Miami football DE rotation thin for Pinstripe Bowl versus Rutgers

Sep 23, 2023; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Mandatory Credit: Andy Lewis-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 23, 2023; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Mandatory Credit: Andy Lewis-USA TODAY Sports /

The Miami football team will be extremely thin at defensive end for the Pinstripe Bowl versus Rutgers on December 28. Miami was already without starting DEs Nyjalik Kelly and Akheem Mesidor who were lost to season-ending injuries during the year. Three transfers have further depleted the Miami edge rusher depth.

Fifth-year redshirt Junior Jahfari Harvey, redshirt Freshman Cyrus Moss and fourth-year Junior Chantz Williams announced their entry into the transfer portal over the last week. The Miami football team is left with true freshmen Collins Acheampong, Rueben Bain and Jayden Wayne for the Pinstripe Bowl.

Miami has played a three-three-five lineup defensively throughout most of the season. Bain started with defensive tackles Branson Deen and Jared Harrison-Hunte in the 45-20 win over Boston College to finish the regular season. Harvey started five games for Miami in 2023 and is a blow to the Hurricanes’ Pinstripe Bowl depth.

Kelly started three games and Mesidor twice early in the season. As Miami defensive coordinator Lance Guidry moved from using four defensive linemen early in the season to three after Kelly and Mesidor were injured, K.J. Cloyd started three games at the hybrid defensive lineman/linebacker position.

Bain led the Miami defensive linemen this season with 37 tackles, was second on the Hurricanes with 9.5 tackles for loss and tied with Francisco Mauigoa for the Hurricanes’ team lead with 7.5 sacks. There was a significant drop in production from the Miami edge rushers after Bain.

Expect Mario Cristobal, Guidry and DL coaches Joe Salave’a and Jason Taylor to shuffle the DL versus Rutgers. True freshman Malik Bryant was switched from LB to DE this season. Miami still lists Bryant as a LB on its roster. Bryant did not record any stats this season. Some of the DTs on the Miami football roster can play DE.

Miami will also be without Leonard Taylor at DT after he declared for the NFL Draft. Bain, Deen and Harrison-Hunte will likely start for Miami on the DL in the Pinstripe Bowl. Anthony Campbell, Thomas Gore, Josh Horton Jake Lichtenstein and Ahmad Moten will rotate as the backups on the DL versus Rutgers.

Harrison-Hunte and Lichtenstein have both played DE and DT. Expect a lot of matching and mixing for Miami on the DL in the Pinstripe Bowl. Guidry could choose some exotic looks by using two traditional DL and having Cloud lineup as a pseudo-DE. Cloyd has been surprising this season with 42 tackles, 6.5 TFLs and 2.5 sacks.

Next. Miami Pinstripe Bowl early odds versus Rutgers. dark

Miami faces a Rutgers offense that is 105th nationally averaging 22.6 points per game and 123rd with 307.4 total yards per game. The Rutgers offensive line has allowed only 14 sacks this season which is 13th nationally, but 128th allowing 48 sacks. Miami will need a productive game from Bain versus Rutgers.