Bucky Badger closed out the most successful football season in more than a century of competition with a convincing 34-24 victory over the Miami Hurricanes of the Atlantic Coast Conference in the Orange Bowl. The #6 ranked Badgers finished with a best ever 13-1 record, while the #10 ‘Canes finished 10-3, dropping their final three games after winning the first 10.
Third-year Coach Paul Chryst’s Badgers survived a sluggish start which saw them trail 14-3, before reeling off 21 straight points to finish out the first half and outscoring Miami 31-10 after the initial deficit.
Surprisingly, the difference in the game was the Badgers’ passing game, led by Orange Bowl MVP QB Alex Hornibrook (23-34, 258 YDS, 4 TD, 0 INT). Freshman receiver Danny Davis had 5 catches for 56 yards and 3 TDs, while A.J. Taylor caught 8 for 105 yards and a TD.
Sensational freshman running back Jonathan Taylor rallied from an early fumble to rush for 130 yards and thereby surpass former Badger star Ron Dayne and NFL great Adrian Peterson for the best freshman running performance in major college football history. Meanwhile, the Badger defense recovered from a shaky start to intercept Hurricane QB Malik Rosier three times.
Thus, the Badgers bounced back nicely from their only defeat of the season, a six point loss to Ohio State in the Big Ten Championship Game which cost them a chance to play for the National Championship. With lots of offensive firepower returning next year, and an always stout defense, the Bucky’s football future looks bright!