Hurricanes Football: Bold Predictions for 2018
The Miami Hurricanes are fresh off a 10-3 season and their first New Year’s Day Bowl appearance since January of 2004. New coach Mark Richt seems to have got The “U” back on the map after three consecutive bad coaching hires in Larry Coker, Randy Shannon and Al Golden.
Miami is fresh off a 10-3 season, but a disappointed finish
Last season, the Canes were led by quarterback Malik Rosier, a redshirt junior who battled a lot contreversy and moments of inconsistency, yet proved to have great “late game” decision making capabilities. The Hurricanes will have to rebound from their three-game losing streak to end a great 2017 season on a sour note, where the Hurricanes dropped games to Pittsburgh, Clemson, and Wisconsin.
The ACC is reeling from a poor season and the loss of Jimbo Fisher. If the conference doesn’t bounce back after Florida State hired Wille Taggart away from Oregon, the ACC is wide open and Miami is their for the taking, obviously Clemson is relevant.
Miami would need to reload at a few key positions in order to state relevant when it kick off the season opener in Arlington, Texas against the LSU Tigers.
Be National Title-Good Again, And Everything Else Will Be Fine
When you’re national title-good and looking like you’re in the hunt- the turnover Chain motto is awesome, and every other team wants to hijack your idea. When you’re 10-3-good and getting embarrassed by Clemson and blown out by Wisconsin, it comes across as a “joke”.
But it really does seem like Mark Richt is getting the program close to being national title-good again. Even if the last 10-0 start was a fluke, it showed signs of greatness to come, starting with a ferocious defense that would’ve made any of the Hurricanes alumni’s very proud.
The pass rush should be amongst the best in NCAA, the secondary is beyond loaded with great veterans, and the linebacking core of true freshman starters a few years ago, has built themselves into a force to be reckoned with.
What You Need To Know About The Miami Offense
It struggled way too much on third downs, their running game was borderline mediocre, and it finished dead last in the ACC in time possession.
They have some veterans returning, but they need to really lockdown a legit quarterback, and need to figure out how to create more long, sustained drives. It starts with…
–The Offensive line needs to be great. It was a plus last season, for the most part, but it loses some of the major key parts and needs to fight for the right formula. Center Tyler Gauthier is great, and Navaughn Donaldson is a great guard who’ll work the outside. But it’ll take a complete core to make this line efficient.
-The skill positions aren’t the best, but they’re damn good. Travis Homer stepped it up after Mark Walton went down and finished with 966 yards on the ground with 8 TD’s. He’s good, but when the light goes on for superstar recruit Lorenzo Lingard, the running game will take on a whole new look.
Malik Rosier threw too many picks and and was way too inconsistent, but he also got the Hurricanes to the ACC Championship and came through in the clutch in wins over Florida State and Georgia Tech. He’ll be pushed hard in fall camp by N’Kosi Perry and star recruit Jaren Willams, but with his experience, the position is his unless someone else really lights it up.
What You Need To Know About The Miami Defense
–The nation’s best pass rush kept the pressure on, and it’ll do it again. The defensive front that helped the Canes finish with 44 sacks will lose Trent Harris and Chad Thomas, but the line is still loaded. Joe Jackson will be one of the best ends in college football, and after missing all of last year, former Florida transfer Gerald Willis should be a dominant playmaker on the interior.
-Linebacker corps will be playing their third year a group and boy they are great. Shaquille Quarterman has been amazing his first two seasons in the middle, and he’ll be flanked again by Michael Pinkney and Zach McCloud, good luck finding any better linebacker corps in the NCAA.
Best Miami Offensive Players
– OT Navaughn Donaldson
– C Tyler Gauthier
– RB Lorenzo Lingard
– QB Malik Rosier
Best Miami Defensive Players
– S Jaquan Johnson
– DE Joe Jackson
– LB Michael Pinckney
Guessing The Preseason Regular Season Win Total Will Be Set At….10
Forget about topping ten wins if the Canes lose to LSU in the opener. Road dates at Boston College, Georgia Tech, and Virginia Tech will be an issue, but they should good enough to win two of them- maybe not all three.
Will FSU come up and Taggart them in the middle of the season? Will there be a slip against North Carolina? Nah- issue Miami wins ten regular season games with a chance at an 11th in the ACC title game rematch with Clemson.