With how the 2019 regular season ended for the ‘Canes, it’s hard to blame players for skipping the bowl game focusing on the draft. While that feat adds pressure to Miami’s coaches and younger players, ‘good’ and ‘bad’ things can be taken away from the scenario.
For a ‘rebuilding’ program, developing raw talent and giving them valuable playing time is a good place to start. This opportunity is brought to Manny Diaz & Co. due to players like Michael Pinkney not participating in the Independence Bowl.
Current list of the players skipping the bowl game:
WR Jeff Thomas
DE Trevon Hill
DE Jonathan Garvin
LB Michael Pinckney
For the game itself, it’s hard to believe that the ‘Canes will put on their best performance of the year given the diminished depth. However, this is about 2020—the year that should decide Manny Diaz’s ultimate fate as head coach of the Hurricanes. This puts an emphasis on developing depth and making sure the next guy up is ready.
So, what would a victory mean for Miami? Avoiding a losing season in Manny Diaz’s first year as head coach would be nice. The program is in the cellar—it’d be a critical ‘first-step’ in getting out of it. Miami also holds a record of 2-8 in their last 10 bowl games—an utter embarrassment. With bowl-wins obviously being hard to come by for Miami, a victory of any caliber or margin should hold some positive influence.
Miami: 24, Louisiana Tech: 18