Time is running out on the Hurricanes in their quest to secure a bowl game. During the preseason, this match-up against Virginia Tech looked like it would determine the ACC Coastal champion. Reality of it is that both teams now need wins just to be eligible for a lower tier bowl. The Hurricanes know the end of the season is near and would like to send their senior’s out the right way. For Miami’s future though, getting into a bowl will help develop much of their future.
Miami In A Must Win vs Virginia Tech
Quiet The Crowd
Mark Richt has heard enough about the Hurricanes losing streak. Even if he doesn’t want to admit there is pressure, he feels it. When Miami was undefeated around this time last season, he was the talk of the town. Now it seems as if he’s losing more support after every week.
Getting a win against Virginia tech in Blacksburg, regardless of their record is a good win. Putting the losing streak to an end surely should help Richt sleep a little better. On top of that it renews confidence back in the team that they’re capable of winning. Additionally Miami has the opportunity to stay ahead of Virginia Tech, which historically has been their toughest divisional opponent.
Bowl Game Benefits
This season the Hurricanes Achilles heel has been their offense. Miami knows that the development of that group is vital to their future success. The good news is that the majority of that group will return next season. Consequently this is another reason why Miami must win against Virginia Tech. If Miami misses a bowl game, it loses a chance for 15 extra practices. This becomes a bigger deal with the new redshirt rule that allows a player to play in four games and still get credited with a redshirt year.
With most of Miami’s offense being underclassmen, the additional bowl game practices could be just as important as going through Spring football. With Miami already having a number of players that will be redshirted from a top ten recruiting class, the bowl game could be an opportunity to showcase them. Other players that have flashed potential such as N’Kosi Perry can use that game to grow even further.
Since 2005 the Hurricanes have only won two bowl games, so the chance to win another would definitely be welcomed. Miami won the Russell Athletic Bowl in 2016 and used that game to catapult the 2017 team to ten straight wins. The same thing could potentially happen in the 2019 season with an offense that will return a large group of starters.
In college football every game could be considered a must win, if the team is a true playoff contender. This is a pivotal point in Mark Richt’s tenure at Miami in which the trajectory of the program is being determined.