The Miami Hurricanes and Wisconsin Badgers meet in the New Era Pinstripe Bowl on Thursday. While the NCAA has added some ridiculous bowls in the last ten years, the Pinstripe Bowl is a rather newcomer that has some appeal to it. The game is played at Yankee Stadium in New York, so that alone adds an intriguing element to the contest. The matchup isn’t all that bad either, with two recognizable schools meeting on Thursday. Miami and Wisconsin met in the Orange Bowl last season, which resulted in a 34-24 win for Wisconsin.
Neither accomplished what they set out to do at the start of the season, but I suppose this can be a springboard to next season. The main purpose of bowl games from a coaching perspective is to give some guys one more game to get some experience in.
For players departing the program after this, they get put one more game tape together for scouts. It doesn’t really matter for highly regarded prospects. We see that with a lot of them skipping bowls, but for fringe players who hope to catch on, either in the NFL of another professional league, bowl games can help a bit.
Miami and Wisconsin both finished 7-5 and their seasons went in the same direction. There was some flash and reason to celebrate, but certainly more reasons to be frustrated. Wisconsin ended the regular season in really frustrating fashion with a 37-15 loss to Minnesota.
The game didn’t mean much in the grand scheme of things, but Wisconsin surely didn’t want to go out with their last two-game winning streak in early October. Since then, the Badgers have failed to win two games in a row, which is largely a reflection of their quarterback play. Alex Hornibrook is still bothered by concussion symptoms, so the ball will go to Jack Coan against Miami.
Expect them to pound the ball often throughout this game, as per usual for the Badgers. With Hornibrook out and rain expected to be in the forecast, Jonathan Taylor will see a heavy workload. That isn’t so much a negative, as Taylor is a beast in the backfield. Head below for our free Miami vs. Wisconsin pick in the Pinstripe Bowl.
Miami Hurricanes vs. Wisconsin Badgers Pinstripe Bowl Betting Odds:
Betting odds provided by bovada.lv
Miami vs. Wisconsin Pick:
Jonathan Taylor was a monster for Wisconsin this season, as he romped for 1,989 yards and 15 touchdowns. His effort earned him the Doak Walker Award for the top running back in the nation. He also got some votes for the Heisman Trophy, but he was never a threat to Kyler Murray. Wisconsin are running into a Hurricane strength in this game. Miami’s greatest strength is on the defensive side of the ball and should give Wisconsin issues.
I think Taylor is going to need Coan to come up with a play through the air here and there. That’s not going to be easy against the best pass defense in the nation. Miami have allowed just 140.8 yards per game through the air. That puts them 1st in the FBS against the pass.
It’s likely going to be raining, or at least that’s what the forecast calls for as I write this, so that should help Miami even more. Look for Miami to force two or three turnovers in this one. They are also solid against the run, with 127.5 yards allowed per game for 24th in the country. Don’t expect them to completely slow down Taylor, though. What is going to be an issue is expecting Coan to come up with a clutch play on 3rd down to convert.
The Hurricanes are on a two-game winning streak heading into the Pinstripe Bowl. They held Pitt to just 3 points and Kenny Pickett passed for only 130 yards with no touchdowns against that talented Miami secondary. In their other win, a 38-14 win over Virginia Tech, Ryan Willis struggled with 199 yards passing with a touchdown and 2 interceptions.
Miami hasn’t said who is going to be starting at quarterback against Wisconsin. N’Kosi Perry posted a sexually explicit clip on Snapchat and there have been rumors he may be suspended in this game. Miami isn’t talking, but I will talk in saying that Perry has looked awful in the second-half. He has 13 touchdowns and 5 interceptions. 3 came against Savannah State, another 3 against FIU, and 3 against a bad Florida State team. Since that FSU game, Perry has thrown 2 touchdowns and 2 interceptions in five games.
The ball would go to Jarren Williams or Malik Rosier if Perry doesn’t play. Williams was recruited heavily by a lot of programs, including Alabama, but he’s a true freshman with zero experience starting. He would be asked to tame a Big Ten defense in chilly and rainy conditions on the road in New York. They could go with Malik Rosier, the original starter from this season, but he’s been awful and has regressed instead of improved in 2018.
The Badgers allowed 200 passing yards for 38th in the country. Like Wisconsin, Miami will lean heavily on their ground game with Travis Homer. Homer has averaged 6.3 yards per carry and 969 yards rushing. With both teams relying on their running backs in this game, expect the clock to be ticking often. In a rematch of the 2017 Orange Bowl, we should see a close, low-scoring matchup at Yankee Stadium. It may very well be a 3-point game either way, so that looks like a pretty sharp line. Instead, the play here is on the UNDER.