One hour before kickoff, the No. 9 Miami Hurricanes football program announced 13 players as “unavailable” for Saturday’s game against Virginia Tech. During the 2020 season, Miami has adopted the policy of adopting the policy of releasing an “unavailability report” one hour prior to the kickoff. Miami announced the following players would be out vs. Virginia Tech: DT Jason Blissett, Jr., OL John Campbell, Jr., OL Jakai Clark, DT Jared Harrison-Hunte, DE Jahfari Harvey, TE Larry Hodges, DT Jalar Holley, LB Zach McCloud, OL Cleveland Reed, Jr., OL Jalen Rivers, OL Issiah Walker Jr., DB Keshawn Washington, and DE Chantz Williams.
The offensive line will be without two starting offensive linemen in Campbell and Clark along with reserves Reed and Rivers. Ousman Traore was out for the NC State game and is back into the lineup now. Traore started the season opener against UAB. Walker has been unavailable all season as he waits for his waiver to play from the NCAA.
There is potential that veteran Navaughn Donaldson, who has started over 30 games during his career, makes his season debut at Virginia Tech.
Miami will also be without key defensive contributors in Harrison-Hunte, who leads the team in sacks along with starting weak-side linebacker Zach McCloud. Harvey is a rotational defensive end that will be missed from a depth standpoint as well.
With Harrison-Hunte out, it will mean more snaps for senior Jon Ford. McCloud’s absence means a bigger role for sophomore Sam Brooks.
The positive news with this report is the return of tight end Brevin Jordan, who is Miami’s most talented skill position player.
Jordan has been held out of three games—Pittsburgh, Virginia, and NC State—and has totaled 18 reception for 243 yards and three touchdowns in four games this year.
With Jordan back in the fold, Miami’s attack is now at full strength for the first time since the Clemson game.
Miami was missing 11 players last week at NC State and UM was without eight players during the previous game against Virginia.
The following players have opted out for the 2020 season or are out for the season due to an injury:
· DE Greg Rousseau (opt out)
· OL Kai-Leon Herbert (opt out)
· OL Zalon’tae Hillery (opt out)
· QB Tate Martell (opt out)
· DB Avantae Williams (season ending medical condition)
Rousseau, who projects as a first round NFL Draft pick, opted out of the 2020 season due to COVID-19 concerns before the start of fall camp.
Williams is out for the season due to “chronic and lingering medical issues” that were discovered during the summer. Williams is currently participating in UM practices without contact.
Herbert and Hillery decided to opt out of the 2020 season roughly one week before the season opener against UAB. With them not available this season, the Hurricanes have true freshman right tackle Chris Washington listed as the back-up right tackle on the official depth chart.
Martell opted out of the 2020 season prior to the Louisville game.
Despite missing 11 players, Miami (6-1, 5-1) is coming off a 44-41 win at NC State last week.
Virginia Tech (4-3, 4-2) is coming off a 38-35 loss to Liberty last week.
At the time of publishing this article, Miami is viewed as a 1.5 point underdog, according to the William Hill Sportsbook.