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Who owns the edge? UM-Wisconsin

ORLANDO -- Here is the breakdown before Tuesday night's Champs Sports Bowl at the Citrus Bowl. 

Jacory Harris QUARTERBACK
Before you dismiss the Badgers as a running team, know that Wisconsin's Scott Tolzien has a slightly higher quarterback efficiency rating (142.44) than UM's Jacory Harris (141.56). The difference here is Harris (3,164 yards, 23 TDs, 17 INTs) has had to win more games with his arm than Tolzien (2,445 yards, 16 TDs, 10 INTs) and has four fourth-quarter come-from-behind wins in two seasons. Edge: Miami

RUNNING BACKS
All-Big Ten Conference Offensive Player of the Year John Clay ran for 1,396 yards with 16 touchdowns on 265 carries to pace a Wisconsin offense that ranked 14th in the country in rushing (206 yards per game). The difference here is depth. UM averages 144 yards a game on the ground, but has three capable backs in Graig Cooper, Damien Berry and Javarris James. Ech have run for at least 150 yards in a game this season. They also haven't lost a fumble all season. Edge: Miami

RECEIVERS
Sophomore receiver Nick Toon, the son of former Jets receiver Al Toon, and All-Big Ten senior tight end Garrett Graham (45 catches, 547 yards, 7 TDs) have more catches than anybody on the Canes' roster. But what UM has that the Badgers don't is depth. Leonard Hankerson (44 catches, 773 yards, 6 TDs) has been the most consistent of the 10 UM receivers with double-digit receptions. Edge: Miami

OFFENSIVE LINE
This one really isn't close. UM has given up more sacks (30) than Wisconsin (22) and is without starting left tackle and All-ACC First Team selection Jason Fox (knee surgery). All-Big Ten selections John Moffitt and Gabe Carimi anchor the Badgers veteran offensive line. Edge: Wisconsin

O'Brien Schofield DEFENSIVE LINE
Wisconsin's O'Brien Schofield (10 sacks, 22½ tackles for loss) and UM's Allen Bailey (7 sacks, 11 tackles for loss) are all-conference first team selections and among the best in the country at creating havoc in the backfield. But collectively, the Badgers are simply better at getting to the quarterback (32 sacks) than the Hurricanes (23 sacks) who at times have let opposing passers sit comfortably and untouched for long stretches of time. Edge: Wisconsin

LINEBACKERS
The Hurricanes improved against the run this season -- moving up from 70th to 28th nationally (118.33 yards per game). Both Colin McCarthy (88 tackles, 9½ TFL) and Darryl Sharpton (91 tackles, 7 TFL) had stellar seasons while former ACC Freshman of the Year Sean Spence battled injury. But Wisconsin, led by Big Ten Freshman of the Year Chris Borland and senior Jaevery McFadden (Riviera Beach, Fla.), has the eighth-ranked run defense in the country (90.5 ypg). The Badgers also have more depth. Edge: Wisconsin

SECONDARY
All-American cornerback Brandon Harris had a stellar sophomore season for UM with 16 pass deflections and two interceptions. Wisconsin, led by free safety Chris Maragos (44 tackles, 4 INTs), have more picks (15) than the Canes (eight). But the difference here is UM gives up fewer TD passes (14) and less yardage (203 ypg) than the Badgers (220 yards, 20 TDs) on most nights. Wisconsin has given up 270 yards through the air five times season. Edge: Miami

SPECIAL TEAMS
With All-ACC First Team selection Matt Bosher it's easy to think the Hurricanes might own this category. But Wisconsin can be dangerous here. The Badgers have blocked a field goal, blocked two punts and returned them for touchdowns, and scored on a fake field goal this season. Badgers punter Brad Norman averages 42.3 yards a punt -- close to what Bosher does (42.7). But where the Canes own the edge is field goals, where Bosher (14 of 16) has been more consistent than UW's Phillip Welch (15 of 22), who does have a long of 57 yards this season. Edge: Miami

PREDICTION
This is going to be another tough, hard fought game for the Canes who are basically taking on a better version of the North Carolina Tar Heels. Wisconsin is physical and can create turnovers and loves to run the football. Sound like Carolina? The difference here is I don't think the Hurricanes will turn it over in this game. UM coach Randy Shannon said Monday he's been stressing all week about winning the turnover battle and protecting the football. I think in the end, UM makes enough stops on Clay and the Wisconsin running game to force the Badgers to throw the football more than they want to and Orlando Franklin has another great game at left tackle. I'm going with UM 34, Wisconsin 24.

Comments

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First....Thanks as always Manny

Sorry to rain on the parade. Games are won and lost in the trenches and according to Mandingo's analysis the edge goes to UW. UW 24-UM 17.

Good stuff Manny. You are spot on with the comparison of Wisc and N.Carolina. Both are very physical teams. The key will be turnovers, stopping the run and getting good O-Line play. I predict 31-13 Canes.

Nice one Manny, hiope you're right and we get 10 wins!

