Wisconsin vs. Miami: Capital One Orange Bowl Prediction, Game Preview

Wisconsin vs. Miami: Capital One Orange Bowl Prediction, Game Preview


Wisconsin vs. Miami: Capital One Orange Bowl Prediction, Game Preview


Three reasons why you should watch the Capital One Orange Bowl, why each team might win, honest thoughts, line and prediction.

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Capital One Orange Bowl
Wisconsin (12-1) vs. Miami (10-2)


Date: Saturday, December 30th
Game Time: 8:00 pm
Venue: New Miami Stadium, Miami Gardens, FL
Network: ESPN

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The Bowl Matchup Ranking Of Awesomeness
(1 best-39 worst):
6 out of 39

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Three Reasons Why You Should Watch The Capital One Orange Bowl

There but for two better championship game performances  this would be a playoff game. Granted, Miami hit a bit of a wall late in the season, and Wisconsin – for the second year in a row – couldn’t come up with one big late scoring drive, but the two teams had wonderful seasons even though they didn’t get into the tournament.

The two are more similar than you might think. They’re both brilliantly coached, they both live off of their defenses and takeaways, and they’re both looking for affirmation that everything that happened in the regular season was for real.

Wisconsin needs to get past the knock that it didn’t beat anyone. It actually has a better resume than Alabama with wins over Michigan, Iowa and Northwestern, but the 12-0 start was seen as a bit of a fraud. The Badgers didn’t play Penn State, Michigan State, or Ohio State before the Big Ten Championship, and the non-conference schedule wasn’t anything great. However, they beat Florida Atlantic and a bowl-bound Utah State.

Win this, and Wisconsin will almost certainly finish in the top five in all the polls. On a hot streak, the program has been great in the last there bowl games with thrilling wins over Western Michigan, USC and Auburn to break a long, bad post-season run. Now it has to get the job done in a road game.

Miami finally broke its brutal bowl losing streak with a blowout over West Virginia in last year’s Russell Athletic Bowl. The Canes had lost six straight before that and seven of their previous eight, but under head man Mark Richt, the program has become a major player again.

It might have been a bit of a strange year – needing big takeaways to overcome a mediocre offense – but a blowout win over Notre Dame was special, and getting to the ACC Championship for the first time was huge, even with the ugly loss. Now it gets a home bowl game. In terms of momentum, beating the big, bad Badgers would do wonders going into next year for this young team.

Here’s Why Wisconsin Will Win The Capital One Orange Bowl

Third downs might get really, really ugly. For all of the good things Miami did this season, the offense wasn’t always a part of them. The Canes are absolutely miserable on third downs, converting a pathetic 29% of them and dipping under the 30% mark in six of the final eight games.

Wisconsin? The No. 1 defense in the country finished third in the country in third down stops, allowing conversions a mere 29.6% of the time.

Can Jonathan Taylor become a 2,000-yard back? The special freshman was shockingly ignored in the Big Ten Championship – with just 15 carries for 41 yards – but he’s just 153 yards away from the 2K mark. While he wasn’t much of a scorer over the second half of the season – red zone fumbles became an issue – he took over games.

Behind a line that got a month off to heal up – the Badgers were banged up late in the season up front – Taylor should pound away.

– Miami might not ever have the ball. With the way the Badgers control games with Taylor and the ground attack, and considering how good the defense is on third downs, they always dominate in time of possession. Wisconsin is third in the nation at holding the ball, keeping it for just under 36 minutes a game. Miami? 119th in the nation, possessing it for 27 minutes.a game.

Here’s Why Miami Will Win The Capital One Orange Bowl

Takeaways, takeaways, takeaways. Everything Miami does revolves around emotion, big plays, and generating turnovers. The Canes finished third in the nation in takeaways with 30. Against Wisconsin, they have to dominate the turnover margin and score whenever they get a chance.

As great as Wisconsin is at taking the ball away, it also turned it over a whole bunch, giving up two pick-sixes against Iowa, two interceptions against against Ohio State, and with two giveaways or more seven times on the year.

Pass rush, pass rush, pass rush. The Badgers don’t allow too many sacks – just 20 on the year – but they’re about to get hit with the speed and ferocity of the Miami sack machine from the start. The Canes cranked up 43 sacks on the year with four or more in eight games.

