The 2019 Independence Bowl will feature a team from the Atlantic Coast Conference taking on a terrific team from Conference USA on Thursday. The Miami Hurricanes out of the ACC will square off against the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs out of Conference USA.
Miami had another disappointing season by their lofty standards, while the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs were a real contender in their underrated conference. Both teams should be fresh and ready to roll after getting some time off to prepare for this game.
Miami is looking to turn things back around after losing its final two regular-season games against ACC opponents. The Hurricanes finished the regular season with a record of 6-6, but they went just 4-4 in conference play.
Louisiana Tech went 6-2 in Conference USA games this season, tying for first place in the West Division. The Bulldogs posted an overall record of 9-3 this season. FanDuel has the Miami Hurricanes as six-point favorites over the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs in the Independence Bowl.
Miami Defense Has to Show Up
If the Miami Hurricanes are going to win the Independence Bowl, they are going to have to play some great defense. Miami gave up less than 21 points per game, but it didn’t finish the season playing its best football.
The Hurricanes are famous for their “Turnover Chain,” and they will need to bust it out a few times in this game. Miami racked up 44 sacks during the regular season, and its pass rush could slow down an explosive Louisiana Tech offense.
Miami might not have the most explosive offense in the country, but it did average close to 28 points per game this season. The Hurricanes are led on offense by quarterback Jarren Williams, who has thrown 19 touchdowns this season.
Miami only ran the ball for 121 yards per game this season, and that could be a problem in this game. The Hurricanes will have to score points to keep up in this one.
Bulldogs Dangerous With The Ball
The Louisiana Tech offense is explosive, especially when it is throwing the ball. The Bulldogs are averaging 34.0 points and over 277 passing yards per game.
The Bulldogs will be facing one of the best defenses they have seen all year, but they are still going to sling it around the field. Quarterback J’Mar Smith has thrown for over 2,814 yards, and he can make some plays with his legs as well. Taking care of the ball will be a huge key for this team.
Defense has been a question mark for the Bulldogs at times this season, and that could spell trouble against the Hurricanes. Louisiana Tech gave up just 23 points per game, but that number rose against some of the better teams on its schedule.
Cornerback Amik Robertson leads the team with five interceptions, and he could give his offense some great field position in this one.
Offense Rules As Bulldogs Win
Any time a major conference program takes on a lesser conference opponent in a bowl game, there is always the threat of a letdown. The Miami Hurricanes are trying to get their program turned back around, and they should be focused in this game.
The problem for Miami is that it is playing a really good team in Louisiana Tech, and the Bulldogs can really score. Louisiana Tech will need to take care of the ball, but there is no doubt that it should score some points.
Look for the Bulldogs to pull off an impressive upset in this game. Get to FanDuel and take the six points and Louisiana Tech to win the Independence Bowl.