Miami football would have been without Manny Diaz, 17 players vs. Georgia Tech

PITTSBURGH, PA - OCTOBER 26: (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - OCTOBER 26: (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images) /

The Miami football team would have been without head coach Manny Diaz and at least 17 players if they had played Saturday against Georgia Tech on Saturday.

After the Miami football team was missing 11 players earlier this month against North Carolina State and 13 against Virginia Tech, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald reported on Monday that the Hurricanes would have been without as many as 17 players and head coach Manny Diaz if they had played Georgia Tech on Saturday.

Miami canceled its scheduled game with Georgia Tech on Saturday against the Yellow Jackets and their game at Wake Forest that was supposed to be played this Saturday at Wake Forest due to a COVID-19 outbreak throughout the football program. Several unnamed key players would reportedly have been out from some reports.

Redshirt freshman starting defensive tackle Jared Harrison-Hunte was out against North Carolina State for either testing positive for COVID-19 or through contact tracing has been the most critical player that has been out for Miami this season because of the virus. Miami was also missing six players against Virginia last month.

Harrison-Hunte has been one of the breakout players for Miami this season. In seven games this season, Harrison-Hunte has 16 tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss, three sacks and a forced fumble in his first full season of playing time. Harrison-Hunte made his collegiate debut against Bethune-Cookman as a true freshman in 2019.

Jackson quoted Miami athletic director Blake James was the conjecture that the spread of the coronavirus throughout the football program likely came from outside the team. James was also asked about any fatigue that COVID-19 might have caused the Miami football program and the Hurricanes athletic department.

Miami Athletic Director Blake James discusses COVID-19 outbreak

"“The first thing I would say, I don’t think it has come from football activity. I do think it has come from outside. I’m guessing there’s been some transmission from one (player) to another. We’re reflective of society; where the numbers are at on campus, I’m not completely surprised.”Eight months in, it’s hard for all of us…Maybe they have gotten a little more lax than what they were back in March, April, May, June, July when we saw our numbers stay down low. We’re part of society, the community and we’re seeing a lot of community transmission right now.”"

The COVID-19 outbreak following the win at Virginia Tech earlier this month caused Miami to reschedule their last three games. Miami will next play at Wake Forest on December 5, host North Carolina on December 12 and tentatively play Georgia Tech at Hard Rock Stadium on December 19.

The game against the Yellow Jackets will be played if Miami does not qualify for the ACC Championship Game or if the game does not have an impact on who earns a berth in the title game. Miami is currently tied for second in the ACC with Clemson with a 6-1 record, one game behind Notre Dame.

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Miami loses the tiebreaker to the Tigers after losing to them last month. Clemson has games scheduled remaining against Pittsburgh on Saturday and at Virginia Tech on December 5. The ACC could force Clemson to make up its game against Florida State that was canceled on Saturday on December 12.