After a lousy performance throughout the entire season, the Miami Hurricanes (6-6) will face off against the LA Tech Bulldogs (9-3) in the 2019 Walk-On’s Independence Bowl on December 26, 2019, 4 pm eastern time.
Both teams in this matchup have key players sitting out that will affect the outcome of the game. For Miami, the player list includes OLB Michael Pinckney, WDE Trevon Hill, SDE Jonathan Garvin, and WR Jeff Thomas. For LA Tech, the player list includes CB Amik Robertson. LA Tech finished second in the Conference USA West with a conference record of (6-2).
One of the Bulldog’s victories was against FIU, 43-31. The Hurricanes also matched up against in-state rival FIU and suffered one of the worst losses in program history 30-24.
LA Tech has won 5 straight bowl games and is looking to win 6 straight against Miami. Miami, on the other hand, has lost its last two bowl games to Wisconsin and has won 2 out of their last 10 bowl games.
Miami and LA Tech have matched up against each other 4 times, the last time being in 2004 with a Miami victory, 48-0.
Due to the high expectations of the 2019 season, the majority of the Hurricanes fanbase, including myself, are not excited or amped up for this football game. However, there are some positives in this game.
Manny Diaz and the Canes will be able to look at the depth and future of the Miami Hurricanes football program. I view this game as an opportunity for players to showcase what they can provide for the future of the football program. I hope to see some touches from former 5 star RB, Lorenzo Lingard and former 4 star RB, Robert Burns, along with QB’s Jarren Williams, Tate Martell, and Nkosi Perry share touches throughout the game.
|Points Per Game||27.8||34.0|
|Points Allowed Per Game||20.75||24.0|
|Yards Per Game||378.9||445.2|
|Yards Allowed Per Game||307.8||308.0|
Keys for the Bulldogs to win the Independence Bowl:
-LA Tech is known for its deep play-action passes. It is not necessary to change their gameplan against Miami due to its inconsistent secondary.
-LA Tech is playing in Shreveport, Louisiana which is an hour away from the university. The bulldogs are practically playing a home game and they should use that to their advantage.
-LA Tech should attack the inexperienced Offensive Line. Miami’s offensive line has not been great all season long and the injuries of Navaughn Donaldson and John Campbell suffered against Duke only add fuel to the fire. The O line is the weakest part of the Miami offense and LA Tech will take advantage of it to win the game.
Keys for the Hurricanes to win the Independence Bowl:
-The Miami Hurricanes need their young players to show out and stay healthy. 2nd and 3rd strings are gonna be playing and they need to play hard and stay healthy to get a win.
-The Miami Hurricanes need to apply pressure to the Conference USA Offensive Player of the Year, QB J’Mar Smith. He’s a mobile quarterback and can throw a pretty good deep ball. He’s got 2,814 passing yards and 17 TD. The Hurricanes need to limit him from getting comfortable to be victorious.
-The Miami Hurricanes need to keep the Bulldogs out of the red zone. The Bulldogs rank 16th in the nation in red-zone scoring percentage, Miami ranking 111th. The Hurricanes defense needs to get off the field and force the Bulldogs to punt the ball. The Canes should look for redshirt freshmen, Gregory Rousseau, to lead the Miami defense to play hard and motivated. Rousseau has 14 sacks on the season and is 3 sacks away from tying the single-season sack record held by Danny Stubbs in 1986.
The ESPN matchup predictor has Miami with a 72% win percentage and the Bulldogs with a 28% win percentage.
As every Miami Hurricane fan knows, this doesn’t mean a thing. The Hurricanes were favored to beat FIU and ended up losing. Miami Hurricane fans like to be the underdog.
I don’t believe Mimi is going to win this game. The offense and defense are not gonna come out with good energy or motivation to play this game. Miami’s players are demoralized after two gut-wrenching losses to FIU and Duke and we’re essentially coming off of a bye month.
Every time the Hurricanes have come off of a bye week they have lost due to the preparation that Manny Diaz needs to work on.