Jonathan Taylor - Running Back - Wisconsin
Jonathan Taylor and the 15th-ranked Wisconsin ground game will face off against a talented Oregon defensive front on the first of the year in Pasadena, California.
The Badgers, led by Taylor, have cemented themselves among the most powerful running offenses in the FBS. Taylor in particular has marked himself among the best in the country, putting up ground-breaking numbers in each of his collegiate seasons. The junior running back has tallied 299 carries, 1,909 total yards and 21 touchdowns in 2019, sitting in the top five nationally in all three categories. The New Jersey native had his best showings of the season in the Badgers’ victories over Iowa, Purdue and Nebraska, where he broke away for 250, 222 and 204 yards, respectively.
In what could be his final game in a Badger uniform, Taylor will look to end the 2019 season on a high note. But it surely won’t be an easy task. The Oregon defense, led by a fierce group of run-stopping linemen, allows only 106.1 rushing yards per game.
Zack Baun - Linebacker - Wisconsin
Justin Herbert and the Oregon offense can expect heavy resistance from Wisconsin on Wednesday. The eighth-ranked Badger defense features a deep core of linebackers and run stoppers alike. Central to the Badgers’ defensive strength has been senior linebacker Zack Baun.
Baun has shown consistency throughout the year, tallying at least one sack in eight of the Badgers’ 13 games in 2019. Baun ranks seventh nationally in sacks, with 12.5 on the season.
Baun will go toe-to-toe with one of the best offensive lines in the nation on Wednesday in Pasadena.
Mycah Pittman - Wide Receiver - Oregon
After suffering a broken arm in Oregon’s win over Arizona on Nov. 16 and being sidelined for three games, freshman receiver Mycah Pittman will be itching to make his return to the lineup against Wisconsin.
In six games with the Ducks, Pittman has tallied 14 receptions for 197 yards and two touchdownsThe week after Pittman’s injury, when the Ducks traveled to Tempe, Arizona, it was clear that his presence was missed. Herbert and the Oregon receivers struggled all day to gain any sort of rhythm through the air in an upset loss that would cost the Ducks their Playoff hopes. With Pittman coming back in time for the Rose Bowl, the Ducks are given a unique opportunity to overtake a strong Big Ten opponent.
Kayvon Thibodeaux - Defensive End - Oregon
Going into the 2019 season, freshman defensive end Kayvon Thibodeaux made his goals abundantly clear — he wanted 10 sacks. Thibodeaux started the season relatively slow, tallying only 2.5 sacks through his first seven games. The Los Angeles native would soon change his pace, picking up 6.5 sacks in the remaining five games.
Thibodeaux had his best showing of the 2019 season at the perfect time: the Pac-12 Championship Game. The freshman recorded 2.5 sacks, a blocked punt and five tackles throughout the affair, playing a massive role in the Ducks’ blowout victory.
With nine sacks on the season, Thibodeaux sits well within striking distance of his goal. The Rose Bowl represents a great opportunity for Thibodeaux, but it also holds a lofty task.
Thibodeaux and the Oregon defense will go up against a historically strong offensive line in their matchup against Wisconsin.