Generate any pressure on UW QB Alex Hornibrook, and he’ll eventually make mistakes. Make mistakes against Miami, and the turnover chain comes out. If Wisconsin has to throw to win, there’s going to be a big, big problem, and …

Miami is strong against the run. Being able to get behind the line helps – the Canes registered a ridiculous 105 tackles for loss – and didn’t give up 200 rushing yards in any of the last six games.

Virginia Tech was shut down, Notre Dame came up with just 109 yards, and Clemson ran 41 times for just 77 yards in the ACC Championship. Granted, the Tigers scored four rushing touchdowns, but getting the ground attack going was a problem. The Miami linebackers are goo good to get gouged.

You’ve Read This Far, So You Get Three Honest Thoughts On The Capital One Orange Bowl

– Wisconsin needed this more than Miami. The Hurricanes are on the way up under Richt, with this becoming the hot program again that’s fun, dangerous, and very, very good. Wisconsin is what it is. It has its formula, and it’s not going to change.

However, if you’re hoping to see the Badgers tweak and improve a bit to get to that next level, it wouldn’t be a horrible thing to lose this. Win, and the season truly becomes special, even if it’s a wee bit bittersweet.

Malik Rosier needs to have a big game. Considering the Miami offense is so mediocre, the pressure is on Rosier to do a little bit more. He had an okay year, but he wasn’t accurate enough and he threw too many picks. If he’s bad, it’s going to be a nasty quarterback competition this offseason. If he’s fantastic against this defense, he’ll be tough to knock out of the No. 1 spot.

Just how much will playing in Miami matter? The Hurricanes are going through all of the normal bowl stuff, but they’re at home – it’s not like they’re dealing with the trappings of most bowl games. Will the home crowd be there? Will Badger Nation represent enough to offset the advantage?

Super. So Who’s Going To Win The Capital One Orange Bowl?

The Wisconsin defense will be too much for the Miami offense.

Don’t expect anything flashy from the Badgers. Punts aren’t going to be a bad thing, field position will be a big deal, and the D will match Miami’s production possession after possession.

Ball control will mean everything for Wisconsin. Hornibrook will give up one big pick, but the UW O line will take over with power and toughness, controlling the clock and the game in the second half. Miami won’t have the firepower to bust loose.

Final Score

Wisconsin 26, Miami 17
More Bowl Info & Get Tickets


Wisconsin -4.5, o/u: 45

ATS Confidence: 3
5: Being in the bar already
0: Watching ball drop … and then trying to get into the bar

Must See Rating: 4.5
5: New Year’s Eve: Ministry of Sound, Defected London NYE
0: New Year’s Eve with Maroon 5, Las Vegas

