Quarterback play was big difference in Miami Hurricanes Orange Bowl loss


During the Miami Hurricanes, four straight October wins quarterback Malik Rosier repeatedly came up clutch late in games to lead his team to victories. Late in the year, Rosier’s troubles with accuracy had a negative impact on the Miami offense.

The Orange Bowl loss was the sixth time this season that Rosier’s completion percentage was sub 50 percent. His 42.3 percent completion percentage against Wisconsin was his second lowest this season. The Miami Hurricanes signal caller also had one touchdown pass to three interceptions.

Rosier’s counterpart Alex Hornibrook struggled with interceptions throughout the season. Against the Miami Hurricanes, he was 23 of 34 for 258 yards and four touchdowns without an interception. He also took just one sack.

After forcing a fumble from Wisconsin super Freshman Jonathan Taylor on the first drive the turnover chain would not make another appearance on the night. Wisconsin had been prone to turnovers all season, but Miami was not able to force turnovers at their usual rate.

The Wisconsin receivers also stepped up in the Orange Bowl. Danny Davis caught five passes for 56 yards and three touchdowns. He entered the game with 21 receptions for 362 yards and two touchdowns. A.J. Taylor led Wisconsin with eight receptions for 105 yards and a touchdown.

Hornibrook had arguably his best game of the season despite missing their best wide receiver Quintez Cephus and All-American tight end Troy Fumagalli catching just three passes for 31 yards.

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  • Rosier was able to hit on several big plays. Despite completing just 11 of 26 passes, The Hurricanes signal caller did throw for 203 yards. That was often how the Miami Hurricanes offense operated this season.

    Rosier’s inconsistency left too many completions on the field this season. A more accurate quarterback might have made the difference in the ten point losses to Pittsburgh and Wisconsin. Last year Rosier was told in order to earn the starting job he was going to have to become proficient at taking care of the ball. With 25 touchdowns to 11 interceptions, he did that.

    His lack of accuracy hindered the Miami Hurricanes offense all season. The reports on Fresham quarterback N’Kosi Perry in training camp was that he was having issues with accuracy and ball control. Whoever earns the starting quarterback job for 2018 is going to have to do a better job being accurate throwing the football.

    Another difference in the Orange Bowl was Hornibrook’s ability to consistently convert on third down. The Badgers converted seven of their 15 attempts on third down, while Miami was just two for 10. It was clearly going to be a key in the game as it is almost every game.

    Miami was 124th in the country on third down offensively entering the Orange Bowl. They had converted just 29.4 percent of the time through the loss to Clemson in the ACC Championship game.

    Conversely, Wisconsin entered third nationally converting 48.8 percent on third down. That was more often than not short yardage. All seven of the Badgers third down conversions in the game came via Hornibrook’s left arm. He was seven of ten for 85 yards and a touchdown on the penultimate down. That was ultimately the difference in the game.