Halftime Analysis: Wisconsin 14, Miami 3

Halftime Analysis: Wisconsin 14, Miami 3

Football

Halftime Analysis: Wisconsin 14, Miami 3

A fast start made the difference for the University of Wisconsin, as the Badgers’ two touchdowns in the first 3 minutes, 30 seconds give them a 14-3 halftime lead over Miami in the 2018 Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium in New York.

In a matchup of two underwhelming teams in 2018, it was fair to wonder which sideline would be more motivated at the start. It didn’t take long to find the answer.

Given good field position following Miami’s opening kickoff going out of bounds, Wisconsin went 65 yards in six plays with Kendric Pryor scoring a 35-yard touchdown on a third-and-9 completion from quarterback Jack Coan, playing in his fifth game this year.

It was the second-quickest score all season for the Badgers, and they weren’t done.

Picking off Malik Rosier three times in last year’s Orange Bowl, Wisconsin didn’t wait to attack the Miami quarterback again, as Eric Burrell stepped in front of Rosier’s first pass and returned the interception to the Miami 7.

One play later, Wisconsin led 14-0 thanks to Jonathan Taylor’s 7-yard run. It was only the second time the Badgers scored 14 points in the first quarter.

But as has been the case all season, the Badgers couldn’t sustain momentum. Wisconsin was poised to add more points to its total, but Coan underthrew a throwaway pass that Miami safety JaQuan Johnson intercepted at his own 8. On the next play, Malik Rosier’s quarterback keeper went 62 yards down to the UW 30, setting up a Hurricanes field goal.

Senior Rafael Gaglianone had a pair of chances to tack on points for the Badgers but kept hitting foul balls, badly missing a 41-yard kick wide left and leaving a 39-yard attempt out wide right. UW’s all-time field goal leader has missed a field goal on three straight games.

Already knowing it would be playing without starting quarterback Alex Hornibrook and inside linebacker Ryan Connelly, the Badgers announced prior to the game that starting right tackle David Edwards, strong safety D’Cota Dixon and defensive end Kayden Lyles would also be out, along with reserve cornerback Madison Cone.

The backups helped make up for their absence, as Coan completed 5-for-9 passes for 66 yards, one touchdown and one interception and inside linebacker Chris Orr intercepted his first pass of the season late in the second quarter. UW held the Hurricanes to 127 yards in the first half and forced three turnovers but only cashed them in with seven points off the Taylor touchdown.

Taylor has 107 yards on 17 carries, matching Melvin Gordon (2014) for the most in a season by a Badger. His first half also put him over 4,000 career yards, only the sixth UW tailback to reach that milestone.

Miami will start the second half with the ball.

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