The 2018 season did not go as planned for the Miami Hurricanes as they went 7-5 on the season and suffered their third four game losing streak in the Mark Richt era. The inconsistency at the quarterback position was the main reason for the team’s struggle on offense as both Malik Rosier and N’Kosi Perry have struggled with inaccuracy on their throws as neither quarterback has completed 100 passes on the season.
The lack of completions is not all on the quarterbacks as the Hurricanes have dropped 40 passes this season, a number far too high for a team to compete with the elite teams in the country. Perry led the team with 1,089 yards and 13 touchdowns, but might be suspended for the game due to an inappropriate post on social media. Rosier has not played since the Duke game and has only thrown six touchdowns this season. Freshman Jarren Williams is considered the team’s most accurate quarterback, but has only played in one game this season and is unlikely to start the Pinstripe against Wisconsin.
The Badgers have a good pass defense as they are 38th in the nation in yards allowed at 200.8 yards per game with linebacker TJ Edwards leading the Badger defense. The Hurricanes boast the nation’s top passing defense as they allow 140.8 yards per game and their stifling defense will cause problems for sophomore Jack Coan, who is starting in place of the injured Alex Hornibrook.
A.J. Taylor leads Wisconsin in receiving yards with 508, but he will have his work cut for him against Miami’s cornerback trio of Trajan Bandy, Michael Jackson and Jhavonte Dean. They have allowed only 37 receptions for 549 yards and two touchdowns with six interceptions, while the Hurricanes have allowed only 10 passing touchdowns this season. Wisconsin will run the football with 2018 Doak Walker Award winner Jonathan Taylor who leads college football with 1,989 yards.
Taylor has run for at least 100 yards in every game but one and ripped off 321 yards with three touchdowns against Purdue. The Hurricanes will have their work cut out for them as 2nd team All-American Gerald Willis III will miss the Pinstripe Bowl with a hand injury. Defensive ends Joe Jackson and Jonathan Garvin have been wrecking crews off the edge this season and they will need to be disruptive against Wisconsin to have any success against Taylor.
Linebackers Shaquille Quarterman and Michael Pinckney have been solid all season and they will need to be on point against a good Wisconsin ground game. Safeties Jaquan Johnson and Sheldrick Redwine have been playmakers throughout the season and they will need to make plays for Miami to win the game.
The Hurricanes have a good running back duo in Travis Homer and DeeJay Dallas as they have ran for 1,578 yards and 10 touchdowns in 2018. Homer is 31 yards away from 1,000 and has shown good vision and speed this season. Dallas is a powerful back that has the ability to run through contact. Freshman Cam’Ron Davis has come on late in the season and provides them with a third back capable of handling the load.
Lawrence Cager leads the team with six receiving touchdowns, but has dropped nine passes this season and needs to be consistent at the point of attack. Tight end Brevin Jordan has battled injuries this season, but he is a mismatch for safeties and linebackers when in the lineup.
The Pinstripe Bowl is Manny Diaz’s last game at defensive coordinator as he is Temple’s new head coach and is a rematch of last year’s Orange Bowl. Wisconsin won 34-24 last year, but Miami will get its revenge this season as the Hurricanes will find a way to slow down Taylor.
Prediction: Miami 21, Wisconsin 17