Wisconsin withstands ASU final push to win Vegas Bowl

Las Vegas Bowl 2021

PARADISE, NV- Wisconsin stuck to their gameplan, of a balance attack with a good defense to keep it close. That was enough for Wisconsin to be the Vegas Bowl Champions 2021 with a 20-13 victory over Arizona State.

Wisconsin Defender keeping Daniels out of the endzone.

The Badgers racked up 294 total yards for the day led by quarterback Graham Mertz being a game manager completing 11-15 with 137 yards and a touchdown. While the rest of the workload fell on freshman running back Braelon Allen who carried the football 29 times for 159 yards averaging 5.5 yards a carry.

“Guys stepped in and stepped up and I thought they did a lot of really good things,” UW coach Paul Chryst said.

Arizona State signal caller Jayden Daniels was called to do it all with his feet and his arm. Wisconsin defense dared Daniels to beat them with his legs. He lead the Sun Devils with 19 carries / scrambles for 40 yards on the ground and completing 11-21 passes for 159 yards.

Daniels was the offense tonight, only if he could have a little more help from the rest of the offense.

DB Alexander Smith #11 after winning the 2021 Vegas Bowl. Photo by Jevone Moore / Full Image 360

Both teams had one turnover each so that was just a wash in the overall battle that was dominated by Wisconsin in the first half. You could say that the third quarter was the Sun Devils making it a game after scoring on a short run by Daniyel Ngata.

“Disappointing outcome for us”, said Herm Edwards, “We fell behind….chew a lot of time off the clock.”

The defense for both teams stepped up and kept each other off the scoreboard for the entire fourth quarter. Wisconsin could have kicked a field goal but just ran out the clock after Herm Edwards for Arizona State had used all his time out under five minutes to play.

Allen was the game offenses MVP with his punishing runs that allowed the Badgers to chew up almost full 10 minutes of clock in the fourth quarter which was the game. Arizona State never got that opportunity to complete the comeback.

“Obviously, Braelon is talented,” Chryst said. “But he said it. It takes everyone. Guys embraced it. They knew what was coming and they rose up.”

Wisconsin coach Paul Chryst coached just the right game to be the winning coach and host the trophy as the victor. The team effort was enough to end the season on a high note with 9-4 record overall.