

The Cardinal ousted top-ranked Oregon on the way to the biggest season yet in the improbable surge of success started by Jim Harbaugh and Andrew Luck..

Orange Bowl

NO. 13 FLORIDA STATE 31, NO. 16 NORTHERN ILLINOIS 10: At Miami, EJ Manuel completed 21 of 28 passes for 242 yards, including a 6-yard touchdown pass to Rashad Greene with 11 seconds left in the half, and No. 13 Florida State led No. 16 Northern Illinois 14-3 at intermission of the Orange Bowl on Tuesday night.

Florida State outgained Northern Illinois 328-110 in the half, largely by bottling up Huskies quarterback Jordan Lynch -- who was seventh in this season\\\'s Heisman balloting, yet struggled mightily early against the Seminoles.

Lynch eclipsed the 3,000-yard passing mark for the season in the second quarter, --making him the first player in NCAA history to throw for that many yards and rush for at least 1,500 more in the same campaign.

It was the matchup that easily sparked more debate than any other in the Bowl Championship Series this year. Florida State's trip to Miami was a lock after the Seminoles won the Atlantic Coast Conference -- but Northern Illinois' berth was widely criticized by many.

Capital One Bowl

No. 8 Georgia 45, No. 23 Nebraska 31: At Orlando, Fla., Aaron Murray threw five touchdown passes to set a Georgia bowl record, including two in the fourth quarter, and the sixth-ranked Bulldogs beat Nebraska on Tuesday.

Murray shook off a pair of first-half interceptions, including one returned for a touchdown, and passed for 427 yards -- also a Bulldogs bowl record -- against the nation's top-ranked passing defense. He was named the game's most valuable player.

Georgia (12-2) reached 12 wins for the third time in school history.

Nebraska's offense finished with 443 total yards, but the Bulldogs defense was stingy when it needed to be. They sacked Martinez five times, with All-American linebacker Jarvis Jones notching two. Damian Swann had both Georgia picks.

Outback Bowl

NO. 11 SOUTH CAROLINA 33, NO. 19 MICHIGAN 28: At Tampa, Fla., Connor Shaw led South Carolina to the brink of victory and Dylan Thompson carried the Gamecocks over the hump in the Outback Bowl.

Thompson came off the bench to throw a 32-yard touchdown pass with 11 seconds left Tuesday, enabling South Carolina to tie a school record for victories with a 33-28 win over No. 19 Michigan.

Shaw threw for 227 yards and two touchdowns after missing South Carolina's regular season finale with a left foot sprain. Thompson led the Gamecocks (11-2) to a victory over their archrival, and threw for 117 yards and two TDs.

Gardner threw for 214 yards in his fifth start for Michigan (8-5) since Denard Robinson injured his right elbow late in the season. Robinson took some snaps at quarterback and attempted his first passes since Oct. 27, but lined up mostly at running back and rushed for 100 yards on 23 carries.

Gator Bowl

NO. 21 NORTHWESTERN 34, MISSISSIPPI ST. 20: At Jacksonville, Fla., behind huge interceptions early and late, Northwestern beat Mississippi State 34-20 in the Gator Bowl and snapped college football's longest postseason losing streak.

The Wildcats (10-3) earned their first bowl win since 1949, ending a nine-game losing skid that was tied for the longest in NCAA history. They also celebrated double-digit victories for the first time since the 1995 Rose Bowl season.

Northwestern's two-quarterback system kept the Bulldogs (8-5) off balance most of the day.

Russell completed 12 of 28 passes for 106 yards, with two touchdowns and four interceptions. He had thrown only six picks in the first 11 games this season. LaDarius Perkins ran 19 times for 84 yards for the Bulldogs, and freshman Josh Robinson added 91 yards on seven carries.

Heart of Dallas Bowl

OKLAHOMA STATE 58, PURDUE 14: At Dallas, Clint Chelf threw three of Oklahoma State's five touchdown passes and the Cowboys shook off a disappointing Big 12 finish by dominating Purdue 58-14 in the Heart of Dallas Bowl.

It was the biggest bowl win for Oklahoma State since coach Mike Gundy was the quarterback in a 62-14 rout of Wyoming in the 1988 Holiday Bowl. The Cowboys (8-5) missed out on upper-tier bowls after narrow losses in their last two Big 12 games.

Oklahoma State's 58 points were the most in a bowl game at historic Cotton Bowl Stadium, topping the 55 scored by Keyshawn Johnson and Southern California against Texas Tech in 1995.