OT Works for Bucky and the 5th Quarter

By on January 6, 2015

 

Melvin Gordon put Bucky and the Badgers on his back rushing for an Outback     Bowl record 251 yards. (Travis Failey / RSEN)

Melvin Gordon put Bucky and the Badgers on his back rushing for an Outback Bowl record 251 yards. (Travis Failey / RSEN)

Rocket Sports & Entertainment have been partnering with the Outback Bowl for the last 5 years, and this 2015 game between the Wisconsin Badgers and the Auburn Tigers was very special.

One of the most defining moments of my adulthood was when I was standing on the sidelines with the Wisconsin Badgers as they won the Outback Bowl.

The overwhelming presence on field, prior to this big bowl game was SO impressive.

Standing at the edge of the tunnel as the legendary (as Wisconsin football lore goes) Barry Alvarez and the Wisconsin Badgers took the field was absolutely moving.

(Travis Failey / RSEN)

(Travis Failey / RSEN)

The Wisconsin Badgers entered the Outback Bowl coming off of a disappointing loss to The Ohio State Buckeyes 59-0 in the Big Ten Championship game on December 8th.  They lost their coach Gary Andersen in early December to Oregon State and were facing a bowl game with no leadership.

Barry Alvarez stated in the post game interview,  “First of all let’s make something clear; I didn’t want to coach these guys. I first initially said I would feel uncomfortable doing that again when they asked me, and they asked me to sleep on it and they would come back. I thought maybe they would forget about it. But they did show up the next morning and I had two hours before I was flying down here for the press conference and they came in and visited with me again. I started thinking, and I thought about it actually that night, if they came back and asked me again, why are we all there? Why are we at the university? It’s still about the kids or we wouldn’t have jobs. So the least I could do, if I could bring them some stability, and that’s what they felt like they needed, then I should do that. That’s why I went back.”  (Travis Failey / RSEN)

Barry Alvarez stated in the post game interview,  “First of all let’s make something clear; I didn’t want to coach these guys. I first initially said I would feel uncomfortable doing that again when they asked me, and they asked me to sleep on it and they would come back. I thought maybe they would forget about it. But they did show up the next morning and I had two hours before I was flying down here for the press conference and they came in and visited with me again. I started thinking, and I thought about it actually that night, if they came back and asked me again, why are we all there? Why are we at the university? It’s still about the kids or we wouldn’t have jobs. So the least I could do, if I could bring them some stability, and that’s what they felt like they needed, then I should do that. That’s why I went back.”  (Travis Failey / RSEN)

Melvin Gordon #25 the Badgers biggest weapon had to be thinking about being shutout in Indianapolis by the Ohio State Buckeyes defense, and wondering what this matchup was going to be like.  This team has been through so much in the last four weeks losing their head coach, and their strength and conditioning coach.   The Badgers season up to December 8, was quite impressive with only two losses on the year. One to LSU in late August, and Northwestern in early October.  The big loss to the Buckeyes was a huge blow, but second to losing your head coach just prior to the challenge of winning a bowl game.

They goes Melvin (Travis Failey / RSEN)

There goes Melvin (Travis Failey / RSEN)

Melvin Gordon stated in the post game interview just after he was presented the MVP trophy, “It means a lot. We’ve been through so much adversity, losing our coach, our strength coach leaving, just everything, and guys filling in. We’ve been through so much as a team. We haven’t won a bowl game in four years I think, maybe longer. It feels good to leave out as winners and have our seniors leave out as winners as well.”

Gordon finished the game with 251 rushing yards, averaging 7.4 per carry and 3 TD’s.   Gordon finished just shy of Barry Sanders single season FBS rushing record.  Barry Sanders had 2,628 in 1988 and Gordon had 2,587 in 2014, but did set a new individual Outback Bowl rushing record of 251.

The Wisconsin Badgers broke the all time Outback Bowl rushing record with 400 yards or I should say crushed it! (the previous record was held by Wisconsin in 1995).    Quite impressive for a team facing so much adversity in the last four weeks.  The game went into overtime, as I stood there on the sidelines next to a very tired Wisconsin Badgers team watching each play unfold.  The crowd, the bands, the cheerleaders and the sounds of the helmets and pads crashing together on the football field reminded me of why college football is the greatest sport in America.  It just doesn’t get any better than this!  The contest went into overtime with a 29 yard field goal kicked by Wisconsin’s freshman Rafael Gaglianone #10 to tie the game at 31.

Auburn won the toss and elected to play defense.  Wisconsin had a 7 play drive to get them into position for the freshman Rafael Gaglianone to once again put the ball between the uprights from 25 yards away.  Gaglianone nailed it and the Badgers lead 34-31.

