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Orange Bowl: Alex Hornibrook, Wisconsin down Miami

By Walter Villa, The Sports Xchange
Orange Bowl: Alex Hornibrook, Wisconsin down Miami
Alex Hornibrook and Wisconsin fought past Miami in the Orange Bowl on Saturday. Photo by John Sommers II/UPI | License Photo

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. -- Alex Hornibrook passed for a career-high-tying four touchdowns to lead No. 6 Wisconsin to a 34-24 victory over No. 10 Miami on Saturday night in the Orange Bowl at Hard Rock Stadium.

Freshman Danny Davis, who had scored only twice this season entering Saturday, caught three of the touchdown passes.

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Hornibrook, a sophomore and a second-year starter who was named the Orange Bowl Most Outstanding Player, completed 23 of 34 passes for a season-best 258 yards as the Badgers (13-1) completed the first 13-win season in program history.

Miami (10-3) closed the season with three consecutive losses.

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Hurricanes quarterback Malik Rosier passed for 203 yards and one touchdown and also ran for 41 yards. But he threw three interceptions.

Rosier finished the season with a school-record 31 touchdowns (26 passing, five rushing), breaking Vinny Testaverde's record during his Heisman Trophy season of 1986.

Also setting a record was Wisconsin outside linebacker Leon Jacobs. He set an FBS record by playing in his 59th consecutive game. Badgers backup safety Joe Ferguson played in his 58th game, which ranks second on the list.

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Miami led 14-3 after the first quarter.

After a 35-yard field goal by Wisconsin's Rafael Gaglianone, Miami took a 7-3 lead on Travis Homer's five-yard touchdown run.

The Hurricanes increased their lead to 14-3 on a 39-yard touchdown run by DeeJay Dallas, who took a direct snap and ran around right end and picked up a key block from Rosier.

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Wisconsin changed the momentum in the second quarter, and it began with an interception at the line of scrimmage by Andrew Van Ginkel, a 6-4 outside linebacker who jumped up on the right side and picked off a Rosier pass at the Miami 23.

That led to a 20-yard touchdown pass to Danny Davis, who caught the back-shoulder throw just inside the right sideline and stretched out to reach the pylon.

Hornibrook added a 16-yard pass to A.J. Taylor and a 5-yarder to Davis to give the Badgers a 24-14 halftime lead.

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Miami cut its deficit to 24-21 on a 38-yard touchdown pass from Rosier to Lawrence Cager. On the play, Rosier drew defenders toward him when he scrambled to his right, allowing Cager to slip behind the defense.

The teams exchanged field goals -- 47 yards by Gaglianone and 41 yards by Michael Badgley -- leaving Wisconsin with a 27-24 lead with 11:34 left in the fourth quarter. With his field goal, Badgley set a Miami career scoring record with 402 points.

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Wisconsin extended its lead to 34-24 on a 6-yard toss from Hornibrook to Davis, and Miami blew a chance to close within one score when Badgley missed a 24-yard field goal try off the right goalpost with 4:34 left.

Badgley also missed a 53-yarder in the first quarter.

NOTES: In the first half, Badgers RB Jonathan Taylor passed Adrian Peterson for the NCAA single-season rushing record by a freshman. Taylor rushed for 130 yards and finished the season with 1,977. ... Miami was without its top three offensive playmakers: RB Mark Walton, WR Ahmmon Richards and TE Chris Herndon, all out with injuries. ... Because they run similar offenses, the Badgers focused their film study to Miami's games at Florida State and Pitt and against Clemson in the ACC title game. Miami finished 1-2 in those three games. ... Wisconsin has three All-American offensive linemen: LT Michael Deiter, RT David Edwards and RG Beau Benzschawel. The last time Wisconsin had three All-American offensive linemen on the same team was 1921. ... Wisconsin and Miami met once previously in the postseason, with the Badgers winning 20-14 in the 2009 Champs Sports Bowl in Orlando, Fla.

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