MIAMI — The Wisconsin Badgers (No. 6) will square up against the Miami Hurricanes (No. 11) in the Orange Bowl on Saturday, December 30th. Odds makers are giving a slight advantage to Wisconsin. However, the series between the two teams is tied, 2-2.
WHAT’S AT STAKE
Wisconsin is bidding for the first 13-win season in school history, and possibly its best year-end finish in the AP Top 25 since ending No. 4 in 1999. Miami is looking for its first 11-win season since 2003, and a second consecutive bowl victory.
Miami RB Travis Homer vs. Wisconsin front seven. The Hurricanes must be able to run the ball in this game, in order to give a depleted receiving corps a chance. Wisconsin is giving up 3.0 yards per carry and has allowed five rushing touchdowns all season.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Wisconsin: RB Jonathan Taylor. The freshman is for real, with 1,847 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns. He’s had at least one carry of 40 or more yards in seven of the Badgers’ 13 games. But he’s coming off a Big Ten title game where Ohio State found a way to keep him bottled up, and it’ll be interesting to see how he rebounds.
Miami: WR Braxton Berrios. He’s going to be seriously missed by the Hurricanes next season. He graduated with a 3.96 GPA, leads Miami in catches and is one touchdown catch from becoming the fifth Hurricane since 2000 with 10 TD grabs in a season. The others were Leonard Hankerson, Phillip Dorsett, Andre Johnson and Reggie Wayne.
FACTS & FIGURES
Miami is the second school to take a two-game losing streak into the Orange Bowl; LSU did it in 1943 and 1973. … Wisconsin has finished the year as an AP top-five team three times (No. 3 in 1942, No. 2 in 1962, No. 4 in 1999). … Miami will be the “home” team and on the “home” sideline in its home stadium, but the game is defined as neutral-site. … Wisconsin has nine Floridians on its roster. … Miami’s Mark Richt was tabbed as the Atlantic Coast Conference coach of the year; Wisconsin’s Paul Chryst was the consensus pick as the Big Ten’s top coach. … Both teams have been in every AP poll this season.