Miami football pushes back Sun Bowl travel schedule

Nov 20, 2021; El Paso, Texas, USA; Mandatory Credit: Ivan Pierre Aguirre-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 20, 2021; El Paso, Texas, USA; Mandatory Credit: Ivan Pierre Aguirre-USA TODAY Sports /

Multiple sources reported on Thursday the Miami football program pushed back its plans to travel to El Paso for the Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl from December 26 to the 30th. The Hurricanes will arrive the day before the game is played. That is standard procedure for a regular-season game.

Teams usually arrive nearly a week in advance for bowl games. Covid has drastically altered how bowls operate their activities in the week before games are played. Several activities were conducted in the week before bowl games prior to 2020. Miami also arrived a day before the Cheez-It Bowl in Orlando in 2020.

The Miami athletic department released a statement on Wednesday about the fluid situation regarding several football players being in Covid protocol but that they were still committed to playing in the Sun Bowl. If any further altering is needed the game can be played as late as January 10 according to Nicole Auerbach of The Athletic.

Any later than January 10 would require a waiver according to Auerbach. The game being moved seems unlikely. On Thursday it was officially announced that Rutgers is replacing Texas A&M in the Gator Bowl. The Aggies had to withdraw from the Jacksonville-based game due to opt-outs Covid outbreaks.

Sun Bowl executive director Bernie Olivas was quoted by Andrea Adelson of ESPN stating that the Miami football program plans on playing the game. With a week before Miami would travel to El Paso for the game, there is uncertainty about what will happen. There is optimism the Sun Bowl will be played as planned.

"“Miami is doing everything they can to make sure they get here for the game, but COVID is dictating what can happen…We are not absolutely positive they are going to come, but they have told us, and I believe them, they are doing everything they can to play.I think they really want to be at the game; the way I understand it their results are headed in the right direction. We’re all optimistic they’re going to be here.”"

Miami has previously played in the Sun Bowl twice. The Hurricanes lost to Notre Dame in 2010 under interim head coach Jeff Stoutland. Miami lost to Washington State in 2015 under interim head coach Larry Scott setting up the rematch this season. Defensive line coach Jess Simpson is currently the Miami interim head coach.

Next. Miami DL and WRs will have bigger roles in Sun Bowl. dark

The entire Miami football coaching staff has been reshuffled for the Sun Bowl. Todd Stroud is replacing Simpson as the DL coach, defensive backs coach Travaris Robinson is the interim defensive coordinator and wide receivers coach Rob Likens is the interim offensive coordinator. The Sun Bowl will have a Noon Eastern time kickoff.