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Bowl breakdown No. 2: When Wisconsin has the ball

This is the second in a series of stories breaking down the 2009 Champs Sports Bowl between No. 14 Miami and No. 25 Wisconsin, which will be played Tuesday night at 7 p.m. CT.

Wisconsin Offense

Perhaps the closest thing to a pro-style offense as there is in college football, the Badgers put up an impressive 32.8 points per game this season. After a season in which Wisconsin completed a pass as often as Tiger Woods passed on a woman, UW found stability behind quarterback Scott Tolzien and now runs an incredibly balanced offense than includes Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year John Clay. The Badgers averaged 206.7 yards per game in the air and 209.2 yards per game on the ground.

But if you are looking for a red flag then look at what Wisconsin did against Ohio State and Iowa, the two best teams UW faced this season. The Badgers only scored one offensive touchdown in back-to-back losses and didn't score a point after taking a 10-0 lead on the Hawkeyes in the first half.

That was five games ago, however, and the offense has put up at least 31 points in every game since. In two games after bye weeks, UW scored 37 points against Purdue and 51 points against Hawaii.

Miami Defense

This Hurricanes defense has been improving every week and hasn't given up more than one offensive touchdown in any of its final four games. In addition, Miami hasn't allowed a rushing touchdown in its last three games. That should be an alarming statistic for John Clay.

Still, this is a group that really struggled early in the year and gave up 555 total yards to Wake Forest just five games ago. They were really banged up in September and October, but have gotten much healthier. This is a Top 30 defense that is only allowing 22.3 points per game, which is remarkably similar to Wisconsin's defense that allows 22.4 points per game.

Linebackers Colin McCarthy and Darryl Sharpton earned second-team All-ACC honors and are two guys UW offensive coordinator will be concerned about.

Who has the edge?

The Badgers haven't seen a defense this good since October 17 when it played Iowa, but Miami's defense is definitely not as good as the Hawkeyes' group. Still, games against Purdue, Indiana, Michigan, Northwestern and Hawaii don't exactly prepare you for what the UW offense is going to see Tuesday night in Orlando.

The good news is that Chryst's game plans after UW's two bye weeks have been nearly flawless. Wisconsin jumped out to an early lead against Purdue and never looked back in a 37-0 shutout. The same thing happened against Hawaii when UW won 51-10. In both of those games, Clay got the carry on almost every play of the first drive. Expect something similar Tuesday against the Hurricanes.

The key is trying to figure out how good Miami is against the run. It's impressive that they haven't allowed a rushing touchdown in three games, but this is still a team that allowed 118 rushing yards per game this season. So can Clay get to 100 yards? That's the key for Wisconsin. Clay failed to go over 100 yards in each of UW's three losses.

The Verdict: Even. The difference between now and October (when UW's offense shut down against Ohio State and Iowa) is the emergence and consistency of wide receiver Nick Toon. If Miami slows down Clay, UW has a reliable passing game with Tolzien and Toon.