Going into the game there are two sides to look at, on one side, the Miami Hurricanes and Wisconsin Badgers were awful over the second half of the year with a lackluster brand of football that might have just carried over into the New Era Pinstripe Bowl in New York City.
On the other side, if you give these two teams the benefit of the doubt, you can slightly sell this was last season’s Orange Bowl. The rematch between two programs that came a win away from going to last year’s College Football Playoff.
On the other hand, throw it out the window. Badgers had a running game led by an NFL prospect; Miami had a slight controversy regarding a quarterback moreover it was the last game for their defensive coordinator.
The big edge went to the Badgers.
New Jersey native running back Jonathan Taylor led the Badgers with 205 yards rushing and a touchdown and eclipsed the 2,000-yard season mark to help Wisconsin dismantle Miami 35-3 in the Pinstripe Bowl on Thursday night.
In last season’s Orange Bowl Taylor ran for 130 yards in Badger’s 34-24 win over the Hurricanes. Taylor topped himself in the rerun. Just a sophomore, he chewed away runs of 39 and 41 yards at Yankee Stadium.
The Badgers defense forced five turnovers to help a Wisconsin (8-5) team win its fifth straight bowl victory.
“We’ve got the best back in the country,” Wisconsin coach Paul Chryst said.
Paul may have a point.
Taylor finished with 2,194 yards rushing and 16 TDs for the season and averaged 165.8 yards per game. Taylor had 117 yards rushing at halftime and finished with his fifth 200-yard game this season.
“The thing I’ve appreciated as much as anything is how he’s done it, the way that he works, the teammate that he is,” Chryst said.
Taylor joined Ron Dayne and Melvin Gordon as Wisconsin’s 2,000-yard rushers. He was the MVP of the game, most likely for the season.
Badgers were without starting quarterback Alex Hornibrook (concussion). Jack Coan to the rescue. Coan is a Long Island native and needed nearly 50 tickets for friends and family.
Coan did not disappoint managing the game; six completions on 11 attempts for 73 yards, one touchdown pass 122.1-passer rating and one touchdown run late in the game.
For “The U,” well the 2019 season does not look promising at this moment.
The highlight of the night for the Hurricanes was the turnover chain making an appearance. Courtesy of a diving playmaking interception by future NFL draft pick Jaquan Johnson.
After accepting the Temple coaching position, Miami defensive coordinator Manny Diaz’s final game before he leaves was a disaster. The Badgers had 406 total yards.
“Things have got to get fixed,” coach Mark Richt said. “That will be the No. 1 priority”.
Miami’s starting quarterback Malik Rosier threw three interceptions before he was replaced late in the third quarter by N’Kosi Perry.
The speculation entering the game is Perry would not travel to the big apple after the school newspaper reported on Snapchat posts that illustrated explicit images surfaced on Perry’s account. Perry did not help the offense finishing one of five passing for two yards.
Hurricanes finished with 48 yards passing, 169 yards of total offense and five turnovers.
Miami’s athletic director Blake James took to Twitter after the game, possible warming up coach Richt’s coaching seat.
But the issues at quarterback led to a rough season for the Hurricanes offense, and the defense couldn’t pick up the slack. Wisconsin showed up with the best running back in the nation but to summarize Miami. The team had a bad four-game stretch, but it picked it back up with wins over Virginia Tech and Pitt to close things out.
Losing this game did not make everything right in what was supposed to be a second straight run to the ACC championship game. Coach Richt isn’t on any real hot seat, but it was not fun losing to the Badgers – again.