Publish Date: 12/30/2017
Fact checked by: Simon Briffa
2017 Capital One Orange Bowl
First off let me say this, points will be at a premium during this game unless the defense for these two teams can score some points. Neither team has a big-time Quarterback but both teams have very good defenses. The Wisconsin Badgers had no high-quality wins this year, so as always their record is better than what the team actually is. The Hurricanes are a team that under Mark Richt seem to be building towards once again becoming an elite program, but they will need to upgrade the quarterback position to be a serious contender. So this is a game between two teams that may not be as good as their records say but it shapes up to be a great defensive battle.
This is the key match-up to this entire game. Hornibrook is strictly a pocket-passer and if he has to move at all his accuracy disappears. Miami safety Jaquan Johnson, a 5-foot-11 junior safety, is one of just four defensive players named as finalists for the Walter Camp Player of the Year award. Johnson is one of the nation’s best and is considered the heart and soul of the Hurricane secondary. Now the saving grace for Hornibrook may be that the Badgers are a run-first offense with an excellent offensive line but if the Canes slow down the run and force Hornibrook to beat them with the pass then the game is over, Canes win.
This brings up to Miami’s limited quarterback Malik Rosier. The important thing here is that J.T.Barrett used his mobility to scramble and run during the Buckeyes win over Wisconsin during the Big Ten Championship game, and Rosier is fully capable of doing the same thing Barrett did. Rosier is going to have to create offense with his feet since the loss on offense of senior tight-end standout Christopher Herndon, who was lost to a season-ending knee injury. Miami is also missing top receiver Ahmmon Richardsm who himself suffered a season-ending knee injury. Look for the Miami offense to be very limited in what it can do and Rosier will have to make things happen with his feet.
Prediction: This should be a low-scoring game and the Canes will be jacked up to play the Orange Bowl at home while Wisconsin will be having a let down because of blowing another opportunity to make it to the college playoffs. I am going with Miami in this one with Hornibrook and the Badger offense turning the ball over at least three times.
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