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College Football Bowl Previews

Jeff Shain, OFN CFB writer
12/30/2017 12:16PM ET

WISCONSIN (12-1) VS. MIAMI (10-2)
 

Site: Hard Rock Stadium, Miami Gardens, Fla.

Kickoff: Saturday, 8 p.m. TV: ESPN.

Line: Wisconsin by 6.

All-time series: Tied 2-2.

Last meeting: Wisconsin 20, Miami 14 (2009 Champs Sports Bowl).

WISCONSIN

Coach: Paul Chryst (3rd season, 33-7; overall 6th season, 52-26).

All-time postseason: 14-14.

Last postseason appearance: Beat Western Michigan 24-16 in 2016 Cotton Bowl.

Draft spotlight: TE Troy Fumagalli. He can catch the tough balls in traffic with his balance, body control and reach, but struggles to consistently run himself open against safeties. Long but very lean, Fumagalli will need time to add bulk to his frame, as his power presence in the trenches is below average.

Other Badgers to watch: FB Austin Ramesh, DE Alec James, DE Conor Sheehy, LB Garrett Dooley, SS D’Cota Dixon.

Badger Tales: Wisconsin’s 16th consecutive bowl appearance is the longest active streak in the Big Ten and tied for 6th longest in the nation. … A bowl victory would give the Badgers their first 13-win season in school history. … The Badgers lead the nation in total defense (253.2 yards) and pass efficiency defense are No.2 in rush defense.

MIAMI

Coach: Mark Richt (2nd season, 19-6; overall 17th season, 164-57).

All-time postseason: 19-19.

Last postseason appearance: Beat West Virginia 31-14 in 2016 Russell Athletic Bowl.

Draft spotlight: DE Chad Thomas. Extremely gifted physically, he exhibits flashes of excellence interspersed with stretches of doing nothing. Might be better known for his musical production on songs for Rick Ross and DJ Khaled. Because of his great skill set, grades are going to be all over the board.

Other Hurricanes to watch: WR Braxton Berrios, OT K.C. McDermott, CB Dee Delaney, K Michael Badgley.

Hurricane Data: UM is participating in its 10th Orange Bowl, having won six of the previous nine. The most memorable, of course, was the 31-30 triumph over Nebraska that earned the 1983 national title. … Miami’s 10-win season is its first since 2003, which came two years after its last national title. … The UM defense is among the nation’s top two in sacks, TFLs, takeaways and turnover margin.

* underclass draft prospect