All the talk heading in to the Pinstripe Bowl was about the Miami Hurricanes top-ranked defense — just like last year.
Just like last year, the Wisconsin Badgers took it to the Hurricanes and its defense was the star of the day in a 35-3 beatdown of Miami.
UW forced five turnovers and turned two in-a-row in the second half to take a 28-3 lead. The Badgers defense also held Miami to just 121 yards rushing on 23 carries — 62 of which came on one play by quarterback Malik Rosier.
In total, Miami mustered up just 169 yards compared to UW’s 406 yards on the day.
Star running back Jonathan Taylor didn’t disappoint, going for 205 yards on 27 carries with a touchdown. Wisconsin as a team put up 333 yards on 58 carries.
Taylor finished his season with 2,194 yards and 16 touchdowns and combined for an NCAA record 4,171 yards in his first two seasons.
He also joined fellow Badger Ron Dayne and Georgia legend Herschel Walker as the only running backs in history over the 3,500-yard mark in their first two seasons.
UW’s strong run game rendered Jack Coan’s passing an afterthought, as he completed 6 of 11 passes for 73 yards and a touchdown pass to one interception.
He also showcased an ability to do things with his feet, including a naked bootleg for a 7-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter.
Miami had to switch quarterbacks in the second half, but it didn’t matter much, as the two combined to go just 6 of 17 for 48 yards and four interceptions in the loss.
Wisconsin got the opening kickoff and following a steady diet of Jonathan Taylor, UW faced a 3rd and 9 at the 35-yard line. Coan took his first drop back and connected over the middle to Kendric Pryor for a touchdown and a 7-0 lead.
Miami quarterback Malik Rosier didn’t find the same success on his first pass, as UW safety Eric Burrell jumped a late throw and returned it to the Hurricanes 8-yard line.
One play later and Taylor was in the end zone and the Badgers led 14-0 in less than 4 minutes off the game clock.
Wisconsin couldn’t sustain its hot start though, as Coan made a bad decision deep in Miami territory. He threw an interception trying to loft a ball out of bounds and was picked off at the 8-yard line.
Rosier scampered for 62 yards on the first play and put the Hurricanes in prime position deep in Badgers territory. However, UW’s defense stiffened up inside the red zone and forced a 33-yard field goal for a 14-3 scoreline.
The scoreline remained the same at halftime thanks to a pair of missed field goals by Badgers kicker Rafael Gaglianone.
Wisconsin continued to control things with its run game on offense and an opportunistic defense in the second half.
After going nearly two quarters without a score, the Badgers put another touchdown on the board with 3:36 to play in the third quarter. Senior fullback Alec Ingold capped off a 59-yard drive with a two-yard touchdown run to make it 21-3.
It was a drive that started thanks to a T.J. Edwards interception at the Wisconsin 41-yard line.
That pick was the final play of the game for Rosier, who was replaced by freshman N’Kosi Perry.
Wisconsin didn’t miss a beat on defense with the new signal caller in, as Perry completed just 1 of 5 passes for 2 yards and an interception.
Perry’s interception led to another Badgers score, as Coan went in from 7 yards out to make it 28-3.
After a Miami punt with 7:20 to play, the Badgers pounded the ball 10 times for 53 yards and a score with just :08 left to play in the game and a 35-3 lead.
For the second straight offseason the Badgers go in to the offseason with big momentum on the back of a beatdown of a top-ranked defense.
The win is also Wisconsin’s fifth-straight in a bowl game and third straight bowl game win in matchups with Miami.
Wisconsin will kick off next season at USF in Tampa Bay on Aug. 31.
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