Pinstripe Bowl Preview: Miami vs. Rutgers

Freshman running back Mark Fletcher, Jr. breaks a tackle for to score the game winning touchdown in overtime during Miami's homecoming game against Virginia on Oct. 29, 2023. Photo credit: Emily Rice

The Bag Boy Motors Pinstripe Bowl is on the horizon for the Miami Hurricanes. Miami is hoping to secure its first bowl-game victory since 2016. The ‘Canes will go to battle against the 6-6 Rutgers Scarlet Knights.

This ‘Canes team will look a bit different than the one that went 7-5 this season. Miami has lost talent on both sides of the ball. Three defensive leaders, Kamren Kinchens, James Williams and Leonard Taylor III, are off to the NFL Draft, while Corey Flagg and Jahfari Harvey entered the transfer portal. Flagg is off to Missouri, and Harvey will take his talents to SMU to play for former Miami offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee.

On the offensive side of the ball, two starting offensive linemen, Javion Cohen and Matt Lee, are off to the NFL Draft. Key offensive contributors in quarterback Tyler Van Dyke, wide receiver Colbie Young and running back Donald Chaney Jr. are in the transfer portal. Van Dyke is headed to Wisconsin, Young to Georgia and Chaney to Louisville.

Miami is left shorthanded at the quarterback position, with Van Dyke gone and freshman Emory Williams injured. That leaves redshirt freshman Jaccuri Brown to make his first appearance of the season for the ‘Canes. The dual-threat quarterback looks to give Miami’s offense a different dimension in its bowl game.

With Young gone, Brown will be looking for receivers Jacolby George and Xavier Restrepo even more. Freshman Nathaniel Joseph may also see more reps with the loss of Young. Freshman running back Mark Fletcher Jr. will also need to be an anchor for the Miami offense without its preferred quarterbacks and two starting offensive linemen.

Rutgers struggles in the passing game. Its quarterback, junior Gavin Wismatt, has thrown for just 1,651 yards on the year.

The Scarlett Knight offense is headed by its strong running back – junior Kyle Monangai. The 1,000-yard rusher has seven touchdowns on the year and averages over five yards per carry. He’ll be a focal point for the ‘Canes defense. As a team, Rutgers’s rushing attack is very strong. The Knights average over 165 yards rushing per game, with Wismatt and Monangai being threats to score at any time.

ESPN gives Miami a 66.5% chance to win on Thursday afternoon. If the ‘Canes can stifle the strong rushing attack from Rutgers and get solid quarterback play from Brown, they should be well on their way to snapping a four-game bowl losing streak.

Kickoff for the game is scheduled for 2:15 p.m. and will be aired on ESPN.