Russell Athletic Bowl prediction roundtable with the Campus Insiders staff. Breaking down what will happen between Miami and West Virginia.
So the West Virginia and Miami players got into a scuffle the day before the game at a charity event? Ok then. Hopefully the action on the field is more exciting. I’m going with Skyler Howard to get the best of the Howard-Brad Kaaya matchup, as the Mountaineers deal Mark Richt a loss in his first bowl game with the Hurricanes.
I honestly don’t care about who wins this game as much as I’m invested in seeing the duel between Skyler Howard and Brad Kaaya. I think both quarterbacks will have great games, but I think Howard will end up making more plays when it matters the most. Mark Walton and Joseph Yearby will have good games, but won’t be able to do enough. The Mountaineers win by a touchdown.
The Hurricanes have not been able to claim a bowl victory in a decade, as they have lost six straight and seven out of their last eight postseason contests. The motivation will be high to claim a victory for Mark Richt to close out his first season. Meanwhile, this is a Mountaineers squad that was a dark horse College Football Playoff Contender before a bit of a rough end to the season. Dana Holgorsen did a great job with this team, and defensive coordinator Tony Gibson is on the rise in the coaching ranks. Hurricanes QB Brad Kaaya is a future pro, but the Mountaineers will eke out a victory behind a strong ground game and better offensive line play. A late ‘Canes turnover does them in as Richt finishes his first season at The U with a setback.
After his comments that it’s “sad” when players skip bowl games, I really hope that Miami head coach Mark Richt, at some point, faces a situation where a top player who will definitely be a top pick in the NFL Draft has an injury heading into a bowl game and Richt has to let him sit. That would be justice.
Oh, as for the game, West Virginia has the momentum on its side, and Skyler Howard can whip the ball around on this average Hurricanes defense. WVU wins.