(Sports Network) - Andy Dalton finished 15-of-23 for 219 yards and one touchdown as No. 3 TCU needed a late defensive stop to emerge with a 21-19 win over No. 4 Wisconsin at the Rose Bowl.
Dalton also added 28 yards and a score on nine rushes for the Horned Frogs (13-0), who once again made their case to be worthy of consideration for a BCS championship with their 27th win in their last 28 games.
"I think we played very hard. We knew coming into this ballgame that we were going to have to play more than just basic defense and there were times they pushed us around," said TCU head coach Gary Patterson. "But we found ways to make plays, and we were going to have to play them (coming) from behind."
Bart Johnson had a 23-yard TD reception and Luke Shivers' one-yard touchdown run proved to be the difference for TCU, which posted its first undefeated campaign since going 11-0 in 1938.
Scott Tolzien was 12-of-21 for 159 yards for the Badgers (11-2), who shared the Big Ten title with Ohio State and Michigan State but ended the year by having their seven-game win streak snapped.
Montee Ball ran for 132 yards and one touchdown on 21 carries and John Clay added 76 yards and a score on 11 totes for Wisconsin, which finished with double-digit wins for the fourth time in six seasons.
The Badgers finally got untracked as time ticked away in the fourth quarter. Taking over at their own 23 with 7:32 remaining and down by eight, Clay rushed for 14 yards on first down, then moved 30 yards to the TCU 33 on the next play. Lance Kendricks later picked up a first down on 3rd-and-6 to the 19-yard line with a 10-yard catch, and Clay forged a 1st-and-goal with a two-yard run on 3rd-and-1.
Two plays later, Ball scored from the four and it was 21-19 with two minutes remaining, but Tolzien's conversion pass was knocked down near the line of scrimmage by Tank Carder.
"That two-point play is something that's worked on," said Wisconsin head coach Bret Bielema. "We had the chance to study TCU for the last three weeks and had a chance to get it in there, but we were defended by a nice read on the quarterback's eyes."
The ensuing onside kick was recovered just past the 40-yard line by TCU, which picked up a key first down with just over a minute remaining on a Waymon James five-yard rush to lock up the victory.
Ball's 40-yard run to start the game put the Badgers in TCU territory, but the drive stalled in the red zone and Philip Welch's 30-yard field goal made it 3-0 almost 4 1/2 minutes in.
Dalton hit Johnson for a 23-yard score on TCU's opening drive and the visitors led 7-3, but Wisconsin answered. A 28-yard hookup from Tolzien to Bradie Ewing put the ball on the one, and Clay took it in on the next play for a 10-7 game.
On the ensuing drive, Dalton called his own number on 3rd-and-2, running in from the four and the Horned Frogs led 14-10 after one quarter.
"You always want to start the game fast," Dalton admitted. "We only got the ball three times in the first half, we scored twice, went three-and-out then watched it the rest of the time. We knew that Wisconsin has a great offense and they can run the clock."
Welch missed a 39-yard field goal at the end of Wisconsin's first possession of the second quarter, but after the Badgers held the Frogs, Welch connected from 37 yards out and Wisconsin shaved its deficit to 14-13 on the final play of the half.
The Horned Frogs moved 71 yards in six plays to start the second half, and took a 21-13 advantage on a one-yard plunge from Shivers. For the remainder of the third quarter, TCU backed Wisconsin into unfavorable field position when unable to extend its lead.
This was the first meeting between the schools since their only matchup back in September, 1970 -- a 14-14 tie...For Wisconsin, this was its fourth trip to Pasadena since 1994 but it fell to 11-11 all-time in bowl games after losing its third in four tries...For TCU, it improved to 12-14-1 in postseason contests having won for the fifth time in its last six bowl appearances...Kendricks ended with four catches for 36 yards...Jeremy Kerley led the Frogs' receiving corps thanks to 58 yards on six receptions...The Big Ten has now lost seven of eight in Pasadena since Wisconsin won the 2000 contest over Stanford.