Hyundai Sun Bowl
Washington State (8-4) vs. Miami (8-4)
El Paso, Texas
Dec. 26, 2015
Can Washington State cap the most impressive season in 12 years with a ninth win?
The Cougars haven't finished above .500 since 2003, when Bill Doba's team had 10 wins for a third-straight season. Not-so-coincidentally, bowl games have been hard to come by in that span too. Only once, in 2013, has Wazzu gone to a bowl.
So you can't blame the Cougars for being excited to play in Saturday's Sun Bowl. Coach Mike Leach, a man responsible for some of the best quotes in college football, offered up this gem when his team arrived at the El Paso airport to a mariachi band.
"Singing, dancing, I'm the guy who does the 'Ay ay ay ay' part," Leach said of his line in the traditional Cielito Lindo song. "That's a very important part. You get through the dialog, what are you going to do, leave everyone hanging? No. I sing, 'Ay ay ay ay.' That's a very important part, maybe the most important part."
A nine-win season for Miami would be the second in three years for the program. It would also cap a remarkable push by the Hurricanes under interim coach Larry Scott. After Al Golden was relieved of his head coaching duties following a 58-0 loss to Clemson, the Hurricanes have gone 4-1 (we won't mention the ACC officiating in the miracle Duke win).
The Hurricanes are led by sophomore quarterback Brad Kaaya, who has thrown a touchdown in nine of the 11 games he's played in 2015. Kaaya has thrown for 3,019 yards and 15 touchdowns to only four interceptions.
Meanwhile, Washington State quarterback Luke Falk has kept Leach's pass-happy offense humming. Falk has thrown for 4,266 yards and 36 touchdowns with eight interceptions. He missed the final game of the season against Washington but is expected to play vs. the Hurricanes.
Graham: Miami was already going to have a tough time against Washington State’s offense and now that two defensive players have been sent home, it’s going to be even tougher. Regardless, this should be a fun contest. Wazzu 38, Miami 35.
Nick: Should I go with the sneaky low-scoring contest here? I can make a convincing case for either team, but I think Falk being healthy is the huge key. Washington State 30-20.
Sam: This should be a pretty fun one. If Luke Falk is back at full strength for Washington State, I don't think the Hurricanes will be able to keep pace with the Cougars offensively. It'll be close though. Wazzu 37, Miami 31.
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