Auburn's Cameron Artis-Payne (44) rushed for 126 yards on 26 carries with 2 TDs. (Travis Failey / RSEN)

Auburn’s Cameron Artis-Payne (44) rushed for 126 yards on 26 carries with 2 TDs. (Travis Failey / RSEN)

Auburn would once again get a chance to win this contest with a touch, but the Tigers drive stalled and they were force attempt to extend the overtime with a 45 yard field goal.  Daniel Carlson, the red-shirt freshman kicker from Colorado Springs lined up for the Tigers.  You could feel the suspense in the air, as the ball sailed up and hit the right upright  only to bounce outside.  NO GOOD! Wisconsin wins 34-31, let the celebration begin!

As Rick and I stood on the field recording the Barry Alvarez post- game interview, being pushed around by the victorious Wisconsin Badgers football team (with their joyous celebration) we felt as if for a moment we were a part of them.  We were caught in the middle of the celebration. Unaware of the Wisconsin tradition of the “Fifth Quarter” we were mesmerized by the joy and celebration of the team, the cheerleaders, the band and all of the fans in the stands that stayed to participate.  It is a moment in time, I will always remember and why college football is the greatest tradition in American sports!

(Travis Failey / RSEN)

Auburn QB  Nick Marshall had a good game 12 for 22, 217 yards with 2 TDs (Travis Failey / RSEN)

Outback-34 copy

Auburn WR #4 Quan Bray goes deep down the sidelines. (Travis Failey / RSEN)

Outback-35 copy

Auburn WR Quan Bray can’t hold on for a big play. (Travis Failey / RSEN)

Wisconsin passing game was not really needed. QB Joel Stave threw for only 121 yards with 3 interceptions.  Here's one of Stave's 14 completion to WR Kenzel Doe. (Travis Failey / RSEN)

Wisconsin passing game was not really needed. QB Joel Stave threw for only 121 yards with 3 interceptions. Here’s one of Stave’s 14 completion to WR Kenzel Doe. (Travis Failey / RSEN)

 

CJ Uzomah (81) hauls in a 20 yard TD pass from Marshall  (Travis Failey / RSEN)

CJ Uzomah (81) hauls in a 20 yard TD pass from Marshall (Travis Failey / RSEN)

Outback-56 CJ Uzomah [81]  - Darius Hillary [5] copy

Jermaine Whitehead (35) goes up for an interception over Sam Arneson (Travis Failey / RSEN)

Jermaine Whitehead (35) goes up for an interception over Sam Arneson (Travis Failey / RSEN)

 

 

Auburn fans in the south end zone (Travis Failey / RSEN)

Auburn fans in the south end zone (Travis Failey / RSEN)

(Travis Failey / RSEN)

(Travis Failey / RSEN)

(Travis Failey / RSEN)

(Travis Failey / RSEN)

Time with Bucky (Travis Failey / RSEN)

Good Times with Bucky (Travis Failey / RSEN)

JJ Watt, here with RSEN's Travis Failey, was on hand to see his little brother Wisconsin fullback Derek Watt  (RSEN photo)

JJ Watt, here with RSEN’s Travis Failey, was on hand to see his little brother Wisconsin fullback Derek Watt (RSEN photo)

Wisconsin flips for the Badgers (Travis Failey / RSEN)

Wisconsin flips for the Badgers (Travis Failey / RSEN)

(Travis Failey / RSEN)

(Travis Failey / RSEN)

(Travis Failey / RSEN)

(Travis Failey / RSEN)

Highly rated Auburn center Reese Dismukes  (Travis Failey / RSEN)

Highly rated Auburn center Reese Dismukes is expected to go high in this year’s NFL draft (Travis Failey / RSEN)

Corey Grant (20) had 5 carries for 30 yards including a long of 21 (Travis Failey / RSEN)

Corey Grant (20) had 5 carries for 30 yards including a long of 21 (Travis Failey / RSEN)

MELVIN GORDON’S 53 YARD TD RUN ON 4& 1 WITH :20 LEFT IN THE THIRD QUARTER PUT WISCONSIN UP 21-17

#1 Gordon gets outside after breaking through the of scrimmage (Travis Failey / RSEN)

#1 Gordon gets outside after breaking through the of scrimmage (Travis Failey / RSEN)

#2 gordon appears to just have to beat Auburn free safety Jermaine Whitehead (Travis Failey / RSEN)

#2 Gordon appears to just have to beat Auburn free safety Jermaine Whitehead (Travis Failey / RSEN)

#3 A little stiff arm will help (Travis Failey / RSEN)

#3 A little stiff arm will help (Travis Failey / RSEN)

#4 TD! and that's some arm (Travis Failey / RSEN)

#4 TD! and that’s some arm (Travis Failey / RSEN)

BUCKY!!!! (Travis Failey / RSEN)

