Miami Hurricanes key to winning Pinstripe Bowl is stop Wisconsin run

MIAMI GARDENS, FL - DECEMBER 30: Jonathan Taylor
MIAMI GARDENS, FL - DECEMBER 30: Jonathan Taylor /
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The Wisconsin Badgers, like the Miami Hurricanes, have had the majority of their offensive success in their running game. Stopping Wisconsin on the ground would be a huge win for the Miami defense.

Wisconsin running back Jonathan Taylor was the best running back in the country this season. Taylor led the nation in rushing with 165.75 yards per game. Stopping Taylor and the Badgers on the ground will be an essential part of the Miami Hurricanes game plan on Thursday afternoon in the Pinstripe Bowl.

Taylor averages nearly 20 more rushing per game than Memphis’ Darrell Henderson who was second in the nation in rushing yards per game in 2018. Taylor has an astounding 39.4 percent of the Badgers yards from scrimmage in 2018.

Forcing Wisconsin into third and long against the Miami Hurricanes top-ranked passing and third-down defense could be the key to the game. The Hurricanes have a formidable defense against the run. Miami is much more susceptible to teams that can run the football this season than good passing attacks.

Three teams ran the ball for over 200 yards against Miami this season and four teams averaged more than four yards per carry. North Carolina thrashed the Hurricanes run defense for 215 yards and a season-best 5.4 YPC against the Miami defense. The Tar Heels were done in by six turnovers, including three defensive touchdowns.

Georgia Tech ran for a season-high 231 yards on 53 carries and two touchdowns in their November victory against Miami. The most impressive offensive performance this season against Miami was by Boston College. The Eagles ran for 223 yards and two touchdowns and added 210 more yards through the air and another touchdown.

Boston College ran all over the Hurricanes using a more traditional offense than the recently retired Paul Johnson triple-option at Georgia Tech. Eagles running back A.J. Dillon can take games over much like Taylor can for Wisconsin.