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Louisiana Tech shuts out Miami in unwatchable Independence Bowl

In the macabre theater of awful bowl games, the 2019 Independence Bowl. It wasn’t fun-bad, like last year’s Cheez-It Bowl. It was just... bad.

The final score pretty much says it all: Louisiana Tech 14, Miami 0.

The Hurricanes played three quarterbacks. None were effective. Jarren Williams started the game and went 9-of-20 for 94 yards and an interception. Tate Martell got a series; he completed his only pass but largely tried to make plays with his legs. He finished with five carries for five yards. N’Kosi Perry came in in relief and had two chances to put the Hurricanes on the scoreboard.

First, after Gilbert Frierson intercepted Louisiana Tech’s J’Mar Smith and gave the Hurricanes the ball at midfield with 12:28 to play, Perry led Miami to the Bulldogs’ 35-yard line, but they wound up punting from the 39. That 4th-and-14 would be their last chance.

Louisiana Tech drove 48 yards on their next possession, forcing Miami to take over at their own 20 with 5:24 to play, and Perry threw a game-ending interception at midfield with four minutes to play.

Smith put the game out of its misery with a clinching 8-yard touchdown run with 1:15 to play. He gave the Bulldogs the lead on a 20-yard strike to Israel Tucker at the 9:34 mark of the second quarter, but outside of that throw he was 12-of-27 for 143 yards and an interception.

Still, Smith looked like Joe Burrow compared to Miami’s quarterbacks, who went 15-of-34 for 153 yards with two interceptions. As a team, Miami snapped the ball 62 times, gaining 227 yards and achieving 15 first downs. This was the last game for Dan Enos as Miami’s offensive coordinator, and both sides likely can’t wait to get out of this relationship. Miami’s first season under Manny Diaz ends at 6-7 with losses to two Conference USA schools and a second straight corpse-like performance in a bowl game.

The win allows Louisiana Tech to shake off a disappointing November by extending its bowl winning streak to six and pushing this season’s win total to double digits.