Miami’s QB remains a mystery for Independence Bowl

Field Level Media

December 25, 2019 at 8:36 pm.

If Miami coach Manny Diaz has decided who will start at quarterback when the Hurricanes meet Louisiana Tech in the Independence Bowl on Thursday, he apparently is keeping it to himself.

Diaz has yet to announce his choice among Jarren Williams and N’Kosi Perry, who split the duties this the season, and Tate Martell. A transfer from Ohio State, Martell didn’t throw a pass for the Hurricanes this season and twice took a leave of absence.

Diaz opened the competition before practices started for the bowl game. He said Tuesday he is treating the bowl game as a head start for next season and wanted to keep evaluating the quarterbacks through the final practice later that day.

“What we’ve talked about this game being is a bridge to the 2020 season,” Diaz told reporters. “We’ve got some outstanding senior leadership, but we bring a ton of guys back to the team next year. Trying to set the expectation of how to prepare for a bowl game, how to win a bowl game, how to win a trophy. That’s a learned behavior.”

Williams, a redshirt freshman, played in 11 games this season, completing 160 of 256 passes for 2,093 yards with 19 touchdowns and six interceptions.

Perry, a redshirt sophomore, connected on 80 of 146 pass attempts in seven games. He threw for 993 yards with eight touchdowns and two interceptions.

Four players have announced they are sitting out the game to prepare for the NFL draft: senior linebacker Michael Pinckney and senior defensive end Trevon Hill, as well as junior defensive end Jonathan Garvin and junior wide receiver Jeff Thomas.

The Hurricanes (6-6, 4-4 Atlantic Coast Conference) and Louisiana Tech (9-3, 6-2 Conference USA) will meet at 4 p.m. ET at Independence Stadium in Shreveport, La. The game will air on ESPN.