Somehow, the ducks managed to win aggressively with only 204 yards – the least a team has had in the Rose Bowl since 1979. Seventy-five of these yards came on a touchdown ride to the opening of the game.
"Wisconsin – call them," Sewell said. "They had a game plan and came with them. I think that's it. "
The ducks, who hadn't played in a big bowl since their resignation from the state of Ohio for the 2014 national championship after the 2014 season, had hoped to vigorously mark their return to national recognition.
Instead, they chose to win while being played out.
Of course, the Ducks understand how Wisconsin feels – Oregon had a 15-point advantage over Auburn at the season opener. A loss on Wednesday would have added another disadvantage to the attendance at the Pac-12 conference, which hasn't had a team in college football playoffs in three years and whose next best teams – Utah and Southern California – have been beaten up by Texas and Texas games Iowa.
With Oregon trying to move from a 4-8 season to a national title contender in 2016, it hasn't thought of the times when Kelly and his successor Mark Helfrich used fuzzy offenses to pair the ducks from national title games. Instead, Oregon looked to the Midwest and South, hoping to replicate the success of Alabama, Clemson, and Ohio State.
"If we want to compete at the national level, we have to be big and strong in the trenches," said Shane Lemieux, the senior left-wing guard, on Monday. "Oregon used to be known as a bubble screen team, they want to keep up the pace. A lot of fans say we don't score 50 points. But our team's blueprint is really just to win. We don't need style anymore."
The architect of this stylistic transformation is Mario Cristobal, the coach of the second year.
Not surprisingly, he was a former offensive officer at the University of Miami, where he participated in two national championship teams. And he won another as an offensive coach in Alabama, where he coached for four seasons.