Wisconsin 23, USC 21
The Badgers beat a Pac-12 team in a bowl game for the first time since 2000, leaning on their defense once again to frustrate USC and prevent the Trojans from a second consecutive Holiday Bowl win. Wisconsin was led by an unheralded linebacker, who had the game of his life despite playing only half of it.Player of the game
- Despite sitting out the first half as carryover for a targeting penalty in the regular season finale, Wisconsin’s Jack Cichy finished with nine tackles and three sacks, which came on three consecutive plays, as well as a crucial pressure of Cody Kessler to cause a fourth quarter interception.
- Wisconsin quarterback Joel Stave won his 31st career game, establishing a new Wisconsin record.
- Kessler’s interception in the fourth quarter was just his seventh of the season and his first in four games.
- The Badgers outgained USC 394-286 and had possession of the ball for 37:17.
- The Trojans rushed for a season-low 65 yards.
- The loss snapped a seven-game bowl win streak for USC against Big Ten teams, dating back to 1990.
- Cichy entered the game with only two career sacks.
- Wisconsin kicker Rafael Gaglianone kicked a 29-yard field goal, his third of the game, with 2:27 left to put Wisconsin ahead to stay.
- Wisconsin cornerback Natrell Jamerson left the game with a leg injury.
- Badgers running back Corey Clement sprained his ankle and did not return.