Wisconsin football takes on the Miami Hurricanes in the Orange Bowl on December 30th. We want the Badgers to be ready for everything Miami so we look at the Canes QB play.
This season, redshirt junior Malik Rosier emerged as the Miami Hurricane’s preferred QB. He won the starting job in “fall camp” according to his Miami bio.
He played six games in his redshirt freshman season and three in his sophomore year. But this season he started all 12 games.
For the 2017 season, Rosier was 212/388 (54.6 percent) passing for 2,908 yards. He also ran 122 times for 427 times adding five rushing touchdowns. Impressively, he tossed 25 TDs against just 11 INTs.
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He is 6-feet-1-inches tall and a solid 216 pounds. The dual-threat nature poses an additional test for Wisconsin football.
His running ability means Wisconsin’s pass rushers have to be disciplined in their approach. They can’t let Rosier break contain and get to the edge. For pressure up the middle they want to keep him hemmed in the pocket and not allow any creases for him to escape.
Mobile QBs can be especially dangerous against man coverage looks. Rosier will see Wisconsin defenders back’s turned and know he can take off.
For Miami’s ground game, that means the Hurricanes can use package plays off zone read and QB movement (draws, roll outs, bootlegs, etc.) to keep the Badgers guessing. Again, the key for Wisconsin’s defense is to spy him and force him to stay in the pocket.
As evidenced by his completion percentage, he isn’t likely to burn the Badgers if they make him a pocket passer. Rosier had his rough patches during Miami’s last two games, both losses. In fact, he was even momentarily benched in a just a strange sequence in its final regular season game.
With 9:53 left in the fourth quarter, the (then) #2 Miami was down 17-7 to unranked Pittsburgh. Somewhat bizarrely, the Hurricanes put in its back up QB Evan Shirreffs.
He threw two incomplete passes and took a sack. The Panthers scored a touchdown on its next possession effectively ending the game and handing the Hurricanes a bad L.
Frankly, neither QB is likely to win the Orange Bowl with their arm. For Wisconsin, converting Rosier into a rigid pocket passer is big advantage Badgers. If he can’t use his legs to make plays he probably won’t be able to sustain scoring drives against Wisconsin.