MIAMI — Quarterback Alex Hornibrook tossed four touchdowns as Wisconsin beat Miami 34-24 in the Orange Bowl.
Play of the Game
Wisconsin was in trouble. Trailing 14-3 at the start of the second quarter, Miami had a chance to go up three scores. Outside linebacker Andrew Van Ginkel had other plans. Hurricanes quarterback Malik Rosier tried to throw a little quick screen and the Badgers’ junior stepped in the way and made the athletic interception.
The play proved to be the turning point in the game. Wisconsin would score 21 unanswered and didn’t trail again.
Offense: Alex Hornibrook
He received plenty of criticism this season, but the quarterback was fantastic most of the night. He threw four touchdowns, trusting his receivers in one-on-one coverage and they came through for him.
On the biggest drive of the season — after Miami had cut Wisconsin’s lead to 27-24 early in the fourth quarter — the sophomore led an 8-play, 75-yard drive that he finished off with a 6-yard scoring toss to Danny Davis. Hornibrook went 6-of-6 with five first downs and the touchdown.
It was an absolute must for Wisconsin to put together a drive and Hornibrook delivered his best of the season.
Defense: Andrew Van Ginkel
Van Ginkel was responsible for the biggest defensive play of the game — his second quarter interception — but he was big at other points as well. He finished with three tackles, including a sack, and nearly had another interception in the fourth quarter.
Wisconsin has rarely gone the junior college route in recruiting, but Van Ginkel ended up being an absolute steal. He’ll be one of the Badgers most important players in 2018.
Special Teams: Rafael Gaglianone
As he did all season, the Wisconsin kicker was money. He drilled a pair of kicks, including a 47-yarder. The junior finished the season 16-of-18 on the season and now sits just five field goals short of the most in school history.
Videos of the game
Much was made of the “turnover chain” Miami breaks out every time they force a turnover and they had a chance to use it once on Saturday night. But the Badgers had their own celebration with a chain and they got to use it a lot of more than the Hurricanes. Like on every one of their four touchdowns.
If that wasn’t clear enough as to how they felt about the turnover chain, then the video that caught Paul Chryst’s comments on it definitely should.
In their own words
“It’s awesome. That’s a record. No one has done that. That is something we all have to be proud of, and we are. Winning 13 games in a season is not easy.”
— LT Michael Deiter on Wisconsin winning a school-record 13 games
— Wisconsin CB Derrick Tindal on the feeling of winning the Orange Bowl in his hometown
In Case You Missed It
— Running back Jonathan Taylor finished with 133 yards on the night and 1,926 yards for the season. The latter mark set the record for the most yards by a freshman in FBS history.
— Outside linebacker Leon Jacobs played his 59th career game — the most in NCAA history
— Cornerback Nick Nelson announced after the game he will forego his senior season and enter the NFL Draft.
— Offensive lineman Beau Benzschawel told reporters he will return for his senior year.
— Offensive lineman Michael Deiter and linebacker T.J. Edwards told reporters they haven’t decided whether they will return or leave for the NFL.
— Miami coach Mark Richt was flagged for contacting an official late in the first half. He was apparently upset over a non-call on the Badgers.
Inside the Numbers
13 — That’s the number of wins the Badgers had this season — the most in school history.
3 — That’s the number of touchdown catches for freshman wide receiver Danny Davis — the first player to record multiple touchdowns in a bowl game for the Badgers.
25 — That’s the number of touchdowns Alex Hornibrook threw this year — the second-most in school history.