EL PASO (CBSMiami) – The Miami Hurricanes will go for the school’s first bowl win since 2006 when they face the Washington State Cougars at the 2015 Hyundai Sun Bowl in El Paso, Texas.
The Hurricanes are having a strong season, mostly under interim head coach Larry Scott.
Miami started the season going 4-3 under former coach Al Golden but made the switch following a 58-0 loss to Clemson, the worst in school history.
Under Scott the Canes have gone 4-1, including a thrilling last-second victory over Duke in which Miami lateraled the ball eight times before Corn Elder sped down the left sideline and eventually into the end zone with all zeros on the clock.
Despite the game being played almost two full months ago, Elder fielded questions from the media in El Paso about the play that has become known as one of the best in college football this season.
“It was an up and down game and the last play was something special,” said Elder. “It was sparked off by David [Njoku’s] block and it’s something you’ll remember forever. It was definitely a big moment, it was one of the worst weeks we had and to win that game, we beat a good team so it kind of sparked a little run for us. It brought our spirits up.”
While the season ended on a mostly positive note, Miami will have some obstacles to overcome in order to win a bowl game for the first time in nine years.
Hurricanes offensive tackle Sunny Odogwu will miss the game after having knee surgery earlier this month. He suffered the injury during Miami’s regular season finale in Pittsburgh.
Odogwu traveled with the team to El Paso along with several other injured players, including linebackers Raphael Kirby and Darrion Owens and running back Gus Edwards.
Scott is hopeful that they can offer a little more than just moral support despite being injured.
“They’re in the meetings, so they’re locked into the planning and what we’re doing, and how we want to play this game,” said Scott. “Them being there is another set of eyes and ears, to listen and communicate with the guys that are playing and be a support system and be great teammates. That’s what they’re here for.”
The Canes will also be without a pair of defensive players who were suspended by the team on Tuesday and sent back to Coral Gables.
Safety Jamal Carter was suspended for violating team rules. Defensive tackle Courtel Jenkins’ suspension is academic-related and it’s unknown why the issue wasn’t discovered until now.
“It’s a violation of team rules. We’re not going to comment on anything specifically when it comes to that,” Scott said in reference to Carter’s suspension. “We made a decision. Choose to do right or choose to do wrong. That’s it.”
Miami will find itself in a tough spot without the two defensive players that have played important roles throughout the season, especially considering Washington State has the nation’s top ranked passing offense.
The Cougars’ passing game is so strong that it even has a nickname, the ‘Air Raid’ offense.
“Obviously, it’s always disappointing to have to send someone home or to suspend someone from a game,” said Scott. “It’s disappointing. However, there are always life lessons to be learned. There are standards and there are rules, and we’re going to do what’s right.”
Washington State averages 397 passing yards per game, which is tops in the nation. It’s led by sophomore quarterback Luke Falk who has thrown for 4,266 yards and 36 touchdowns in 2015.
Listen to the Miami Hurricanes take on the Washington State Cougars in the 2015 Hyundai Sun Bowl on Saturday, December 26th at 2:00 p.m. on Sports Radio 560 WQAM, your official radio home for the Canes!
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