Do I start at the end?
The start was the best part.
The Miami Hurricanes football team end the season with ten wins and three losses.
Alex Hornibrook looked the Miami defense in the eye blocked out thoughts of the infamous turnover chain and threw four touchdown passes, three to Danny Davis, and No. 6 Wisconsin capped off their best season in school history by topping No. 11 Miami 34-24 in the Orange Bowl.
Hurricanes started hot to open the first quarter. The atmosphere was on their side. As they opened with a 14-3 lead, However, the Badgers walked into their locker room with a 24-14 lead. Miami’s turnover chain made a guest appearance in the opening 30 minutes of play, that was all folks. Hurricanes committed three turnovers in very critical moments.
“I take as much responsibility as anybody, actually more because I’m in charge of everything,” Mark Richt said. “I didn’t coach good enough, and we will get better. I can promise you that.”
The Hurricanes were on a four-game losing streak last season, then started what became a 15-game winning streak that ended in the regular-season finale against Pittsburg, and now will take a three-game losing streak slide into 2018 opening against LSU in Arlington, Texas, on Sept. 1. The four touchdown passes allowed matched the most allowed by Miami in any game since Oklahoma threw for six TDs in a 2007 romp over the Hurricanes.
Travis Homer and Deejay Dallas had rushing touchdowns for Miami which lost on its home field for the first time in 2017. Lawrence Cager had a touchdown catch for the Hurricanes, but quarterback Malik Rosier was 11 for 26 passing for 203 yards with three interceptions.
“The only way you get better is if you get pushed,” Rosier stated. “I love competition, that is the reason why I came here.”
Rosier’s third-quarter touchdown pass to Cager was the 31st touchdown he’s accounted for this season, a Miami single-season record. The previous mark was 30, set by Vinny Testaverde in 1986.
Jonathan Taylor activated beast mode all season. Taylor ran for 130 yards on 26 carries for the Badgers. Taylor finished the year with an FBS-freshman-record 1,977 yards eclipsing Adrian Peterson. The Big Ten — shut out of the College Football Playoff after Wisconsin lost to Ohio State in the conference title game — moved to 7-0 in bowls this season.
“This season was magical,” Taylor stated. “We were led by a group of seniors that was second to none; I am just so thankful for those guys and how they led and gave inspiration to the team. ”
The Badgers dominated time of possession, holding the ball for nearly 40 minutes. Hornibrook completed 23 of 34 passes for 258 yards, going 20 for 25 in the final three quarters.
The season was out of the stratosphere for Miami but made it back to earth. The home field at Hard Rock was supposed to be an advantage, but the sea of red and white was terrific for the Badgers faithful who traveled well. Miami competed in the 10th Orange Bowl in program history; the Hurricanes have an all-time record of 6-4 in the game. It was Miami’s first Orange Bowl appearance since Jan. 1, 2004.