MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — Jonathan Taylor attracted plenty of postseason honors over the past few weeks, but the record he broke in Saturday’s Orange Bowl may have been more meaningful than any.
The University of Wisconsin running back broke the FBS freshman rushing record on a 6-yard gain early in the second quarter against 11th-ranked Miami, surpassing Adrian Peterson’s mark from 2004.
Taylor actually briefly lost the record after losing two yards four plays later but moved ahead of Peterson once again with a 4-yard run later in the same drive. The Badgers running back said previously that Peterson was one of the main players he looked up to when he was younger.
Peterson, a former Oklahoma standout, rushed for 1,925 yards on 339 carries as a freshman on his way to finishing runner-up for the Heisman Trophy.
Taylor, who finished sixth in voting for the Heisman this year, entered Saturday’s game with 1,847 yards on 273 carries, just 79 yards shy of Peterson’s record.
Wealth of experience
Outside linebacker Leon Jacobs and safety Joe Ferguson played in their 59th and 58th career games, respectively, in Saturday’s Orange Bowl, more than any other players in FBS history.
Jacobs, who switched positions four times during his career, started 18 of his 59 games, including all 14 this season at outside linebacker.
Ferguson started just six games in his career, five of which came this season in place of an injured D’Cota Dixon.
Dixon, who’s battled shoulder and hamstring issues for a large chunk of the year, started Saturday for the first time since Nov. 4 at Indiana.
David Edwards suffers left leg injury
Right tackle Patrick Kasl entered Saturday’s game in place of right tackle David Edwards with 8:48 left in the third quarter.
Edwards suffered a left leg injury, per UW. The redshirt sophomore, who earned multiple All-American honors this season, said earlier this month that he would be returning for his junior season.
The extra time between games before Saturday’s Orange Bowl meant more time for UW senior cornerback Derrick Tindal to round up as many tickets from his teammates that he could.
Tindal, who hails from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., experienced the luxury of playing his final game for the Badgers down the road from where he grew up, but that didn’t come without its headaches over the past four weeks.
“Man, I’ve had so many people asking me for tickets,” Tindal said earlier this month. "I don’t even know a lot of them. A lot of them are people I met in middle school. I ain’t hear from them all year. Even people who were doubting us this year wanted tickets."
Tindal said Thursday that he ended up gathering 45 tickets for family and friends, while redshirt freshman cornerback Dontye Carriere-Williams — UW’s other South Florida native that saw significant playing time this season — picked up 21.
It’s no surprise the senior finished bowl prep with more seats at Hard Rock Stadium, as Tindal, Carriere-Williams and most of the other six Florida natives on the Badgers’ roster likely jockeyed for any unused tickets available.
“It’s first come, first serve,” Carriere-Williams said. "Whoever came at the person first who had open tickets got them. No hard feelings. Just trying to get our family to the game. ... It was bad early on. I actually just had to tell some people no. That was the only way to solve it."
The Hurricanes didn’t offer either Tindal or Carriere-Williams, and Tindal said Miami didn’t even recruit him.
Neither were bothered by that fact heading into Saturday’s game. With Tindal’s All-Big Ten honors this season and Carriere-Williams’ heavy playing time as a redshirt freshmen, both were quite satisfied to be just visiting this week before heading back to Madison.
“At first I kind of took it personally because being from Florida, you kind of feel like the teams in Florida should have a great look at you before any other team,” Carriere-Williams said. "But the fact that Wisconsin came all the way from up north to be able to recruit me and tell me they liked me and what they could do with me for me and my future, I look at it as a blessing and I wouldn’t want to be any other place."