Previewing Miami (FL) vs. Wisconsin in the Pinstripe Bowl: Date, Time, Spread, How to Watch

    Who: Miami (FL) (7-5) vs. Wisconsin (7-5) What: New Era Pinstripe Bowl When: 5:15 p.m. ET, Thursday, December 27 Where: Yankee Stadium, New York, NY

    December 26, 2018

    Who: Miami (FL) (7-5) vs. Wisconsin (7-5)

    What: New Era Pinstripe Bowl

    When: 5:15 p.m. ET, Thursday, December 27

    Where: Yankee Stadium, New York, NY

    Spread: Miami -3

    How to watch: ESPN, WatchESPN

    If you had been told in the preseason that Wisconsin and Miami (FL) would be meeting in a bowl game, chances are you’d wonder which New Year’s Six bowl game it’d be. You might even ask if there’s a path to the College Football Playoff for both the Badgers and Hurricanes.

    Wisconsin debuted at No. 4 in the preseason AP Top 25 poll (and the Badgers were one of three schools that received a first-place vote) and Miami was No. 8. Both schools were undefeated and ranked in the top five in the AP poll in Week 13 of last season, meaning they entered 2018 full of hype.

    Both fell way short of their respective expectations at 7-5.

    Wisconsin finished in a three-way tie for second in the Big Ten West as the Badgers lost four conference games by an average of 18.2 points. They didn’t even make it to Big Ten play unscathed as they lost at home to BYU in Week 3.

    Miami, seemingly energized by the hiring of Coach Mark Richt and a turnover-minded defense, lost its season opener to LSU, won its next five games, then lost four straight in ACC play to finish in a three-way tie for third in the ACC Coastal. The Hurricanes beat ACC Coastal champion Pittsburgh 24-3 in the final week of the regular season, making a 16-13 loss at Virginia and a 27-21 defeat at Georgia Tech especially painful in hindsight.

    A win for Wisconsin means the Badgers will avoid having their worst season in a decade. They went 7-6, capped off by a loss in the Champs Sports Bowl in 2008.

    The last time Wisconsin went 8-6 was in 2012 – the final year of former Wisconsin Coach Bret Bielema’s tenure. Athletic Director and former Coach Barry Alvarez stepped in to coach that team in the Rose Bowl.

    After winning 13, 11, 10 and 11 games in the previous four seasons, respectively, this season is a clear step back for Wisconsin in the fourth year of Coach Paul Chryst’s tenure.

    Miami will try to change its recent misfortune in bowl games. In the previous 10 seasons, the Hurricanes were 1-7 in bowl games with the only win coming in 2016.

    The ‘Canes enter the Pinstripe Bowl as the favorite by a field goal.

    There’s a chance this game might not be aesthetically pleasing if you’re a fan of shootouts and big plays through the air. These are two of the 25 worst passing offenses in college football. Miami ranks 109th nationally in passing yards per game, slightly ahead of Wisconsin at 116th.

    The best passing offenses in the country (Washington State, Ohio State, West Virginia) average more passing yards per game than the Hurricanes and Badgers do combined.

    Wisconsin could have a tough time moving the ball against Miami’s seventh-ranked defense, according to Football Outsiders’ S&P+ rankings. Wisconsin QB Alex Hornibrook will miss the bowl game due to recurring symptoms from a head injury, so backup Jack Coan (50-of-82, 442 passing yards, 5.4 ypa, 4 TD, 2 INT) will burn his redshirt and start for the Badgers.

    The Hurricanes are the best in the country at limiting opponents through the air (140 yards per game) and stopping their opponents on third down (23.7 percent conversion rate). If Miami stacks the box to try to bottle up Wisconsin RB Jonathan Taylor, who is 11 yards shy of 2,000 rushing yards this season, it could be a long day for the Badgers. Taylor is one of the best running backs in college football and he’s the main threat on an offense that ranks 13th nationally, according to Football Outsiders’ S&P+ rankings.

    Even if the Badgers reach the red zone, they’re not a lock to come away with three points. Wisconsin is just 10-of-16 (62.5%) on field goal attempts this season.

    Miami recently made its own change at quarterback. Richt announced Wednesday senior Malik Rosier will start in the Pinstripe Bowl after the speculated suspension of redshirt freshman N’Kosi Perry, who previously replaced Rosier as the team’s starter.

    Rosier has completed 53.5 percent of his attempts for 1,007 yards, six touchdowns and five interceptions this season. He last played in Miami’s loss to Duke on Nov. 3. As a junior, he threw for 3,120 yards, 26 touchdowns and 14 interceptions.

    If Rosier struggles to find his footing through the air, Miami might have to rely more heavily on running backs Travis Homer (969 rushing yards, 6.3 avg. 4 TD) and DeeJay Dallas (609 rushing yards, 5.8 avg., 6 TD). The Hurricanes will also be without leading receiver Jeff Thomas, who was dismissed from the program in late November.

    Lawrence Cager (20 receptions, 352 receiving yards, 6 TD) is the team’s leading receiver with Thomas no longer part of the team.


    Here’s a look at some of the statistical strengths and players to watch for both teams.



    Points per game: 30.9 (51st)


    Points allowed per game: 18.2 (15th)

    Rushing yards allowed per game: 127 (25th)

    Passing yards allowed per game: 140 (1st)

    Opponent third down conversion percentage: 23.7% (1st)

    Opponent fourth down conversion percentage: 42.8% (23rd)

    Limiting opponent plays from scrimmage of at least 10 yards: 134 (12th)

    Players to watch

    RB Travis Homer – 969 yards, 6.3 avg., 4 TD

    DE Joe Jackson – 47 total tackles, 9.0 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, 1 INT

    DB Trajan Bandy – 36 total tackles, 8 passes deflected, 3 INT



    Rushing yards per game: 268 (7th)

    Red zone conversion percentage: 89% (23rd)

    Touchdown percentage in the red zone: 70% (24th)

    Plays from scrimmage of at least 10 yards: 184 (48th)


    Passing yards allowed per game: 200 (38th)

    Limiting opponent plays from scrimmage of at least 10 yards: 153 (27th)

    Players to watch

    RB Jonathan Taylor – 1,989 rushing yards, 7.1 avg., 15 TD

    LB T.J. Edwards – 104 total tackles, 10.5 tackles for loss, 3.0 sacks, 2 INT


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