After a relatively poor season for the Miami Hurricanes, the Hurricanes will not be attending the ACC Championship Game in Charlotte. However, the Hurricanes have played themselves into a Tier 1 ACC Bowl game after finishing the season 7-5.
After a week 13 victory over Pittsburgh, the last of the bowl predictions by various outlets have been released. While none of these projections are official, the predictions allow fans to gauge a possible opponent and location for the Hurricanes’ bowl.
Reminder: Official bowl placements are announced December 2
Jason Kirk (SBNation): Gasparilla Bowl (Tampa, FL) vs. South Florida
Like the Hurricanes, USF finished the season with a 7-5 record, including a loss in the War on I-4 to UCF.
For the Hurricanes, an intrastate matchup would be an intriguing one. The Bulls have had relatively poor success on offense (29 points per game), despite a strong year from Jordan Cronkite, who finished the year with 1095 yards on the ground and added 9 touchdowns. On the other side of the football, the Bulls have had rough time. The Bulls have allowed 31.5 points per game (T-95th in the nation) and forced 21 turnovers over the course of the season.
If the Hurricanes offense figured out a way to click and score a respectable amount of points, the Hurricanes defense would likely have no issues stopping the Bulls and the Hurricanes would likely find a way to win in USF’s home field.
Jerry Palm (CBSSports): Independence Bowl (Shreveport, LA) vs. UAB
Despite having their football team disbanded just a few years ago, the Blazers have made the C-USA Championship Game after a strong 9-3 campaign. Led by a strong defense that has allowed just 16.7 points per game and have sacked opposing quarterbacks 41 times.
The Blazers offense has scored just 29.5 points a game and quarterbacks AJ Erdely and Tyler Johnston have thrown a combined 14 interceptions, so the Hurricanes defense should have no troubles forcing turnovers and keeping the Blazers in check.
247Sports: Music City Bowl (Nashville, TN) vs. Texas A&M
The Hurricanes are no strangers to current Texas A&M head coach Jimbo Fisher, who served as Florida State’s head coach from 2010 to 2017, when he left for the Aggies job.
The Aggies would be the toughest matchup for the Hurricanes out of the few that have been mentioned. The Aggies have wins over Kentucky, UAB and LSU in a 7OT thriller to end the season. The offense has averaged 34.2 points a game and sophomore Kellen Mond has thrown for 2,967 yards and 23 touchdowns, including 6 touchdowns against LSU.
The Hurricanes offense would likely have no troubles scoring, given the Aggies have allowed 26.3 points per game but N’Kosi Perry and the offense would have to consistently score to defeat a high scoring Aggies team.
College Football News: Music City Bowl vs. Mississippi State
If Texas A&M was a tough matchup, Mississippi State might be even more difficult. The Bulldogs have currently won 4 of their last 5 games, with the only loss coming against the top-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide.
Currently ranked 18th in the most recent College Football Playoff rankings, the Bulldogs have been led by Nick Fitzgerald, who would be the toughest quarterback the Hurricanes defense have had to face. Fitzgerald is a natural dual-threat quarterback who had 2,633 all-purpose yards (1,615 passing and 1,018 rushing) and 27 touchdowns on the regular season. The Hurricanes haven’t had to face a player with Fitzgerald’s rushing ability, so the defense may have their hands full.
On defense, the Bulldogs have only allowed 12 points a game. For a Hurricanes team that went four consecutive weeks scoring under 20 points, the Hurricanes would have to find a way to create their own offense. Most of the offense would likely come from DeeJay Dallas and Travis Homer as the Bulldogs have allowed 104 rushing yards a game.
Steve Lassan (Athlon Sports): TaxSlayer Gator Bowl (Jacksonville, FL) vs. Missouri Tigers
Much like Nick Fitzgerald of Mississippi State, Missouri quarterback Drew Lock would be the toughest quarterback the Hurricanes have been tasked to contain this season. Likely an NFL prospect come the end of the season, Lock has thrown for 3,125 yards and 25 touchdowns this season. Lock’s elite arm would likely cause Miami’s secondary issues all game.
On defense, the Tigers are a defense the Hurricanes can score on. The Hurricanes have allowed 329 yards to opponents, including 256 yards of passing to opposing quarterbacks. If the Hurricanes can get production from their wide receivers, N’Kosi Perry and the offense could have no troubles scoring points.
As a team, Missouri have won four consecutive games, including a 38-17 win over the Florida Gators in Gainesville. With the amount of momentum the Tigers currently have, the Hurricanes would have a really tough time battling toe-to-toe with the Tigers.
Those are the projections for now. We’ll have more on the bowl selection process in the days to come.