In a dominant effort on both sides of the ball, the Wisconsin Badgers defeated Miami 35-3 at Yankee Stadium during the 2018 Pinstripe Bowl.
Officials gave MVP honors to sophomore running back Jonathan Taylor, who rushed for 205 yards on 27 carries with a touchdown. The defense forced five turnovers and made the Hurricanes’ offense look foolish.
Our group of writers assembled on our Slack channel early Friday afternoon, less than 24 hours after Wisconsin’s win, to discuss the good, the bad, and what it all means. Here’s the full transcript, lightly edited for your viewing pleasure.
Jake Kocorowski: Alright welcome to the last regular season edition of the B5Q roundtable, where the points don’t count and we all get turnover chains (need to clear this with Mike).
Jon Beidelschies: I want mine with extra cheese.
Tyler Hunt: Let’s goooooo!!!
Drew Hamm: Turnover chain my fucking ass
Ryan Mellenthin: lol
THE GOOD: A lot went right on Thursday night at Yankee Stadium. Besides Jonathan Taylor, what stood out to you the most?
Jon: The secondary has grown up.
Tyler: I was so impressed with the secondary!!
Ryan: DEFENSE DEFENSE DEFENSE
Tyler: All year they were talked down on, and they showed they are going to be good with time
Neal Olson: Contrarian here since secondary was taken, but Paul Chryst working Jack Coan out of pistol and giving him some read options was a fun wrinkle. Played to Coan’s strength some being more mobile than Alex Hornibrook.
Ryan: Everyone had a nose for the ball last night and yeah, there were a couple of missteps, but they always recovered.
Drew: I love T.J. Edwards with every fiber of my being and I miss him dearly already.
Neal: That and the tight end screen the internet fanbase has been clamoring for finally showed up
Tyler: We had a jet sweep wrinkle in there to which gave me James White flashbacks
Drew: Oh man, my brother-in-law and I yelped with joy when that tight end screen happened.
Jake: Five turnovers really stymied Miami’s offense. I was worried about the Hurricanes’ rushing attack, and the early takeaways really shut down any hope for Richt’s offense. That tight end screen will be lethal in the coming years I feel.
Jon: Agree with Neal on both counts. The offense works better when there are some wrinkles to keep the defense from putting everyone, including the trainer, the water boy and the SID in the box.
Neal: Didn’t keep super close track but felt like Coan was under center less than half dozen times. For sure a deviation from regular season play calling.
Drew: It seemed like this was the game that Chryst was saving all the playcalling wrinkles for. Smart move imo since now they move on to the Sweet 16.
Ryan: If only they had multiple weeks to prepare for every game.
Neal: Great point, Drew.
Jake: You game plan for each opponent different, and with the pressure and havoc Miami created, those type of screens worked.
Neal: Question remains, is this the offense Chryst will lean toward next year if Coan is the guy? Seems he did a much better job playing to quarterback strengths
Jon: I think they tailor to whatever guy wins the job.
Drew: They should Taylor it tbqh.
Tyler: Beat me to it!
Drew: [Insert raised hands emojis here]
Jon: I think Chase Wolf ran a modified pro-set in high school with some spread looks if I remember correctly.
Jake: We’ll save the QB competition talk for next week’s end-of-the-year roundtable, and damnit Drew, that makes me go to the next question.
THE BAD: What didn’t go well on Thursday?
Jon: Special teams.
Neal: Do we need to beat the dead special teams horse?
Jon: Can we talk about special teams.
Drew: The kicking game. :(
Tyler: Yeah special teams was brutal.
Jon: That unit has issues—has there been a game in two years where it had been a plus?
Ryan: Hate to pile on, but I vote for special teams as well.
Drew: My beautiful, Brazilian son wasn’t right, and it made me sad.
Jake: I know, Drew, I know. Rafael Gaglianone missed two field goals in that first half. This senior campaign was not kind to him.
Drew: Like, neither of his field goal attempts ever looked like they were on target.
Jon: Gags and [punter Anthony] Lotti regressed this year. No return game to speak of.
Neal: I don’t want to belittle Jack Dunn, but I’m super confused how he was considered the best return man. Wasnt that dynamic with ball and struggled catching. Let the ball hit the ground a TON.
Tyler: Better than the Packers special teams tho ... ?
Jon: Rugby style punter, as someone pointed out in my grade comments.
Jake: Kickoff returns are just hard now with the fair catch and touchback rules.
Drew: To be fair, Miami’s kicking game was also terrible, so maybe Yankee Stadium is just bad for kickers. I’ve always said this.
Ryan: Yeah, their punter made it tough on Dunn.
Jon: But still, I was really worried for Dunn. He nearly got his head taken off a few times
Tyler: Dunn made me very nervous for his well being.
Drew: Yeah, I was praying for Dunn’s safety.
Neal: For sure rugby style is more challenging to handle, but put two guys back there then.
Jake: Dunn earned the coaches’ trust back there. We’ll see if guys like Kendric Pryor, Danny Davis, Cruickshank and Cade Green could usurp him in 2019. All returned punts in fall camp.
Jon: Wisconsin cannot be competitive for a Big Ten championship without plus special teams.
Neal: Agreed, Jon. If you want to run and play defense, special teams has to be a focus just as much.
Ryan: Cruickshank is dangerous. Should touch the ball way more.
Jake: We’ll see how he develops further in 2019.
