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Recap: ‘Canes Pummelled in Pinstripe Bowl

Miami took on a familiar bowl-season foe in Wisconsin, this time in the Pinstripe Bowl — the result was far from revenge.

NCAA Football: Pinstripe Bowl-Wisconsin vs Miami Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

The ‘Canes stumbled out of the gate per usual as Bubba Baxa’s kickoff sailed out of bounds. Wisconsin, led by superb running back Jonathan Taylor, would take advantage of the gift, running the ball with ease and finding the end zone on a 35-yard pass on the opening drive.

After the quick Badger touchdown, Miami had their first chance with the ball. The drive would last just one play as Malik Rosier restated why he isn’t a ‘Miami-caliber’ quarterback. The horrendous interception gave the Badgers the ball at Miami’s 7-yard line. Wisconsin quickly took advantage of the field position, extending the lead to 14.

Miami’s ensuing drive would find some daylight, reaching midfield — but still resulted in a punt.

Wisconsin quickly drove the ball into Miami territory again until an interception by Senior Jaquan Johnson stopped the bleeding. Miami would cash-in on the turnover, fueled by a 62-yard scamper by Malik Rosier. The rush would set up a 33-yard field goal by Bubba Baxa, leading to a 14-3 score at the end of the first quarter.

Miami received a rare gift as Wisconsin missed a field goal on the first drive of the second quarter. However, instead of finding a creative way to generate points, Miami’s offense was conservative and went 3-and-out. The ‘Cane defense would hold again, but the momentum would flip sides.

Malik Rosier’s second interception — arguably worse than the first — killed another opportunity for Miami. Once again, Miami’s better half bailed the offense out — holding Wisconsin to a tough field goal attempt, resulting in their second miss of the night. The following drive was no different for the ‘Canes sadly, as a rare fumble from Travis Homer squandered another chance for the struggling Miami offense.

14-3 was the score at the end of the first half — in a game that Miami would consider themselves lucky to be in.

Rosier completed his first pass of the night to a wide receiver on the opening drive of the second half. While the drive reached midfield, Miami was still forced to punt the ball away.

Wisconsin’s offense was held following the punt, but it was apparent that both offenses were battling the ‘Cane defense as Malik Rosier threw his third interception. The levee eventually broke, as Wisconsin was able to get points off the turnover — the first points since the opening quarter.

The ‘suspended’ N’Kosi Perry would enter the game for Malik Rosier but performed just as poor, throwing a horrid interception on his second drive of the game. Wisconsin turned a takeaway into points yet again, pushing the score to 28-3. Regardless of the result, it’s mind blowing to see the regression that both of Miami’s ‘starting’ quarterbacks have had. Screen passes, swing routes, etc., are impossible for N’Kosi Perry and Malik Rosier. Mark Richt’s playcalling deserves flak and criticism, but this game is proof that neither Perry or Rosier are ‘Miami-caliber.’

Wisconsin rubbed dirt in the wound — pounding-in another touchdown with 8 seconds left in the game. The score was 35-3 as the final seconds ran off the clock.

Miami now enters an offseason of uncertainty — already plagued by decommits and departures. Winning the Pinstripe Bowl would have given Miami useful momentum, but it instead added to the season’s disappointment and heartbreak.