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The Hurricanes have just one bowl win since 2006 and they lost to the Badgers in the Orange Bowl last season. Meanwhile, last year’s victory over the Hurricanes pushed Wisconsin’s current bowl winning streak to four games. This will be both teams’ first trip to the Pinstripe Bowl, which debuted in 2010.
The weather could pose a tough challenge for Miami in this game. The Hurricanes played six road games this season and lost three of them in relatively cold weather against Virginia, Georgia Tech, and Boston College, scoring a total of just 48 points in those games.
Diaz moves on to Temple
Miami defensive coordinator Manny Diaz moved on to become head coach of Temple. His defense really shined in the Hurricanes’ last two wins, over Pittsburgh (24-3) and Virginia Tech (38-14).
The defense was statistically one of the best in the nation. They gave up just 268.1 yards per game (2nd) and 140.8 passing yards to lead the nation. Safety Jaquan Johnson leads the way on this tremendous stop unit. He had 79 tackles, two forced fumbles and a pick this season.
Jaquan Johnson is currently the highest-graded safety in the ACC pic.twitter.com/F4DOBiokzJ
— PFF College (@PFF_College) November 30, 2018
The offense was pedestrian, averaging 374.6 yards per game with just 177.2 passing yards per contest (109th).
This was a disappointing season in Coral Gables as Miami finished at 7-5 overall and 4-4 in the Coastal Division of the ACC. After winning five straight games, the ‘Canes dropped the next four to Virginia, Boston College, Duke and Georgia Tech before winning out.
— Canes Football (@CanesFootball) November 30, 2018
The offense is led by running back Travis Homer, who has 969 yards on 6.3 yards per carry. Senior Malik Rosier started off as the quarterback, but he struggled, completing just 53.5 percent of his passes for 1,007 yards with six rushing TDs. Freshman N’Kosi Perry took over and has had a roller-coaster of a time passing the football. In the finale against Pitt, he completed just 6 of 24 for 52 yards. On the season, he’s completing 51.6 percent of his passes for 1,089 yards with 13 TDs and five picks.
Running back DeeJay Dallas feels that this game could be a turning point towards next season.
“The sky isn’t falling. Next year is going to be a way better year than this year was,” running back DeeJay Dallas said. “We came into the season with high expectations and it didn’t go how we wanted it to go. But, bounce-back year. The revenge tour starts [this] week. I’m excited. We start next season off with Wisconsin. That’s how I’m feeling about this.”
Badgers struggle with consistency
Wisconsin had not won two straight games since early in the season when they defeated Iowa and Nebraska in back-to-back games. Since Oct. 13, they’ve gone 3-4 to finish at 7-5 and 5-4 in the Big 10 West.
Just like Miami, quarterback play has been spotty. The Badgers went back to senior quarterback Alex Hornibrook in their home loss to Minnesota, 37-15 in the season finale. He threw for 189 yards and two TDs, but also had three picks. Sophomore Jack Coan came in when Hornibrook was injured and had a little success. He did get to start against Purdue on Nov. 17 and he led the Badgers to a 47-44 overtime win. He threw for 206 yards and two TDs in that game. Hornibrook has struggled with turnovers, throwing 11 interceptions and just 13 touchdowns.
Doak 👏 Walker 👏 Winner 👏@JayT23 wanted to get better.
He became the best in the country.
— Wisconsin Football (@BadgerFootball) December 7, 2018
But Wisconsin has won a lot of games without great quarterback play. This year’s top runner is All-American Johnathan Taylor, who had a spectacular sophomore campaign with 1,989 yards with 15 combined TDs. The Doak Walker winner for best in the nation became the fourth Badger back to do so.
Defensively, Wisconsin allows 358.8 yards per game (41st) with 200.8 yards per game in the air (38th) and 157.9 rushing yards (56th). They have the seventh-ranked rushing offense in the nation (268.4ypg) and 114th-passing offense (168.6ypg).
Linebacker T.J. Edwards is playing in this one, even though some draftable players are sitting out bowl games.
“I think I’d be lying if I said I didn’t consider it,” Edwards said. “I understand why guys choose to leave and things like that. But just in my head, after Minnesota, it kind of left a bad taste in my mouth, and I didn’t necessarily want the last game that I played here as a Badger to be that one. I just want to go out strong and help lead this team and go out on a good note.”
- 8-2 ATS last 10 on grass.
- 4-1 ATS last 5 after a SU loss.
- 1-6 ATS last 7 bowl games.
- 1-5 ATS last 6 vs. Big 10.
Updated on Dec 27 at 8:05am EST
Update prepared by our editoral staff
Public Money / Line Movements
Miami has gone from -3 down to -2.5 with Wisconsin getting 70% of the bets. The sharps are on the side of the Badgers in this one.
Injury / Weather Report
No Weather Issues Are Expected
Miami’s Impact Injury Report
Out— DL Gerald Willis III (59 Tackles, 18 TFL, Four Sacks)
Questionable— LB Mike Smith (31 Tackles, Six TFL)
Wisconsin’s Impact Injury Report
Out– QB Alex Hornibrook (1532 Yards, 13 TDs, 11 INTs)
Questionable— DB Scott Nelson (39 Tackles, One INT), RB Taiwan Deal (493 Yards, Five TDs),
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
This is going to be an ugly, hard-hitting football game. Last year’s game was a high-scoring one but it was played in the heat of the Orange Bowl. Hornibrook had a great game in that one, passing for 258 yards and four TDs against a similar Miami defense. Taylor had 130 yards rushing so the Badgers came prepared in the warmer weather. Now, they played in Yankee Stadium, which should benefit the Badgers due to the cold weather. Similar results as last season even if Hornibrook doesn’t play.
Prediction: Wisconsin +4
Full-Game Total Pick
Miami has to win with defense and they have an excellent one. The loss of Diaz probably won’t hurt too much because the Hurricanes know what they have to do and that is to stop the run. But Wisconsin has the same goal. Both have quality defenses and it will be a lot tougher to score in this game then it was in last year’s. Miami is 5-0-1 Under their last six games, while Wisconsin is 4-1 Under their last 5 overall.
Prediction: Under 48
Half-Time Side Pick
It’s going to be 40 degrees in the Bronx. Wisconsin knows how to play in this type of weather and Miami, well it might take at least a half for them to get adjusted to the cold weather.
Prediction: Wisconsin +1.5
Half-Time Total Bet
There should be very little scoring in this game. Both defenses are strong and neither quarterback looks like an NFL prospect or even Arena League.
Prediction: Under 23.5 first half