The Orange Bowl features an attractive looking matchup of two schools who were close to the playoff, but ultimately faltered late to bury the hatchet. All Wisconsin had to do was beat Ohio State in the Big Ten Championship and they would have been in the playoff. It wasn’t to be for the Badgers. Conversely, Miami had to beat Clemson in the ACC Championship to get in, but they got blown out and had the door slammed on them hard.
The turnover chain did not get to go all the way to the playoff, but we may see it out tonight in the Orange Bowl. Out of all the non-playoff matchups, this one has me the most excited as a spectator. Miami may not have reached the college football playoff, but they are back on the national scene after years of hiding in the closet. It’s been a while since people were talking about Miami and championships. It’s going to be interesting to see if it can carry over years to come.
Mark Richt is the catalyst of the Hurricanes’ resurgence. His departure from Georgia has seemed to work out for everyone. Georgia is a national contender, and Richt has Miami as a contender as well. They aren’t quite on Georgia’s level, yet at least, but the Hurricanes are heading in the right direction. After getting blasted by Clemson, it would feel nice to close out the season with a win over the Badgers.
The Badgers had a wicked defense, but their offense often got bogged down and held them back significantly. Quarterback Alex Hornibrook liked showing up in spots and helping his team out, and then elsewhere he’d be a huge liability and turning the ball over, hurting his team. Which Hornibrook do we see tonight? The Canes are jumping at the chance to break out the turnover chain against Wisconsin and Hornibrook. We’ll see if it comes to fruition. Head below for our free Wisconsin vs. Miami pick in the Orange Bowl.
Wisconsin Badgers vs. Miami Hurricanes Betting Odds:
vs. Miami +6(-105)
Betting odds provided by Bovada.lv
Wisconsin vs. Miami Pick:
Hornibrook isn’t expected to take games over, but he is expected to protect the football and not make too many errors. He threw 23 touchdowns and 15 interceptions. They would have liked that interception total lower than 15. It was the difference in the Big Ten Championship. Ohio State forced him into 2 interceptions, and he didn’t throw a touchdown. His completion percentage was below 50 percent. The week before, he threw 3 touchdowns against Minnesota, so he can be Jekyl and Hyde. Against good defenses, Hornibrook can struggle. He liked to pick on bad defensive units.
The Hurricanes are tied for 20th in the nation with 19.9 points allowed per game. They’ve allowed 213.7 yards per game through the air for 52nd in the FBS. So, they aren’t elite, but Miami are still good. To beat Wisconsin, a defense that can defend the run is ideal. Jonathan Taylor rushed for 1,847 yards and 13 touchdowns. The Buckeyes neutralized his effort, holding him to just 41 yards on 15 carries. The Hurricanes are 41st against the run, allowing 146.1 yards per game.
After getting embarrassed against Clemson, I expect a much better effort from the defense on Saturday night. They looked dead tired against the Tigers, and we should see a better effort in that regard in the Orange Bowl. Malik Rosier will play despite battling a shoulder injury late in the year. Rosier says he’s healthy now and ready to redeem himself against the Badgers.
Rosier threw 25 touchdowns and 11 interceptions, along with 427 yards rushing and 5 touchdowns on the ground. The Badger defense will look to make the night rough on Rosier. Wisconsin were 1st in the nation, allowing only 253 yards per game. They gave up just 13.2 points per game. Wisconsin did, however, feast off bad offenses this season. Their strength of schedule was very weak, except Michigan and Ohio State. Michigan had a non-existent offense this season. Note that the Hurricanes are playing in their own stadium. FAU played at home, and the Orange Bowl is held at the Hard Rock Stadium. It should be a close one. I’d take the points in what should be a great Orange Bowl.
PICK: MIAMI +6 (-105)