BUCKY!!!! (Travis Failey / RSEN)

Bucky takes some time with Rick Sassone and the Hockey Hottie (Travis Failey / RSEN)

Bucky takes some time with Rick Sassone and the Hockey Hottie (Travis Failey / RSEN)

Auburn's Corey Grant turns the corner on Wisconsin safety Michael Caputo (Travis Failey / RSEN)

Auburn’s Corey Grant turns the corner on Wisconsin safety Michael Caputo (Travis Failey / RSEN)

Grant upended here (Travis Failey / RSEN)

Grant upended here (Travis Failey / RSEN)

 

Tailgaters were out in full force the first morning of 2015 (Travis Failey / RSEN)

Tailgaters were out in full force the first morning of 2015 (Travis Failey / RSEN)

(Travis Failey / RSEN)

(Travis Failey / RSEN)

Marcus Trotter knows it's game time! (Travis Failey / RSEN)

Marcus Trotter knows it’s game time! (Travis Failey / RSEN)

Joel Stave hands the ball to Gordon 1 of 34 times (Travis Failey / RSEN)

Joel Stave hands the ball to Gordon 1 of 34 times (Travis Failey / RSEN)

Gordon stiff arm (Travis Failey / RSEN)

Gordon stiff arm (Travis Failey / RSEN)

(Travis Failey / RSEN)

(Travis Failey / RSEN)

"W" (Travis Failey / RSEN)

“W” (Travis Failey / RSEN)

Post game celebration (Travis Failey / RSEN)

Post game celebration (Travis Failey / RSEN)

MVP Melvin Gordon (Travis Failey / RSEN)

MVP Melvin Gordon (Travis Failey / RSEN)

(Travis Failey / RSEN)

(Travis Failey / RSEN)

(Travis Failey / RSEN)

(Travis Failey / RSEN)

.

big right tackle Rob Halverstein was all smile after the big win (Travis Failey / RSEN)

Big right tackle Rob Halverstein was all smiles after the big win (Travis Failey / RSEN)

Halvenstein has a big hug for defensive end Chikwe Obasih (Travis Failey / RSEN)

Halvenstein has a big hug for defensive end Chikwe Obasih (Travis Failey / RSEN)

JJ Watt (Travis Failey / RSEN)

JJ Watt with America’s Heroes from the USCG (Travis Failey / RSEN)

Barry Alvarez (Travis Failey / RSEN)

Barry Alvarez (Travis Failey / RSEN)

Appreciative of his teammates, Melvin Gordon has a big hug for senior TE Sam Arneson (Travis Failey / RSEN)

Appreciative of his teammates, Melvin Gordon has a big hug for senior TE Sam Arneson (Travis Failey / RSEN)

(Travis Failey / RSEN)

(Travis Failey / RSEN)

(Travis Failey / RSEN)

Another touchdown by Melvin Gordon (Travis Failey / RSEN)

(Travis Failey / RSEN)

(Travis Failey / RSEN)

GUS MALZAHN (Travis Failey / RSEN)

GUS MALZAHN post game (Travis Failey / RSEN)

(Travis Failey / RSEN)

OLB Joe Schobert (58) has a Marshall leg (Travis Failey / RSEN)

Ray Ball (Travis Failey / RSEN)

Ray Ball (Travis Failey / RSEN)

(Travis Failey / RSEN)

(Travis Failey / RSEN)

(Travis Failey / RSEN)

(Travis Failey / RSEN)

Wisconsin's Vince Biegel reaches for Cameron Artis-Payne (Travis Failey / RSEN)

Wisconsin’s Vince Biegel reaches for Cameron Artis-Payne (Travis Failey / RSEN)

Auburn's Gabe Wright (90) looks for penetration against Tyler Marz (61) and Cory Clement (6) (Travis Failey / RSEN)

Auburn’s Gabe Wright (90) looks for penetration against Tyler Marz (61) and Cory Clement (6) (Travis Failey / RSEN)

joel stave (2) pitches the pigskin to Melvin Gordon (Travis Failey / RSEN)

Joel Stave (2) pitches the pigskin to Melvin Gordon (Travis Failey / RSEN)

(Travis Failey / RSEN)

(Travis Failey / RSEN)

Trovon Reed wraps up (Travis Failey / RSEN)

Trovon Reed wraps up (Travis Failey / RSEN)

(Travis Failey / RSEN)

(Travis Failey / RSEN)

Cameron Artis-Payne looks to put a move on Peniel Jen (21) (Travis Failey / RSEN)

Cameron Artis-Payne looks to put a move on Peniel Jen (21) (Travis Failey / RSEN)

(Travis Failey / RSEN)

Artis-Payne gives Nick Marshall time as Vince Beigel (47) brings the pressure (Travis Failey / RSEN)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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