Tyler: I think he’ll be a candidate to break out next year. Seems like he’s gotta get bigger tho.
Jon: Also not good (to Jake’s original question)—the offense from Coan’s pick until halftime.
Jake: Agreed, Jon, on the offense post-interception.
Ryan: Yeah, Coan’s interception was terrible. Bad decision and it caused them to bring out that damn chain ...
Jake: They had chances to put up between at least 6-14 points in my opinion. The blowout could have been worse.
Tyler: Yeah, they could have put that away way earlier.
Jake: Hey, I finished writing early anyways last night just based on the results. I was happy.
Tyler: If they went up 21-0, it was over. Miami would have wanted no part in it. Oh well though.
Neal: Also the kicking decision on 4th-and-short was disappointing for team averaging eight yards per carry
Game balls: Who deserves them?
Jon: Malik Rosier
Jake: OK, besides Jonathan Taylor.
Tyler: Haha was waiting for that.
Drew: Taylor, T.J. Edwards, Miami’s QB duo.
Tyler: The line was punishing.
Jon: ^ yes
Neal: Can we give it to [defensive coordinator/secondary coach] Jim Leonhard for his job getting this young secondary ready?
Jake: Yes absolutely Neal.
Drew: Chryst’s play calling on offense.
Ryan: Chris Orr, too. Got a chance to start once again with Ryan out and he played really well (eight tackles, one for loss, one interception).
Tyler: Yes, Orr looked very good.
Neal: Defensive backs did not look lost against what I assume to be highly ranked wide receiver.
Ryan: Should give him some momentum heading into his senior year.
Jake: Yeah, the linebackers really shined. Andrew Van Ginkel, who owns an adorable Husky btw, ended his collegiate career on a high note (eight tackles, two for loss, one sack, one forced fumble).
Drew: Miami’s star defensive tackle was injured and the Badgers started the game by cramming it right down The U’s cramhole. It was beautiful to see. More pics of Van Ginkel’s husky!
Tyler: Ugh. Gunna miss those linebackers so much.
Neal: Super happy for Orr. Sure deserves a chance to shine next season.
Ryan: Dogs > Everything
Tyler: Not having Connelly out there really hurt me.
Jake: Yeah, the inside linebacker position next year, despite the losses of Edwards and Connelly, remains extremely talented. Orr plus Jack Sanborn, Griffin Grady and Mike Maskalunas will make things interesting. Again, we’ll look at end-of-year stuff next week.
Drew: Chris Orr has been in college longer than I was.
Jon: Dr. Drew Hamm.
Drew: ::nods intelligently::
Ryan: The defense as a whole looks to be in good shape.
Neal: Dr. of Mixology Drew Hamm
Jake: Drew also holds a doctorate in Spotted Cow shade.
::Jake glares at Drew through mobile phone screen::
Ryan: How dare anyone besmirch the good name of Spotted Cow.
Drew: OMG, I can’t get into this right now.
Jon: Can I ask a question: why do we think Chryst called for the last touchdown run? To give Taiwan Deal some shine or something more nefarious?
Tyler: I think so.
Jake: Oh for sure, I think it was for Deal.
Tyler: That’s how I took it.
Drew: I don’t care! I loved it!
Tyler: Not how ESPN or Miami took it, but too damn bad.
Jake: I don’t know for sure but I mean, Deal went through so much in his time at UW.
Drew: GO FOR THREE NEXT TIME TOO!
Ryan: I’m guessing so, or he found a card in the coaches office last week that told him to.
Jon: The look on Richt’s face ...
Tyler: If Miami didn’t like it they should have used that No. 2 ranked total defense and stopped it.
Neal: Isn’t taking a knee more insulting? It is an exhibition after all, let the young men play!
Jake: I think Miami really missed defensive tackle Gerald Willis III up front.
Drew: For a school that prides itself on “swag” maybe they should have stopped the run a little better on that last drive.
Tyler: Yeah, that was glaring.
Neal: 100 percent, Tyler.
Drew: Tyler, exactly!
In your opinion, what does a bowl victory do for Wisconsin?
Drew: It puts a happy stamp on an otherwise sad and disappointing season.
Neal: Clears out the awful taste the Axe Game left.
Tyler: Mentally, gives you an advantage going into 2019. Something to build on. Forget about the bad for a little bit.
1) Gives the team something to build on.
2) Gives the fans a positive vibe leading into the offseason.
3) Gets Mark Richt fired.
Ryan: Retribution in a way. After a season that went far worse than everyone and their mother expected, it was a good way to finish the season.
Neal: I’m not sure T.J. Edwards plays in bowl game if Badgers retain the Axe.
Jake: From a team perspective, the bowl practices allows younger players to get more reps. It allows the seniors to go out the right way, which for the fifth class (five straight bowl wins!), they have accomplished.
Drew: Longest streak in the B1G!
Tyler: Pretty special group of seniors.
Neal: Five consecutive bowl wins is damn impressive.
Ryan: Very impressive.
Jake: And we saw five more fullback dives from Alec Ingold, who continued the legacy of #FullbackCity
Jon: No one mentioned it, but in the past five years Wisconsin has beaten Auburn, USC, Miami (twice) and Western Michigan in bowls. That would have been a shock 15 years ago.
Ryan: That’s quite the bowl resume.
Jake: The program has come a long way, and next week, we’ll look at the season as a whole.
Drew: Ingold rang the bell at the NYSE, and it had the largest single day gain in history. He’s a legend.