The Wisconsin State Journal
INDIANAPOLIS — For the second straight season, the University of Wisconsin football team lost a Big Ten Championship game in heart-breaking fashion.
And for the second consecutive year, the Badgers will try to collect their emotions in time to win a New Year’s Six Bowl game.
After UW’s 27-21 loss to Ohio State ended its College Football Playoff hopes, the Badgers are set to face Miami in the Orange Bowl on Dec. 30, with kickoff from Hard Rock Stadium set for 7 p.m. on ESPN.
“We’ve got one more game, and it’s going to be a big game,” UW quarterback Alex Hornibrook said. “We’re going to give everything we have. We’ve given everything we have up to this point, and we’re going to do as much as we can to send these seniors off on a good note.”
History suggests that some programs find it difficult to perform well in bowl games following tough losses in conference championship games.
UW successfully accomplished the feat last year, however, with a 24-16 victory over Western Michigan in the Cotton Bowl. That game came weeks after the Badgers blew a 21-point lead to Penn State, a loss likely even more numbing for UW than Saturday’s defeat to Ohio State.
Replicating that success may be more difficult against an opponent like Miami, but if the Badgers aren’t able to win in their first-ever Orange Bowl appearance, UW coach Paul Chryst doesn’t believe it will be because his team isn’t motivated to play at its best.
“That’s the next opportunity, and it’s a challenge, but I think it goes back to being in the moment,” Chryst said. “We’ve earned that right to be there. You want to maximize it. I don’t know how the game’s going to go, but I know this group will be ready for it.”
The Badgers will take most of this week off before returning to the practice field Friday, when they’ll hope to be in the right head space to focus on the Hurricanes.
Many players spoke Saturday about the importance of sending UW’s seniors out with a win. Badgers inside linebacker Ryan Connelly said those seniors mean too much to the team “to just let (the bowl game) go to waste.”
“Just do whatever you’ve got to do tonight to get over it,” UW fullback Austin Ramesh said. “It sucks, but we’ve got another game to win. ... This team’s going to bounce back. There’s a lot of fighters on this team.”
Even without a shot at the national championship, the Badgers can still make their season a bit more special with a victory on Dec. 30.
Doing so would give UW two straight wins in BCS/New Year’s Six bowl games for the first time since the 1998 and 1999 Rose Bowls and secure a 13-win season for the Badgers, something they’ve never accomplished.
“That’s the good part about this,” UW inside linebacker T.J. Edwards said. “It’s tough to lose a game like this, but we’ll be back next week and look forward to another new opponent.
“The train doesn’t stop here.”
BADGER BITS: Wisconsin will play in its first-ever Orange Bowl. … Hard Rock Stadium is the same venue where Miami play its home games. … A win would give the Badgers two straight victories in BCS/New Year’s Six Bowl games for the first time since winning the 1998 and 1999 Rose Bowls. … UW will seek a program-record 13th victory against Miami.
Ticket, travel information for Orange Bowl
The exclusive period for donors to UW Athletics and football season ticket holders to request tickets to the Orange Bowl runs through Monday at noon. Requests can be made online or by calling the UW Athletic Ticket Office at 1-800-GO-BADGERS. Tickets are $230 or $170, depending on location.
Student tickets will go on sale to football season-ticket holders at UWBadgers.com on Monday from 7-10 p.m. or until supplies last. An allotment of 1,000 student tickets is available at a price of $50 each, and students may purchase up to two tickets.
If tickets are still available after those sales, UW will hold a general public sale beginning Tuesday at noon.
The Badgers have two options for travel packages. Fans can book with Funjet Vacations at funjet.com/badgers or through the Wisconsin Alumni Association at www.uwalumni.com/events/pregame-athletic-events/bowl/.
For complete information on the Orange Bowl, visit UWBowlCentral.com.
-- Copyright (c) 2017, The Wisconsin State Journal/Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
Ohio State............... 14 7 3 3 — 27
Wisconsin................ 7 3 3 8 — 21
OSU—T.McLaurin 84 yard pass from J.Barrett (Nuernberger kick), 6:31.
WIS—Van Ginkel 9 yard interception return (Gaglianone kick), 2:08.
OSU—Pa.Campbell 57 yard pass from J.Barrett (Nuernberger kick), 0:59.
OSU—J.Barrett 1 yard rush (Nuernberger kick), 11:10.
WIS—Gaglianone 28 yard field goal, 3:42.
WIS—Gaglianone 46 yard field goal, 10:14.
OSU—Nuernberger 27 yard field goal, 7:25.
WIS—Ch.James 1 yard rush (Fumagalli pass from Hornibrook), 12:39.
OSU—Nuernberger 20 yard field goal, 5:20.
First Downs....................... 16 16
Rushes-Yards............... 42-238 32-60
Passing........................... 211 238
Sacked-Yds Lost............. 0-0 3-16
Comp-Att-Int.................. 12-26-2 20-41-2
Return Yards..................... 54 123
Punts............................. 5-46.0 8-44.9
Fumbles-Lost................... 2-1 1-0
Penalties-Yards.............. 5-48 6-55
Time of Possession....... 25:54 34:06
RUSHING-OSU, J.Dobbins 17-174, J.Barrett 19-60, M.Weber 4-6. WIS, Jn.Taylor 15-41, Ch.James 5-6, AJ.Taylor 1-6, Ingold 1-5, Ramesh 1-5, Dn.Davis 1-5, R.Ibrahim 1-3, Ke.Pryor 1-0, Groshek 1-(minus 3), Hornibrook 5-(minus 8).
PASSING-OSU, J.Barrett 12-26-2-211. WIS, Hornibrook 19-40-2-229, Groshek 1-1-0-9.
RECEIVING-OSU, KJ.Hill 4-27, T.McLaurin 2-92, M.Baugh 2-21, J.Dobbins 2-5, Pa.Campbell 1-57, Jh.Dixon 1-9. WIS, Fumagalli 5-45, Dn.Davis 3-50, Jn.Taylor 3-30, Ramesh 2-45, Groshek 2-27, AJ.Taylor 2-16, R.Ibrahim 1-10, Hornibrook 1-9, Ke.Pryor 1-6.