The Miami Hurricanes are going bowling and it’s not going to be where most people expected. Instead of staying in state for the Gator Bowl in Jacksonville, Miami will head up to New York later this month for an Orange Bowl rematch with the Wisconsin Badgers in the Pinstripe Bowl.
The trip to the Bronx will present a challenge for a number of reasons and the Eye on the U podcast this week breaks down the the story lines which immediately pop off the page. Of course, the rematch is a huge one, but so is the battle in the trenches. The Hurricanes (7-5, 4-4 Atlantic Coast) boast one of the best defensive lines in the country and Wisconsin has one of the nation’s top offensive lines. Will Miami be able to slow down Badgers running back Jonathan Taylor, who led the country in rushing yards in a likely All-American campaign?
Most importantly, the bowl game means extra practices and an extra reference point to evaluate this young offense. Quarterback N’Kosi Perry will get a shot against a team which began the season ranked in the top five and so should some of the Hurricanes’ unproven freshman skill-position players. Might wide receivers Mark Pope and Marquez Ezzard get more opportunities at Yankee Stadium?
And, of course, there’s Jarren Williams. The quarterback hasn’t played since a September blowout of the FCS Savannah State Tigers. The next couple weeks could be critical to the freshman’s development even if he doesn’t actually see the field in the bowl game.
David Wilson and Susan Miller Degnan break it all down on the Eye on the U podcast.