It was a cold night in Orlando, Fla. — a place where 50 degrees on a Dec. 29 night is chilly.
While the Miami Hurricanes’ players could be seen foolishly shivering and huddling around heaters on the sidelines, Wisconsin wasn’t bothered one bit.
Miami’s incredible speed looked to be slowed by the cold, but the Badgers just ran all over the Hurricanes in the Champs Sports Bowl. John Clay, who was named game MVP by the media, rushed for 121 yards and two touchdowns on 22 carries.
Though Clay scored both UW touchdowns, the Wisconsin passing attack was incredibly effective as well. Quarterback Scott Tolzien threw for 260 yards on 19-of-26 passing with one interception. His primary targets were tight ends Lance Kendricks and Garrett Graham, who combined for 205 receiving yards on 13 catches.
Most impressive, though, was how silly the Badgers made Miami quarterback Jacory Harris look. Harris was just 16-for-29 for 188 yards with a touchdown and five sacks — three of which were courtesy of defensive ends O’Brien Schofield and J.J. Watt.
All told, the Badgers dominated the Hurricanes at the Champs Sports Bowl, despite winning by just six points. It was a great moment because it was a validation of the Wisconsin football program.
“This makes a big statement,” Watt said. “It was prime time television; a lot of people were watching and we’re really excited about the statement we sent today. Wisconsin football is back to where it belongs — Wisconsin football is power football, tough football and it’s going to be a tough team to beat.”