Wisconsin RB Jonathan Taylor toughs it out

Jonathan Taylor and the Wisconsin Badgers will face Miami once again this bowl season, this time in the Pinstripe Bowl in New York on Dec. 27. 

Leader-Telegram staff

For the second-straight year, the Wisconsin Badgers football team will match up in a bowl game with the Miami Hurricanes.

This year’s version, however, is far less of a prize than the highly anticipated Orange Bowl game between a pair of top-10 teams a season ago.

With both programs coming off disappointing seasons, the Badgers and Hurricanes, both sitting at 7-5, will meet up in the Pinstripe Bowl on Dec. 27 at Yankee Stadium in New York City.

The time is set for 4:15 p.m.

Wisconsin won last year’s Orange Bowl by a score of 34-24.

On that night, Alex Hornibrook threw for 258 yards and four touchdowns, setting the table for high expectations in 2018 that he and the Badgers could contend for a spot in the College Football playoff a year later.

But that never came to be.

After two nonchalant wins over Western Kentucky and New Mexico to open the year, the Badgers were stunned at home at Sept. 15 by BYU.

While Wisconsin seemed to save itself a week later in a primetime win over Iowa at a hostile Kinnick Stadium, it never got another signature win and suffered road losses to Michigan, Northwestern and Penn State.

Rock bottom of the season came on Nov. 24 at home against a Minnesota team that had recently given up 55 points to Illinois.

Instead, the Gophers’ defense shut down the Badgers and won back Paul Bunyan’s Axe for the first time in 14 seasons, thus leaving the Badgers with a cold-weather destination instead of the Florida or California start to the new year the program has been so accustomed to as of late.

The Hurricanes have had an equally disappointing year after coming in with playoff aspirations of their own.

Miami lost to LSU to open the season and seemed to correct itself by rattling off five consecutive victories, including a 47-10 drubbing of North Carolina on Sept. 27.

But a four-game losing skid in the middle of ACC play spelled the end for the Hurricanes. The losses were agonizingly close as they fell to Virginia by 3, Boston College by 13, Duke by 8 and Georgia Tech by 6.

Miami did close its regular season on a higher not than Wisconsin as it went on to beat Virginia Tech and Pittsburgh to close out the season.

This will be the third time since 2009 that the Badgers and Hurricanes will meet in a bowl game.

On Dec. 29, 2009, Wisconsin beat Miami 20-14 in the Champs Sports Bowl in Orlando.

In that game, John Clay rushed for 121 yards on 22 carries and a pair of touchdowns to lead the Badgers, while Montee Ball added 61 yards on the ground.

Scott Tolzien outdueled Jacoby Harris at the quarterback position and threw for 260 yards.

Junior J.J. Watt had two tackles for a loss, a sack and two pass deflections.