Before Thursday Night’s Bowl, some fans and pundits described the 2018 Pinstripe Bowl as a “Disappointment Bowl” or “The Underachievers Bowl.” The game featured two programs — the University of Miami and the University of Wisconsin — that started 2018 ranked among the top 10 in the preseason. Both teams finished the regular season sharing identical 7-5 records. This bowl game reflected what both programs failed to accomplish in 2018, despite the great expectations each had entering the season. Winning the division and competing for a conference championship will be put over until 2019.
A 35-3 Pinstripe Bowl loss is now the tombstone on the grave of the 2018 season for the Miami Hurricanes. The program will have to bury what initially appeared to be a promising season and continue to work towards fixing the issues that doomed them this season. However, losing to the Badgers for a consecutive bowl year is very disheartening regardless. The only positive that can come from this would be change — especially when it comes to scheme on one side of the ball.
Once again, the middle linebacker roamed all over the defensive formation to be the nightmare of the Badgers’ offense this evening. Whether coming up from his spot in the heart of the defense to stop the run, putting pressure on Wisconsin’s QB or rushing from the edge of the defensive formation, Shaquille Quarterman was a presence on every play. The junior linebacker walked out of Yankee Stadium with five tackles and a TFL in a performance emblematic of the type of dominance that Canes’ fans have come to recognize from No. 55.
With DT Gerald Willis III out of the line up for tonight’s game, senior DT Tito Odenigbo filled in admirably along UM’s defensive line. Breaking through the line of scrimmage and wrestling down Wisconsin’s ball carriers in the backfield, Odenigbo was the most disruptive defensive lineman for the Canes this evening. That penetration from No. 94 led to 2.5 tackles for loss on the day. In his final performance in the Hurricane uniform, Tito tallied five tackles.
Give it up one last time for Miami’s “Franchise” player! It’ll be tough to see the Hurricanes take the field in 2019 and not see Jaquan Johnson manning the back half of the defense. No. 4’s final game in a Hurricanes uniform saw the senior tally 13 tackles and grab his second interception of the season.
LB Michael Pinckney, or Mr. Pinckney to his opponents, was once again on his game. The Raines High School graduate was in his elements, despite playing in them. Pinckney’s five tackles and a sack helped the Hurricanes hold off the Badgers on a few instances. Whether this answers the question of if he stays or goes is anyone’s guess, but No. 56’s performance showcased his value to this defense.
IT’S ALWAYS ABOU THE U!