After taking in Disneyland on Tuesday, things began to get more serious Wednesday as the Ducks and Badgers begin the run-up to the 98th Rose Bowl.
One of the more interesting things about this matchup is that both teams have a marquee running back. For Wisconsin it's Montee Ball, who had 38 total touchdowns this season, 32 rushing and six receiving.
LaMichael James on the other hand, had 19 total touchdowns. He ran for 17, caught one, and even had a punt return for a touchdown.
Both teams love their respective running backs, but they are also very impressed with the opposition’s tailback.
"They're similar type backs,” said Oregon defensive coordinator Nick Aliotti. “Guys that can hurt you inside because they run inside. Guys that can hurt you with their speed because they have good start and stop. They’re change direction type guys."
"What he brings to the table is speed and what I bring to the table, I believe, is a lot of power, strength and a little bit of speed as well,” said Ball. “One of my strength is as the quarters go on, I feel like I get stronger."
A lot has been made of the size of the Wisconsin offensive line, the third largest in the nation, developing a powerful running attack all season long.
However one area of concern for the Badgers is in pass protection.
The Badgers are ranked 54th nationally, allowing 23 sacks on the season.
It's the third straight year that the Ducks have gone up against a dual threat QB in their bowl game, but unlike Terrelle Pryor and Cam Newton, Wilson doesn’t have the same size.
"I won't say a similar type guy because he's smaller than those guys, but definitely a guy that can run when things are taken care of,” said Aliotti. “He can scramble and make some plays."
"If we can get them in third and long, it will allow the defensive line and the linebackers to get some pressure on him and let our DBs compete,” said Oregon defensive end Brandon Hanna. That's where we've excelled this past season; it's been third and long. It's where we've gotten the majority of our sacks."
The Oregon defensive line ranks third nationally in getting to the quarterback with 43-sacks on the season. The Ducks will certainly test Wisconsin’s pass protection.
"That's our job,” said Wisconsin offensive coordinator Paul Chryst. “We've got to do a good job across the board when we are in passing situations protecting the quarterback and the quarterback making good decisions."