While Saturday night's Orange Bowl won't have almost as much on the line as the Big Ten Championship Game did earlier this month, the opportunity to make a statement still exists for the University of Wisconsin defense as it prepares to face 11th-ranked Miami at Hard Rock Stadium. The Wisconsin Badgers come into the game ranked 9th in the most recent Associated Press poll.
With a little bit of luck they might have been the first Big Ten team to score in the CFP since The Ohio State in 2015. Miami limped to the finish line, and was simply overmatched in the Atlantic Coast Conference title game against Clemson.
Almost a month will have passed since those games when the Badgers and Hurricanes take the field in Hard Rock Stadium.
The last time Wisconsin had three All-American offensive linemen on the same team was 1921, and Benzschawel made it clear on Wednesday that the current Badgers will go with their strength. The quarterback finished with 2,386 yards and 21 touchdowns, but the interceptions were the story.
Meanwhile, they leaned heavily on freshman running back Jonathan Taylor to carry the offense, and he delivered. The Irish averaged 279 yards rushing per game this season.
SEEKING 13: Granted, teams for decades didn't play as many games as teams do now - but Wisconsin still has a shot at a Big Ten rarity. The Badgers also beat Northwestern at home.
Turnover battle - A good part of the Canes' success this season has been their ability to win the turnover battle. The Hurricanes are hoping the chain is alive and well in this game.
But over the past two games, two losses, 46 percent completion percentage, and two interceptions in the ACC Championship Game. In big games this year against Florida State, Virginia Tech and Notre Dame, turnovers set the tone for the rest of the game.
However, I don't believe the Miami offense has the balance and healthy weapons to hurt the Wisconsin defense.
Wisconsin TE Troy Fumagalli: He is Hornibrook's top target and safety net after an injury ended sophomore receiver Quintez Cephus' season in November. Berrios finished the season with 9 touchdown receptions.
Hurricanes quarterback Malik Rosier had a great start to the season in his first year the starter. The Canes give up 146.1 yards on the ground; they can not let the Badgers gain significant yardage on first down. The Hurricanes live on the turnover chain, and that's what they are going to relay on in this game.
This will be the fifth meeting between the Badgers and Hurricanes. Miami is going to win this game over Wisconsin on Saturday in the Fiesta Bowl.
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