After being held in check during the Big Ten Championship game loss to Ohio State, Wisconsin running back Jonathan Taylor rushed for 130 yards on 26 carries on Saturday night to help the Badgers knock off the Miami Hurricanes 34-24 in the Orange Bowl.
The final performance of the season gave Taylor 1,977 yards, the number-1 mark all-time among FBS Freshmen. He passed Wisconsin’s Ron Dayne (1,863 yards – 1996) and Oklahoma’s Adrian Peterson (1,925 yards – 2004).
Taylor played in all 14 games for the Badgers, hitting 100 yards in a game 10 times and rushing for at least 200 yards three times.
“It means a lot for me to be mentioned with guys like Adrian Peterson and Ron Dayne,” Taylor said. “It is humbling. There won’t ever be any guys like those. To be mentioned with them, it is a testimony to the offense and to the team.”
Dayne’s rushing total as a freshman doesn’t include his 246-yard performance in the Copper Bowl. NCAA records didn’t include bowl games before 2002.