’Canes headed to Independence Bowl
Diaz: Team is looking forward to playing Louisiana Tech in Shreveport on Dec. 26
It will indeed be Shreveport, Louisiana, and the Independence Bowl for the Miami Hurricanes this college bowl season.
UM will play against Louisiana Tech in a 4 p.m. kickoff on Dec. 26 in Shreveport’s Independence Stadium, it was announced on Sunday.
Miami’s Independence Bowl selection, which fell in line with various projections, is a disappointment after the Hurricanes fell deep into the allotment of Atlantic Coast Conference-affiliated bowl games by ending the regular season with losses to FIU and Duke to finish 6-6.
Before those two defeats, there was talk of Miami potentially ending up in the Orange Bowl if UM won out to finish 8-4, Clemson made the College Football Playoff and no other ACC team ended up ranked in the College Football Playoff ’s final top 25, allowing the Orange Bowl to select its ACC representative.
“We are looking forward to the opportunity to participate in the Walk-On’s Independence Bowl,” said UM athletic director Blake James in a statement. “The bowl’s staff and the people of Shreveport always put on a terrific show for the visiting teams and this promises to be a fun experience for both our student-athletes and our fan base.”
The Hurricanes last played in the Independence Bowl after the 2014 season, losing to South Carolina, 24-21.
“We’re looking forward to facing Louisiana Tech in the WalkOn’s Independence Bowl,” said Miami coach Manny Diaz in a statement. “We are working hard to finish strong with this recruiting class before turning our full attention to securing a victory for this team.”
Miami has already had two defensive ends opt to sit out the bowl game. Redshirt senior Trevon Hill and junior Jonathan Garvin, who will be declaring early for the 2020 NFL draft, have hired agents and begun their preparation for the draft process.
UM will also be missing junior running back DeeJay Dallas, who Diaz already declared out for the bowl game with an elbow injury sustained in the loss to FIU on Nov. 23 at Marlins Park. Dallas also has an impending decision to make on whether to declare for the draft or return for a senior season.
Louisiana Tech’s campus is 70 miles away from Independence Stadium. The Bulldogs, of Conference USA, reached the Independence Bowl as a replacement team for the Southeastern Conference, which had fewer bowl-eligible teams than its allotment. They finished their regular season 9-3, including a 43-31 win over FIU.
There are coaching connections between La. Tech and UM. Diaz was defensive coordinator there in 2014. That year, current Miami defensive coordinator Blake Baker was Diaz’s safeties coach. Baker then spent the next four seasons as the Bulldogs’ defensive coordinator before reuniting with Diaz in Coral Gables this season.
The Miami Hurricanes will play Louisiana Tech in the Independence Bowl on Dec. 26.