The Miami football team announced on Sunday they were withdrawing from the Sun Bowl. Miami had to withdraw due to Covid protocols. The Hurricanes are the fifth team this bowl season to withdraw from their game due to Covid. Coaches, players and the Miami football program all lose out withdrawing from the Sun Bowl.
Playing in a bowl game always provides a program the chance to appear nationally. Miami and Washington State were scheduled to kick off at noon eastern time on Friday. With a bit more than five weeks remaining until National Signing Day, the Sun Bowl would have provided prospects another chance to watch Miami play.
The Hurricanes staff will be vastly different in the future than what it would have been in the Sun Bowl. Interim head coach Jess Simpson loses a chance to be a head coach for the first time. Rob Likens was going to be the Miami interim offensive coordinator and Travaris Robinson the interim defensive coordinator in the Sun Bowl.
Todd Stroud took over as the interim defensive line coach for the Sun Bowl to replace Simpson. The transition of the Miami staff took place because of the firing of head coach Manny Diaz and former offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee being hired as the head coach at SMU. Likens was the wide receiver coach under Lashlee.
According to David Lake on the Through the Smoke podcast, some of the Miami coaches had tested postitive for Covid in addition to the players. In addition to the coaches losing their opportunities, several Miami football players will lose a chance for more playing time in the Sun Bowl.
Defensive linemen Jon Ford and Deandre Johnson and wide receiver Charleston Rambo all opted out of the Sun Bowl before Miami withdrew. Young Miami defensive linemen like five-star freshmen Leonard Taylor are missing out on a chance for significant snaps. Johnson and Taylor led Miami with 8.5 sacks.
Covid limited the Miami practices before the Hurricanes withdrew on Sunday. Miami also misses out on the practices they would have had this week. Without Rambo, the young Miami WRs would have received the snaps he vacated. Freshmen Romello Brinson, Jacolby George and Brashard Smith would have likely received those snaps.
The Miami Herald reported on Sunday that the Hurricanes have had only two full practices since since the final regular season game against Duke on November 27. The Miami depth appears to have have significant hindered by Covid. After withdrawing from the Sun Bowl Miami can move forward with the 2022 offseason.
Mario Cristobal will work on hiring his coaching staff and focus on recruting for National Signing Day on February 2. Cristobal has more work to do evaluting the talent on the Hurricanes roster without having a chance to see the team play live in the Sun Bowl. The 2022 offseason is one of transition for the Miami football program.