Louisiana Tech head coach Skip Holtz won his sixth consecutive bowl game for the Bulldogs and did so in dominating fashion. His Bulldogs shutout the Miami (Fla.) Hurricanes 14-0 in what turned out to be a dominating defensive performance. The Hurricanes managed just 74 yards on the ground and accounted for 227 yards overall. Walk-On’s Independence Bowl Defensive MVP Connor Taylor had nine tackles and 1.5 tackles for loss.
Miami (Fla.) LB Shaquille Quarterman (No. 55 pictured) may be the Hurricanes' most consistent leader. While many of his teammates sat out the game to prepare for the 2020 NFL Draft, Quarterman -who led the team in tackles (107) and ranked second in tackles for loss (15.5) - tallied 11 tackles in his final career game. Despite his efforts, Louisiana Tech junior running back Justin Henderson (No. 33 pictured) finished with 95 yards on 22 carries. Henderson (1,062 rushing yards, 16 total TDs in 2019) earned 2019 Independence Bowl Offensive MVP honors.
With Louisiana Tech All-American CB Amik Robertson sitting out the bowl game to prepare for the draft, senior corner Michael Sam (No. 5 pictured) was out to send a message early in the game. This physical tackle on Miami (Fla.) senior wide receiver K.J. Osborn (No. 2 pictured) set a tone. Sam had 46 tackles, three interceptions and seven pass break-ups in 2019.
Miami (Fla.) freshman defensive end Gregory Rousseau (No. 15 pictured) had a size challenge versus Louisiana Tech senior OT Gewhite Stallworth (6'8, 320). Rousseau's slippery nature proved to be tough for Stallworth at times. Rousseau is draft-eligible for the 2021 NFL Draft and this season proved to be a breakout. He finished with 54 tackles, 15.5 quarterback sacks (second nationally), 19.5 tackles for losses (seventh nationally), two forced fumbles and one pass break-up.