Wisconsin quarterback Curt Phillips showed what the power of perseverance can accomplish in Tuesday’s Rose Bowl.
The gritty QB overcame six knee surgeries and two missed seasons to earn the start for the Badgers in the 99th Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif. And Phillips had a chance to lead his team to victory in the final minutes against Stanford.
However, a tipped passed allowed Stanford to make an interception with 2:30 left. Stanford held on to win, 20-14.
Phillips has Warren County ties as his father, Dr. Jimmy Phillips, grew up in this community. Jimmy is the son of Dr. James E. Phillips, who was a prominent family practice doctor for years in McMinnville.
Jimmy graduated from Warren County in 1974 and is currently a practicing physician in East Tennessee. He said several family members made the trip to California to watch the Rose Bowl.
“We were hoping Curt could pull it out with a last-minute drive, but it didn’t happen,” said Jimmy. “The ball was deflected and they made an interception to seal the win.”
Phillips finished the Rose Bowl 10-for-16 passing for 83 yards. He rushed for an additional 64 yards.
Jimmy says a fairly large Warren County contingent made the trip to Indianapolis to see Wisconsin compete in the Big Ten Championship game against Nebraska. Wisconsin steamrolled Nebraska in that game, 70-31.
“There was a big crowd from Warren County,” said Jimmy. “They like to call themselves the Tennessee Badgers.”
As for his son’s future at Wisconsin, Jimmy says that’s still up in the air. Because of the time he missed due to injury, Jimmy says his son could potentially be eligible for another season, but the NCAA has not made that determination.