It’s a chance for the Miami Hurricanes to end their 2019 season on a high note and at the same time, snap out of a disturbing postseason funk. However, they’re going to play short-handed in the Independence Bowl Thursday afternoon against Louisiana Tech.
Miami, 6- 6, will play a Bulldogs team that is seeking its first 10-win season in program history and the Hurricanes have been awful a recent run of postseason games. The Canes, who were almost unbeatable in the 1980s and 90s, have now lost eight of their last nine bowl games.
This includes back-to-back losses to Wisconsin the last two years in the 2017 Orange Bowl and then a year ago, to the Badgers in New York City in the Pinstripe Bowl.
As we wrote earlier this week, coach Manny Diaz and offensive coordinator Dan Enos have been “playing it close to the vest” on who will quarterback in this game? But, it’s believed that Jarren Williams who has started most of the season including Miami’s final two games, will get the nod to the game the game.
Diaz/Enos may very well turn to N’Kosi Perry, who has started games this year and last year and replaced Williams in both of the last two games for a couple of series.
Louisiana Tech’s best player is quarterback Jamar Smith and he has battled injury late in this season but still has put up 2,800 yards passing with 17 TDS and 4 INTs. The Bulldogs also have RB Justin Henderson who nearly ran for 1,000 yards with 5.8 avg and 15 TDs against mostly C-USA competition.
More bad news for the Hurricanes, as they will play shorthanded with LB Michael Pinckney, DE’s Trevon Hill and Jonathan Garvin, plus receiver Jeff Thomas having already announced they’re skipping the game and preparing for NFL draft.
The game also has an interesting angle from the two head coaches, as Tech’s Skip Holtz once hired Diaz after Diaz was fired by the University of Texas. Diaz helped the Bulldogs win the 2015 Heart of Dallas Bowl, as LA Tech’s defensive coordinator.