Keep your eyes on Richards, Douglas at Russell Athletic Bowl
Miami (8-4, ACC) vs. No. 14 West Virginia (10-2, Big 12), 5:30 p.m. EST (ESPN).
Line: Miami by 2-1/2.
Series Record: Miami leads 16-3.
WHAT’S AT STAKE
Miami gets yet another chance for what could be its first bowl victory since 2006. West Virginia is trying for its sixth 11-win season, and the first since 2007.
Miami WR Ahmmon Richards vs. West Virginia CB Rasul Douglas. No Miami freshman has ever had more receiving yards than Richards, who comes into the bowl game with 866 so far this season. Douglas is simply one of the best defensive backs in college football, and given how he overcame a very challenging upbringing, one of the game’s best stories as well.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Miami: QB Brad Kaaya. Already Miami’s all-time passing leader, he needs 314 yards to become the first Hurricane to reach 10,000 in a career. He has a year of eligibility left, but many expect this to be his Miami finale.
West Virginia: WR/KR Shelton Gibson. He is a big play waiting to happen, with 11 catches of 40 yards of more this season and a 22.4-yard average on his kickoff returns.
FACTS & FIGURES
West Virginia CB Antonio Crawford transferred to the Mountaineers after playing in 38 games from 2012-14 for Miami, tweeting when he left the Hurricanes that he felt he’s “a piece of gold (that) gets treated like a piece of silver.” ... The last time the former Big East rivals played was 2003, when Miami got an incredible fourth-and-13 catch from Kellen Winslow with a minute left to keep what became the winning drive alive in Miami’s 22-20 comeback victory. ... West Virginia is 2-9 all-time in bowl games in Florida, but won its last such trip — 70-33 over Clemson in the Orange Bowl on Jan. 4, 2012. ... Miami is one shy of registering its 100th tackle for a loss this season. The last time the Hurricanes reached triple-figures in that stat was 2010.
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