It'll be chilly when Hurricanes play in Pinstripe Bowl, but that's OK, Richt says
'We're getting used to it,' Richt says of rematch against cold-adjusted Badgers
NEW YORK – Bring on the snow.
That may seem like a perfectly normal response from Wisconsin fans, but when it comes to Miami, trading the sunshine for frigid temperatures and the possibility of snowfall wouldn't seem like an appealing way to spend the bowl season.
But that's just what head coach Mark Richt and the Hurricanes are embracing when they travel to New York to take on the Badgers in the Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium later this month.
"A couple games ago we were 5-5 and just trying to make it to a bowl, period," Richt said during a news conference Tuesday in New York City.
The Hurricanes (7-5) finished the season strong, winning their final two games to become bowl eligible for the third consecutive season under Richt.
This will be Miami's first game in New York City since the 1962 Gotham Bowl. The Hurricanes lost to Nebraska 36-34 at the old Yankee Stadium.
Although the Hurricanes didn't set their sights on the Pinstripe Bowl when the season began, Richt sees it as a worthy destination against a quality adversary. Not only that, but it's convenient for recruiting.
"We've actually got some kids in this area that we're looking at," Richt said.
Even though the Hurricanes lost to Wisconsin 34-24 in last year's Orange Bowl, Richt said his players aren't focused on payback.
"I think the media will be probably trying to talk about payback, but I think our guys are just going to be excited about the bowl experience and getting a chance to play a great team," Richt said.
Miami's defense -- ranked second nationally -- will be tested by Wisconsin running back Jonathan Taylor, who is a finalist for the Doak Walker Award. Taylor has rushed for 1,989 yards on 280 carries and scored 15 touchdowns.
It will be a sort of homecoming for Taylor, who played high school football in neighboring New Jersey.
"You talk about playing in Yankee Stadium -- and we know we're playing football, but it's still one of those iconic stadiums -- and I think for him it really doesn't matter if you're from the East Coast or not, you know, it's one of those opportunities," Wisconsin head coach Paul Chryst said. "And then when you get to do that against a team and a program that you respect a ton, our guys will be excited."
The average high temperature in New York in December is 44 degrees, a far cry from the 79-degree average in Coral Gables, but Richt said the Hurricanes are no strangers to the cold.
"We've played at BC this year. We've played in Atlanta, which is very chilly. …Virginia Tech was pretty cold, too," Richt said. "So, you know, we're getting used to it."
Still, Richt plans to expose his players to the cold plenty and often during their stay in the Big Apple.
"Sometimes I think it's easier to go from the heat to the cold than the cold to the heat," he said.
The Badgers (7-5) won't need to acclimate to the climate, but Chryst said he doesn't expect it to be a factor in the outcome.
"I think that, you know, certainly we're used to it, but what's beautiful about the game, and particularly this one, is it comes down to what happens between the lines," Chryst said. "Our whole goal and objective is to get our team ready to play against a really good, talented and well-coached Miami team."
Copyright 2018 by WPLG Local10.com - All rights reserved.