Ducks flour­ish with QB run game

Her­bert has 3 TD runs to lead Ore­gon

Orlando Sentinel - - COLLEGE FOOTBALL - By Greg Beacham

PASADENA, Calif. — Justin Her­bert scored his third rush­ing touch­down of the 106th Rose Bowl on a thrilling 30-yard run with 7:41 to play Wed­nes­day night, and No. 7 Ore­gon held off No. 11 Wis­con­sin 28-27 to win its third straight trip to the Grand­daddy of Them All.

Brady Breeze re­turned a fum­ble 31 yards for an early touch­down for the Ducks (12-2). Her­bert then made his goa­head ram­bling run on the next snap af­ter Breeze forced an­other fum­ble in yet an­other fre­netic edi­tion of this ven­er­ated bowl game.

Ore­gon held on to cap its Pac-12 cham­pi­onship sea­son with its 12th win in 13 games. The Ducks cel­e­brated on the fa­mous turf amid con­fetti and cheers af­ter the fourth Rose Bowl vic­tory in school his­tory.

Aron Cruick­shank re­turned an early kick­off 95 yards for a touch­down for the Big Ten run­ner-up Badgers (10-4), but they lost in their fourth con­sec­u­tive trip to Pasadena over the last 10 years.

Her­bert passed for just 138 yards with­out a touch­down in his col­le­giate fi­nale, and Ore­gon man­aged just 204 yards of of­fense. In­stead, the Ducks im­prob­a­bly re­lied on the legs of their 6-foot-6 quar­ter­back to grind out a land­mark win for sec­ond-year coach Mario Cris­to­bal.

Her­bert had only 10 rush­ing touch­downs in the first 41 starts of his ca­reer, but he turned into a big-play ma­chine on the ground. Af­ter he scored on runs of 4 and 5 yards in the first half, stiff-arm­ing Wis­con­sin de­fend­ers on both runs, he ram­bled through the de­fense for the goa­head, 30-yard score in what's sure to be the sig­na­ture mo­ment of the four-year starter's ca­reer.

Her­bert even­tu­ally got back to what he nor­mally does best: He made a key 12-yard throw to Mycah Pittman for a first down with 1:51 to play, and his 28-yard throw to Juwan John­son with 1:03 left al­lowed the Ducks to run out the clock.

Eight years af­ter De'An­thony Thomas' Ducks surged past Rus­sell Wil­son's Badgers to win a 45-38 thriller in the 2012 Rose Bowl, their schools put on an­other en­ter­tain­ing evening with six lead changes, key spe­cial teams mis­takes and two stout de­fenses stretched by in­ven­tive of­fenses. Jonathan Tay­lor rushed for 94 yards and Quin­tez Ce­phus caught seven passes for 59 yards and a score, but Wis­con­sin quar­ter­back Jack Coan's of­fense couldn't cap­i­tal­ize on its whop­ping ad­van­tages in time of pos­ses­sion (38:03-21:57) and to­tal yards (322-204).

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