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Running on empty: The final moments of the Sun Bowl were yet another example of Miami not having the stuff to pound another team into the ground.
Luke Falk returned to action after missing the Apple Cup due to a head injury. The Miami coaching changes, yet another soap opera season, that climaxed with the rout at the hands of Clemson, the worst loss (58-0) in the history of the Hurricanes program, makes this game more fun for interim coach Scott than that for Leach. Take it for what it’s worth, but the previous time the Cougars won the Sun Bowl (2001) came one season before WSU played in the Rose Bowl for the first time since 1931. Miami has the statistical edge on defense, but Pac-12 offenses are considered superior to those in the ACC. Special-teams play has been unspectacular on both sides. “We’ll figure all that out here as it goes”.
The only final game of a season Miami has won since its 2006 victory against Nevada in the MPC Computers Bowl was against Duke in 2012, the year the Canes self-imposed a postseason ban because of NCAA infractions. Jenkins has made seven starts and has 29 tackles. The Miami (FL) defense will take advantage of every opportunity the Cougars give it. The Hurricanes generate two turnovers per game, 19th in the country.
It shouldn’t be a surprise that, Leach orchestrated an offense, with the arm of a young signal-caller in Falk that led the nation in passing yards per game. The Cougars have an unrelenting offense and flashed their potential in a close loss to Stanford and a win over UCLA. “We just didn’t finish a couple plays that could have made a difference in the game”. Take the Huskies, whose record fell to 4-6 after a second-half cratering at Arizona State on November 14. “And they’re big, strong, athletic people, and they play kind of relatively basic defense”.
Kaaya, who missed 1 1/2 games with a concussion in midseason, has thrown for at least 3,000 yards in two straight years while connecting for 41 touchdowns with 16 interceptions (12 as a freshman). The defense played all out, keeping them in the game. They say they understand they’re fortunate to still be playing football this time of year.
“I’ve been here a lot (since leaving), whether it’s recruiting or whatever, so it’s eerily similar to all the other times I’ve been in Texas”, Leach said after the Cougars’ practice on Tuesday.
In addition, considering the name of the bowl and the unexpected weather in which it was played, jokes were thrown about during the broadcast and on Twitter with some frequency.
Longtime Georgia coach Mark Richt, a former Miami quarterback, was hired in late November and is tasked with restoring the program to its former glory after a decade of mediocrity.
There is one thing fans have come to expect when the University of Miami comes to play in the Sun Bowl, snow. This will be the Cougars’ first bowl game since 2013 and second since their last bowl win, a 28-20 victory in the 2003 Holiday Bowl over Texas. The Thundering Herd won the Boca Raton Bowl in 2014 and Military Bowl two years ago.