Miami football will matchup vs.Wisconsin’s Doak Walker Award Winner


Wisconsin running back Jonathan Taylor who led the nation in rushing in 2018 and burned the Miami football team for 130 yards in last year’s Orange Bowl was named the winner of the Doak Walker Award on Thursday night.

Taylor led the nation in rushing yards this season by nearly 20 yards per game. He averaged 165.75 yards per game on the ground. Taylor ran for over 100 yards this year in every game but one. In a critical game in the Big Ten West, Division Champion Northwestern held Taylor to 46 yards on 11 carries.

Taylor was the bulk of the Badgers offense this season. Wisconsin struggled through the air just like the Miami football team did. Taylor’s 2,049 yards from scrimmage this season was 39.4 percent of the Badgers total offense in 2018.

Taylor is fourth Badger overall and the third in the last seven years to be named the winner of the Doak Walker Award. Heisman Trophy Winner Ron Dayne won the Award in 1999, former NFL running back Montee Ball won 2012 and Los Angeles Charger Melvin Gordon won in 2014.

Taylor beat out Clemson’s Travis Etienne and Memphis’ Darrell Henderson to win the Walker. Henderson led the nation with 150 points this season.

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No Miami player has been honored since the Doak Walker Award was established in 1990 to honor the nation’s best running back. The biggest omission for a Hurricanes running back to not receive the Walker was Willis McGahee. McGahee finished the 2002 season with 2,108 total yards and 28 touchdowns.

Penn State’s Larry Johnson who won the Walker in 2002 had 2,436 total yards and 23 touchdowns in 2002. The Hurricanes finished the 2002 regular season undefeated and had the National Championship taken away from them in the Fiesta Bowl.

The Miami Hurricanes defense against Taylor will be one of the more intriguing matchups of the 2018 bowl season. The Hurricanes finished the regular season second in the country in total defense.

Miami is 24th against the run allowing 127.5 rushing yards per game. The Hurricanes were 11th allowing 3.27 rushing yards per carry.

"Taylor was aware of the Badgers history at running back when he spoke to ESPN after winning the Walker on Thursday night. “It means everything…The guys that have won it at my school, they’re some of the best to ever run the ball.”"

Taylor spoke earlier in the week in a video released about playing Miami two years in a row in a bowl game.

"“It’s really exciting for me personally, close to home so probably have a lot of family and friends come out but we also get to play Miami again…I’m sure they’re chomping at the bit wanting to get back at us so it should be a good one.(It) gives you a chance to prepare. Before you know we have practices and it’s just about you know getting back into it making sure that or you’re staying sharp and now it’s preparing for an opponent and we know what we need to do we’ll have assignments and we’ll be able to prepare.”"

Next. Miami football has previous bowl history at Yankee Stadium. dark

Wisconsin was able to defeat the Hurricanes on Miami’s home field in the Orange Bowl at Hard Rock Stadium last December. This year’s matchup will be at the far more neutral Yankee Stadium in New York. Taylor’s Award gives the Miami defense another motive to show the country just how good they have been in 2018.