Not bad Manny, not bad. I think we will play a great defensive game tmrw. The defense will come out and create turnovers and play inspired, fast, and disciplined football.

My crystal balls says: Miami 35 UW 10

Nice run-down Manny. I'm going to go out on a limb and predict a rout. Miami's lightweight uniforms aren't the only thing that makes them look faster than the Badgers. They are faster. Way faster.....collectively as a team. team speed will be the difference maker in this one.

Plus, we've got Chris Hayes on our side!

Miami 44 Wisconsin 17

My gutfeeling is that the Canes smell blood. They feel that something special is about to happen next year and they go for it all on gameday. This game won't be close. Miami hangs 40 (would be 50 but Shannon respects Bielema (sp) too much to embarrass the Badgers. A score like 44-10 seems about right.

With Bill Cowher most likely heading back to the NFL is Coach Whipple one and done with the Hurricanes?

U 42 Wis 14....

Speed kills homey

Thanks, as always, Manny... keep up the good work... GO CANES!

Hmmm. Interesting scoring system Manny. Miami has had the ability to make any average opposing QB look All American. Also, if Wisconsin controls both the offensive & defensive line of scrimmage; then 34 points could be on the wrong side.

Otown Canes show up and too much speed for the Badgers.

All this talk about 10 games and being in the top 10 means they are set for an upset, because they are thinking and talking big picture. Wisconsin is not a homecoming game.

Miami has to win at the line of scrimmage. If they don't, we will be talking about how this team is not ready to make the next step.

So based on your analysis, Miami is the underdog in the key area.

Lets go Canes!

great breakdown Manny---
Take Miami with the points... and i rarely take the 'over' specially at 58 points, but i'd put my money on the over on this one..

41-21 \\

_HM_

Miami will own the edge with speed! Miami wins going away!!

Think conservative on this dog fight... and it all starts with the big uglies. Wisc has the advantage but the match breaker's are McCarthy, Sharpton and Bailey... Ohhhh I like Bailey in this one to have a great game.

The weather is in their favor... what can you say, Miami is not a cold weather team...end

They are balanced... running and passing and where is our weakest link... pass coverage.
To win, RayRay and Vaughn and CB's need a couple of big plays.

Jacory's arm is our biggest strength... if he controls his mental mistakes... we win.

Think conservative and bet the under.

Miami 42 UW 21; The UW secondary is extremely suspect, as demonstrated in their OT victory against Fresno State. Jacory has a field day and sets Champs Bowl record.

Hopefully it wont come down to coaching, if it does i dont like the "U"s chances, hopefully the canes can build a 10 to 14 point lead on there talent and take it outta the coaches hands....

Great analysis. Like others though, I don't see how you can predict a double digit win if we lose the line of scrimmage battle on both sides of the ball.

I do HOPE you are right, I just see the game turning out much closer. Should be the best bowl game of the year, and that includes the BCS snorefest title game.

I think predicting a blowout is not very wise. However, I see UM pulling it off by 7+.

This win will put us where we belong, on top of the FL college football scene.

You guys are dreaming. Remember the hype before VT?

Miami will underproduce and get creamed by a strong and consistent Wisconsin squad. Miami's defensive line has been manhandled most of the year by medicore teams. What are you guys thinking....stop being in denial. The canes are good, they are not great.....not yet.

I always fear teams that can run the ball and play defense. Expect us to be rusty in the begining, but we should be able to pull this game out.

I hope Whipple stays, we need stability with the coordinators.

Looking forward to a great game against a storied program once again on the rise. The team with the fewest turnovers wins. Go Badgers!!

Keys to the game will be stopping the run, keeping J. Harris well protected, the int's to a minimum, and strong special teams play. If the "U" can win these areas I believe Miami 30 UW 23. I will be at the game tonight and hear that it will be in the 40's at game time. Wonder if the cold will effect the receivers for the "U". Freezing my butt off will feel alot better with a UM victory. GOOOOO! CANES!

STLCane has a very good point. Canes fans should keep their heads up on the Cowher situation. He may want Whipple

Miami 35 UW 7!!!!!!!!!!!bank on it.

Lets go U 10 wins baby 2010 looks very bright not to say 2009 would really look bright for the 2009 season. My perdiction UM38/UW17

Time off helped to get healthy. Miami by 7. Whatcha know about that?

I hope I am wrong, but my gut feeling is that Miami loses a close game here. Fact, offense turns the ball over too much. Against a ball control offense, that is a fatal flaw. Also, our O-line is too porous, and D-line does not get enough pressure. Final score (it kills me to predict) Badgers 31 Canes 28

Who cares about next years opening rankings...Canes were not ranked in the beginning of this season. What matters is how you finish. (I hope my gut is wrong about how this season will end).

SOMEBODY HELP ME OUT, IF THE FIRST QUOTE IS TRUE ISN'T THE SECOND A VIOLATION?
I really don't want this to be taken as a Gaytor Troll attack, I am just curious.

