Although Stanford didn't score many style points in the 99th Rose Bowl, the Cardinal could celebrate because they didn't let Wisconsin score any points at all after halftime.
Stepfan Taylor rushed for 89 yards and an early touchdown, Kevin Hogan passed for 123 yards, and No. 8 Stanford won its first Rose Bowl since 1972, beating the Badgers 20-14 on Tuesday night.
Usua Amanam made the decisive interception near midfield with 2:30 to play as the Pac-12 champion Cardinal (12-2) ended their four-decade drought in the Granddaddy of Them All with arguably the biggest bowl win yet during the long-struggling program's recent renaissance.
Stanford clamped down on the Big Ten champion Badgers (8-6), who lost the Rose Bowl in heartbreaking fashion for the third consecutive season. Montee Ball rushed for 100 yards and his FBS-record 83rd touchdown, but Wisconsin managed only 82 yards after halftime.
With impressive defense of its own, Wisconsin still stayed in position for an upset in the one-game return of Hall of Fame coach Barry Alvarez, who was back on the Badgers' sideline in his red sweater-vest seven years after hanging up his whistle.
When Bret Bielema abruptly left Wisconsin for Arkansas after winning the Big Ten title game, Alvarez agreed to coach his fourth Rose Bowl before handing off his program to new coach Gary Andersen, who met with Alvarez on the field before the game.
But the Badgers' third consecutive Rose Bowl appearance ended in much the same way as the last two with the Wisconsin offense failing to get the late score they desperately needed.
Curt Phillips went 10 for 16 for 83 yards passing and that crucial interception for Wisconsin, doing more with 64 yards on the ground. Jordan Fredrick caught a short touchdown pass right before halftime, but no Badgers receiver had more than Jared Abbrederis' three catches.
No. 13 Florida State 31, No. 16 Northern Illinois 10
MIAMI Florida State stuffed Northern Illinois all-purpose threat Jordan Lynch for most of the night Tuesday and won the Orange Bowl.
Senior fullback Lonnie Pryor, voted the games outstanding player, ran for a career-high 134 yards and two scores on only five carries for Florida State. Senior EJ Manuel threw for 291 yards.
The victory was a consolation prize for the No. 13 Seminoles (12-2), who began the season with national championship hopes. Theyve won five consecutive bowl games, but the victory was their first in a BCS bowl since 2000, when they beat Virginia Tech for the national championship.
For the No. 16 Huskies (12-2), playing in a BCS bowl for the first time, the defeat snapped a 12-game winning streak.