Miami football team withdraws from Sun Bowl against Washington State due to COVID-19 cases on Hurricanes' roster

<p><p>Unless the Sun Bowl can find a replacement opponent in less than four days, that’s a wrap on Washington State’s 2021 season.</p></p><p><p>The University of Miami’s athletic department announced Sunday evening that its football team has withdrawn from its Dec. 31 postseason game against the Cougars in El Paso, Texas, because of “COVID-19 cases impacting our roster,” according to a release from UM.</p></p><p><p>“(The Hurricanes) do not have enough student-athletes to safely compete, and the health and safety of our student-athletes will always be our top priority,” Miami deputy director of athletics Jennifer Strawley said, quoted in a school release.</p></p><p><p>The Cougs arrived in El Paso at 1:30 p.m. PST on Sunday, only to learn three hours later that they might be forced to conclude their memorable season in unsatisfying fashion.</p></p><p><p>The Sun Bowl is searching for a replacement to play the Cougars, according to a release from WSU’s athletic department and a tweet from coach Jake Dickert</p></p><p><p>“Our team is in El Paso and willing to play any opponent,” Dickert wrote. “Our team just wants one more chance to finish this storied 2021 season.”</p></p><p><p>Memphis, SMU and East Carolina each had bowl games canceled in recent days because of COVID-19 issues affecting their opponents, but those three programs have reportedly decided to end their seasons.</p></p><p><p>Rutgers replaced Texas A&amp;M in the Gator Bowl after the Aggies withdrew from the game Wednesday. The Scarlet Knights were extended a bid because they boasted the best APR score among 5-7 teams.</p></p>