FT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) - The Capital One Orange Bowl isn't a national semifinal game this year, but Miami Hurricanes players are approaching it like a playoff game.
On Thursday - just two days before the Canes take the field against the Wisconsin Badgers - Miami quarterback Malik Rosier discussed what an important step the Orange Bowl can be for his team.
"The Orange Bowl, yes, is a tier bowl, but for us, we were thinking more of it like the playoffs, and that's something we're going to strive for next year," Rosier said. "And so for us, this is a step towards that because when you win this game, it propels you into next year, and so that's the biggest thing. We've got to show that we can win consistently versus great competition, and so Wisconsin is a great team, and we've just got to come out and perform."
Miami fell one victory short of the College Football Playoff this season. Had they defeated Clemson in the ACC Championship, they'd be in. But, Clemson dominated the matchup 38-3, proving Miami isn't at a championship level just yet.
Rosier hopes the Orange Bowl can provide Miami with the momentum and confidence-boost needed to reach new heights in 2018. Last season, Miami defeated West Virginia 31-14 in the Russell Athletic Bowl, capping off 5-straight wins to end the year. From there, the Canes raised their level to that of a New Years Six bowl team in 2017. Will the next step be the College Football Playoff?
"I mean, it speaks numbers," said Rosier, on what it would mean to beat the Badgers on Saturday. "Wisconsin has dominated their division this whole year up until the Ohio State game, and they still played Ohio State very closely, so they're a very admirable opponent. I highly respect them and their coaching staff. Everyone on the team is coached very well. They're blue-collar kids. So just winning this type of game speaks numbers. It's going to help us in the bowl selection, it's going to help us in many different ways. Just to come out with a win, win everything, especially sending these seniors off in the right way, they deserve it. They've grinded with us. They've stayed with us through a coaching change. So just to send those guys off the right way."
The Miami Hurricanes face the Wisconsin Badgers in the Capital One Orange Bowl this Saturday, December 30th at 8:00 PM from Hard Rock Stadium.
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