Wisconsin Badger football won a hard fought victory in the 2017 Orange Bowl over the host Miami Hurricanes. So what were some of the key numbers the fueled the win?
Badger football is your 2017 Orange Bowl champion with a 24-24 win over Miami. Wisconsin made fans sweat out the victory especially after falling behind 14-3 early.
But Wisconsin corrected course and raced to a 24-14 halftime edge. But there were some important numbers that explain the Badger football win.
Turnovers were important as expected
Wisconsin was unlucky (to put it mildly) on its opening possession. Jonathan Taylor raced into field range to the Miami 30. He was correctly ruled down live but it was reversed to a fumble. That was the only Badger turnover.
Meanwhile, Miami threw a pick with the football and up 14-3. That led to a quick Wisconsin touchdown and sparked the Badgers to life.
Then in the second half, Derrick Tindal got away with a blatant hold before intercepting Miami in the end zone. Keep in mind, Bucky was up 24-21 at the time and the Hurricanes threatening to reclaim the lead.
The final Miami interception was nice but purely academic with time short and the Canes down 10.
3rd Down was critical for Wisconsin and fatal for Miami
For the game, Wisconsin was 7-15 (46.7 percent) on 3rd down. Time and again Alex Hornibrook found (or threw) open receivers to keep the chains moving. Amazingly, that total is actually just under the Badger season average of 48.8 percent.
Meanwhile, the Hurricanes were just 2/10 on 3rd down. They didn’t convert its first 3rd down until the fourth quarter. Entering the game, Wisconsin was limiting opponents to just 29.6 percent so this was better than the season average.
Time of Possession was a big Badger friend as always
Wisconsin entered the Orange Bowl #3 nationally in time of possession. They finished the game with an astounding 39:52-20:08 edge. Miami didn’t crumble at the end, so give them their due. The Badgers didn’t close things out with first downs.
But Wisconsin definitely shortened the game and kept its defense fresher. You could see Miami pass rushers start to tire as the Badger front did its work. Or held aggressively if you’re a Hurricane partisan.
That time of possession edge changes play calls and schemes and is such a useful extra weapon. It helped ice the Orange Bowl win on Saturday.