Michael Jackson’s unlikely journey from 3-star CB with few offers to one of the best corners in the nation has been a strong and silent one. To a Cornerback, one of the best compliments you can pay them is to not mention them during a game. For Jackson, that has been true for the last two seasons. When his name is mentioned? It’s because there’s a iced-out Ibis around his neck.
MJ’s 2017 season rocketed him up draft boards and solidified him as one of the best cover guys in America. A second teamer on the All-ACC list, he followed it up with another stellar campaign, even if his stats look a little different.
Halfway through last season Jackson stopped getting the ball thrown to him, proving that he had big-time playmaking ability while grabbing four interceptions and swatting down four more throws. This season, Quarterbacks haven’t bothered to target him very much, evident in the fact that Jackson has not nagged an INT this year. However, he’s still managed to deflect five passes and even upped his sack numbers from 1 to 2.5 this year.
While the national media hasn’t given the individual stars on Miami’s overall disappointing team the proper respect (honorable mention All-ACC for MJ is absurd) Jackson has proven that 2017 was no fluke; he has suffocated the best wide receivers in the ACC week after week this year.
Jackson and the rest of the secondary will get to match up against a Wisconsin team that is starting backup QB Jack Coan after starter Alex Hornibrook has had persisting symptoms from a head injury. The Badgers also lack a true no. 1 receiving threat; instead they spread the ball around to several pass catchers, including Danny Davis III and A.J. Taylor.
It will remain to be seen who Jackson will line up against for the majority of the game but, regardless of who is across from him, he will have a height and size advantage. Jackson should be able to shut down one half of the field and force Coan to try and find opportunities for passes against Miami’s linebackers and safeties against the Badger’s tight ends and runningbacks. With Jackson on one side and Trajan Bandy on the other, the Hurricanes should feel pretty confident about dominating a meager Wisconsin passing game.