Coach: Skip Holtz
Louisiana Tech Players to watch:
Senior QB J’Mar Smith (6-1/226)
Louisiana Tech senior QB J’Mar Smith becomes the second Bulldog to be named C-USA Offensive Player of the Year. He has thrown for a league-best 281.4 yards per game through the air with 17 touchdowns and just four interceptions on 339 passing attempts. Smith’s passer efficiency rating of 149.7 is second-best in C-USA this season and he also ranks second in the league in total offense (304.4 yards per game). Smith threw for 300+ yards four times this season and his performances helped the Bulldogs finish off a 6-0 campaign at home – its first 6-0 home mark since 1973.
*Junior CB Amik Robertson (5-9/190)
Louisiana Tech junior cornerback Amik Robertson was voted to the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) All-America Team. Robertson is leading the nation with 19 forced incompletions. The Thibodaux, Louisiana, native ranks second in the nation with 21 total passes defended and is tied for sixth with five interceptions.
Robertson has played in 38 games over his three seasons in Ruston, and has recorded 48 passes defended over that span (tied for second most among FBS active career leaders). His 14 career interceptions are most among all active FBS players, and his three INTs returned for touchdowns lead the nation as well.
*Junior LT Willie Allen (6-6/342)
Allen was a freshman redshirt at LSU in 2016. He transferred to Tyler Junior College where he played in five games on the offensive line. In 2018, he arrived in Ruston, where he saw action in 12 games in 2018, while making two starts on the offensive line.
In 2019, Allen was named honorable mention all-conference. He has been a mainstay this season starting every game at left tackle. Tech is first in C-USA in total offense and points per contest. Allen’s skill and development will be tested in this game by Miami’s sensational redshirt freshman defensive end Gregory Rousseau.
Senior RG Ethan Reed (6-4/295)
Reed remains the nation’s active leader in consecutive starts, making 52 straight starts on the offensive line dating back to his freshman season. He bolsters a line that has helped lead the league in third-down conversion percentage (41.8) and total offense (445.2 YPG).
Senior NG Courtney Wallace (6-2/309)
Wallace played an integral role in Tech’s team defense this season – a stingy unit that allowed just 23.7 points per game and led the league for most of the year in red-zone defense (64.7 %). Wallace set career highs in tackles (39) and racked up 8.5 tackles for loss along with a pair of sacks.
Coach: Manny Diaz
Miami Players to watch:
***rFreshman DE Gregory Rousseau (6-6/250)
Rousseau has plenty of speed and plenty of length. One of the nation’s top defensive ends, the redshirt freshman enjoyed a breakout campaign in his first season as a starter. Rousseau finished with an ACC-leading 14 sacks – a total tied for second-most in the nation – and was tied for 10th in the country with 18 tackles-for-loss. Rousseau had at least one sack in eight games and had five performances with multiple tackles for loss.
Senior LB Michael Pickney (6-31/220)
Pinckney was second on the Hurricanes with 64 total tackles this season and had a career-high 12.5 tackles for loss in another standout campaign. The Jacksonville native started all 11 games in which he played and added five sacks, six quarterback hurries and three PBUs. It was the third conference honor for Pinckney, who was an All-ACC Honorable Mention selection in 2017 and 2018.
Senior MLB Shaq Quarterman (6-2/218)
Quarterman earned first-team recognition for the second straight year after a dominant season in the middle of Miami’s defense. Quarterman finished the regular season with a career-high 96 total tackles and added a career-best 15.5 tackles for loss. The Orange Park, Fla., native, who set the UM consecutive start record on Nov. 30 with his 51st straight start, has totaled 345 career tackles in 51 career games.
**Sophomore TE Brevin Jordan (6-3/245)
Jordan, one of three finalists for the Mackey Award honoring the nation’s top tight end, started 10 games this season and finished with a team-high 495 receiving yards in the regular season. Jordan, a second-team All-ACC selection a year ago, scored two touchdowns and averaged 14.1 yards per catch in another standout campaign.
*Junior CB Trajan Bandy (5-9/188)
Among Miami’s top performers in the secondary, Bandy finished the regular season with 29 tackles and three sacks after starting all 12 games. A Miami native, Bandy had a team-high seven PBUs and finished with one interception and one forced fumble. The selection marked the second career honor for Bandy, who was picked to the All-ACC Third Team as a sophomore in 2017.
Louisiana Tech 14, Miami 0
Dec 26, 2019 | 4 p.m. | ESPN
2018 Walk-On’s Independence Bowl
Duke 56, Temple 27