SAN DIEGO -- After more than six decades, the Wisconsin Badgers have finally beaten the Southern California Trojans.
Rafael Gaglianone kicked a 29-yard field goal with 2:27 left to lift No. 23 Wisconsin to a 23-21 victory against Southern California in the Holiday Bowl on Wednesday night.
Gaglianone's third field goal gave Wisconsin (10-3) its first win in seven tries against USC (8-6). The teams hadn't met since 1966, and two of USC's wins in the series were in the Rose Bowl, in 1953 and 1963.
"That's a tremendous team and a tremendous program," Badgers quarterback Joel Stave said. "They are one of the staples of college football. When you think of college football, you think of USC, so that's who you grow up watching."
"It's nice to beat them," said linebacker Jack Cichy, the game's defensive MVP. "My dad went to Notre Dame so I watched them as a kid."
Wisconsin's Sojourn Shelton intercepted Cody Kessler with 1:44 left. Kessler was hit from behind by Cichy.
"We knew it would be a physical game. On that interception when I was coming forward he hit my arm," Kessler said. "The last thing I remember is him hitting me. They had a relentless effort to the ball.
"That is a good defensive team that is going to make plays. It happened to make a play at a critical moment."