"Keep in mind that this is a dead period in recruiting, so no school can talk to any kids, not even those already committed to them, but rest assured that once the dead period is over and the month of January rolls around, the chum will be in the water and the sharks will circle and then Florida will really have to ease the concerns of verbal commitments and also kids they are still pursuing," Luginbill said. "This will be a time for Florida where they will have to contend with many “negative” recruiting tactics from other schools and they already know it is coming."


IF THE TOP QUOTE IS TRUE THEN THE BOTTOM MUST BE A....


Gerald Christian, an All-American tight end who never visited another school, said Meyer called him late Saturday night and reassured him that UF was his best fit. That was enough to convince Christian, who was even more confident once Meyer announced the next day his desire to return to the sideline next season.

Here's an analysis from the Badger perspective: Canes have not played against an O or D line anything like the Badgers. UW has starting running back talent 3 or 4 deep too - Clay, Brown, Ball and Smith. Both are very young teams which could spell disaster for either.
Tollzin is not an NFL type QB but if you give him time, you're in trouble. Don't be surprised by a 17-14 Badger win. Doubt me, look up one more stat - red zone efficiency UW - 90% and UM 79%.

Not addressed here is quality of competition. Wisconsin's schedule was soft, with many wins coming against weak sisters. It's difficult to gauge how good Badgers are.

- CAT5 Cane

If UW is like UNC I can't see how that makes any Canes fan happy...

Palm Beach Post reports TE recruit Gerald Christian gets phone call from Urban Meyer on Saturday, December 26:

http://www.orlandosentinel.com/sports/recruiting/os-recruiting-florida-urban-meyer-staying-reaction,0,7895589.story

This is a dead period. Rule below comes directly from NCAA

Dead period, no contact of any kind allowed. One exception.
December 21, 2009, through January 1, 2010 [except for (a) below]:
(a) Institutional staff members may have contact with a prospective student-athlete who has been admitted for midyear enrollment, provided the prospect has signed a National Letter of Intent or other offer of admission and/or financial aid to attend the institution and is required to be on campus to attend
institutional orientation sessions for all students.

Speed Kills? -- Mabey but take a look at what WI did to a "speedy" Hawaii team -- it wasn't pretty.

I detect a lot of chickens being counted by UM players and fans...could play to UW advantage. If UM runs out of the spread, then I agree they have the edge in the running game. If they run out of normal sets, no way...will be lucky to gain 100 yards on the ground. One of UW biggest weaknesses where speed might kill is kick returns. The Badgers are AWFUL on return coverage. I don't expect UW to win, but wouldn't surprise me if they do. Don't expect UM to hang 40-50 as many here predict. Go Badgers.

From a Badger fan thats a very solid write up. The only area were I would disagree is the, suprise suprise, running back advantage to UM based on depth. While clay is the feature back he wasn't even the starter until the 4th week. Zach Brown who is now the 3rd down/string back was the starter. He ended up with 66 279 4.2 3 on the year but has run for over 250 yds in a game before (minn 07) so he has some talent. Montee Ball is the deal breaker though. As a true freshman, who set the Mizzou carrer rushing record in high school, he has gone for 83 330 4.0 4 after not playing untill the 6th week because of injury. He has also run for 115 yds in a game. Taken on top of Clay's 265 1,396 5.3 16 I don't see how UM gets the nod.

Major Recruiting Violation:
The NCAA will cite the "can't prosecute a sick coach" rule and ignore the violation.

24-17 The U will prevail. The start of the new Dynasty 2010 12-0.

If UM can tackle with the same determination and success as we did against GA Tech (the best overall game we played all year) UM wins by at least 10 points. FUNDAMENTALS, boys FUNDAMENTALS.
If we're way ahead, Randy MUST keep the pedal down. A 20 point win will look better NEXT year.

lets remember how many NW bulls are on this team and we all know what happens when bulls see red....

GO CANES!

38-17

SPEED KILLS. SK SOUTH LAKE CARROL. I JUST FEEL THE UM JAS SIMPLY TO M UCH SPEED AND IF THEY USE IT PROPERLY AND BELIEVE ME THEY WILL. THEY SHOULD WIN THIS GAME. MIAMI HAS ONE OF THE FASTEST AND MOST TALENTED GROUP OF RECIEVERS IN THE NATION. PSALMS 4

You can have the fastest team in the world and it's of no benefit if you don't have the ball. Us stopping UW's run is the real key to this game. If they play successful ball control we are doomed.

And the winner is.........specialk, had it almost perfect!

It is all about the W; despite the horrible calls by the zebras; and a few blubs by the Badgers; they showed they were the better team on the field tonight. Good game right down to the wire.

Obviously hometown fans and writers like to favor their team. But the analysis, Badgers average 206 yards on ground vs. 140 for miami and you say Miami has better running backs?

We need to to revamp that O Line completely or next year will be another miserable year. Regradles our O Line deficiencies I think we were out-coached big time. And please get a decent QB for next year.

What speed? Go Bucky!!!

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