Miami earns bid to compete in Sun Bowl against Washington State

Freshman quarterback Tyler Van Dyke hands off the ball to freshman running back Jaylan Knighton during the second quarter of Miami’s game versus Virginia Tech at Hard Rock Stadium on Nov. 20, 2021.
Freshman quarterback Tyler Van Dyke hands off the ball to freshman running back Jaylan Knighton during the second quarter of Miami’s game versus Virginia Tech at Hard Rock Stadium on Nov. 20, 2021. Photo credit: Jared Lennon

The Miami football team will finish its 2021 season in the Sun Bowl game, as announced in a Miami Athletics release Sunday.

After closing their season on a two-game win streak, the Hurricanes (7-4, 5-3 Atlantic Coast Conference) will travel to El Paso, Texas, to face Washington State (7-5, 6-3 Pac-12) on Dec. 31 at noon. UM also competed against the Cougars in the 2015 Sun Bowl, a 20-14 loss that marks the teams’ most recent meeting.

Miami will now compete in its ninth consecutive bowl game, as it looks to overcome a four-game skid in postseason contests. The Hurricanes fell to Oklahoma State 37-34 in the Cheez-It Bowl last season and have yet to return to a New Year’s Six bowl game since 2017, in which they lost to Wisconsin in the Orange Bowl at Hard Rock Stadium.

Second-year freshman quarterback Tyler Van Dyke has led Miami’s passing-dominant attack this fall, ranking fifth in the ACC in passing yards and touchdowns thrown to garner the conference’s Rookie of the Year honors.

Redshirt junior wide receiver Charleston Rambo has averaged over 97 yards per game and holds the single-season receptions record in the Hurricanes’ recent rout over Duke. Fifth-year senior Mike Harley has totaled 543 receiving yards on 57 catches to pass former Hurricane wide receiver Reggie Wayne for Miami’s most all-time receptions.

The Cougars, similar to the Hurricanes, completed their regular season on a two-game win streak to place second in the Pac-12 North behind 10-3 Oregon. The program welcomed former interim head coach Jake Dickert following a 40-13 win at Washington over Thanksgiving weekend. Sophomore quarterback Jayden De Laura has guided the Washington State offense with 23 touchdowns, despite nine interceptions.

Miami also lost in the 2010 Sun Bowl 33-17 to Notre Dame and possesses a 20-24 mark in bowl games, yet has not won since 2016. This year’s contest is set to be aired on CBS.