Orange Bowl History, Results

Dec. 30, 2016 Florida State 33, Michigan 32
Dec. 31, 2015 Clemson 37 Oklahoma 17
Dec. 31, 2014 Georgia Tech 49 Mississippi State 34
Jan. 3, 2014 Clemson 40 Ohio State 35
Jan. 1, 2013 Florida State 31 Northern Illinois 10
Jan. 4, 2012 West Virginia 70 Clemson 33
Jan. 3, 2011 Stanford 40 Virginia Tech 12
Jan. 5, 2010 Iowa 24 Georgia Tech 14
Jan. 1, 2009 Virginia Tech 20 Cincinnati 7
Jan. 3, 2008 Kansas 24 Virginia Tech 21
Jan. 2, 2007 Louisville 24 Wake Forest 13
Jan. 2, 2006 Penn State 26 Florida State 23 (3 OT)
Jan. 4, 2005 USC 55 Oklahoma 19
Jan. 1, 2004 Miami 16 Florida State 14
Jan. 2, 2003 USC 38 Iowa 17
Jan. 2, 2002 Florida 56 Maryland 23
Jan. 3, 2001 Oklahoma 13 Florida State 2
Jan. 1, 2000 Michigan 35 Alabama 34 (OT)
Jan. 2, 1999 Florida 31 Syracuse 0
Jan. 2, 1998 Nebraska 42 Tennessee 17
Dec. 31, 1996 Nebraska 41 Virginia Tech 21
Jan. 1, 1996 Florida State 31 Notre Dame 26
Jan. 2, 1995 Nebraska 24 Miami 17
Jan. 1, 1994 Florida State 18 Nebraska 16
Jan. 1, 1993 Florida State 27 Nebraska 14
Jan. 1, 1992 Miami 22 Nebraska 0
Jan. 1, 1991 Colorado 10 Notre Dame 9
Jan. 1, 1990 Notre Dame 21 Colorado 6
Jan. 2, 1989 Miami 23 Nebraska 3
Jan. 1, 1988 Miami 20 Oklahoma 14
Jan. 1, 1987 Oklahoma 42 Arkansas 8
Jan. 1, 1986 Oklahoma 25 Penn State 10
Jan. 1, 1985 Washington 28 Oklahoma 17
Jan. 2, 1984 Miami 31 Nebraska 30
Jan. 1, 1983 Nebraska 21 LSU 20
Jan. 1, 1982 Clemson 22 Nebraska 15
Jan. 1, 1981 Oklahoma 18 Florida State 17
Jan. 1, 1980 Oklahoma 24 Florida State 7
Jan. 1, 1979 Oklahoma 31 Nebraska 24
Jan. 2, 1978 Arkansas 31 Oklahoma 0
Jan. 1, 1977 Ohio State 27 Colorado 10
Jan. 1, 1976 Oklahoma 14 Michigan 6
Jan. 1, 1975 Notre Mae 13 Alabama 11
Jan. 1, 1974 Penn State 16 LSU 9
Jan. 1, 1973 Nebraska 40 Notre Dame 6
Jan. 1, 1972 Nebraska 38 Alabama 6
Jan. 1, 1971 Nebraska 17 LSU 12
Jan. 1, 1970 Penn State 10 Missouri 3
Jan. 1, 1969 Penn State 15 Kansas 14
Jan. 1, 1968 Oklahoma 26 Tennessee 24
Jan. 2, 1967 Florida 27 Georgia Tech 12
Jan. 1, 1966 Alabama 39 Nebraska 28
Jan. 1, 1965 Texas 21 Alabama 17
Jan. 1, 1964 Nebraska 13 Auburn 7
Jan. 1, 1963 Alabama 17 Oklahoma 0
Jan. 1, 1962 LSU 25 Colorado 7
Jan. 2, 1961 Missouri 21 Navy 14
Jan. 1, 1960 Georgia 14 Missouri 0
Jan. 1, 1959 Oklahoma 21 Syracuse 6
Jan. 1, 1958 Oklahoma 48 Duke 21
Jan. 1, 1957 Colorado 27 Clemson 21
Jan. 2, 1956 Oklahoma 20 Maryland 6
Jan. 1, 1955 Duke 34 Nebraska 7
Jan. 1, 1954 Oklahoma 7 Maryland 0
Jan. 1, 1953 Alabama 61 Syracuse 6
Jan. 1, 1952 Georgia Tech 17 Baylor 14
Jan. 1, 1951 Clemson 15 Miami 14
Jan. 2, 1950 Santa Clara 21 Kentucky 13
Jan. 1, 1949 Texas 41 Georgia 28
Jan. 1, 1948 Georgia Tech 20 Kansas 14
Jan. 1, 1947 Rice 8 Tennessee 0
Jan. 1, 1946 Miami 13 Holy Cross (MA) 6
Jan. 1, 1945 Tulsa 26 Georgia Tech 12
Jan. 1, 1944 LSU 19 Texas A&M 14
Jan. 1, 1943 Alabama 37 Boston College 21
Jan. 1, 1942 Georgia 40 TCU 26
Jan. 1, 1941 Mississippi State 14 Georgetown 7
Jan. 1, 1940 Georgia Tech 21 Missouri 7
Jan. 2, 1939 Tennessee 17 Oklahoma 0
Jan. 1, 1938 Auburn 6 Michigan State 0
Jan. 1, 1937 Duquesne 13 Mississippi 12
Jan. 1, 1936 Catholic 20 Mississippi 19
Jan. 1, 1935 Bucknell 26 Miami 0

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