Hurricanes Passionate on Returning to National Prominence
The Miami Hurricanes were close under Mark Richt but inevitably failed to turn the corner and return as a perennial top ten team. Now Manny Diaz takes on the task of getting the program back to their expected level.
The date of November 24, 2017, turned out to be the beginning of the end for the Richt era. The Hurricanes came into the game 10-0; however, their offense sputtered only scoring 14 points against a non-bowl eligible Pittsburgh. The Hurricanes went on to be blown out by Clemson and lose in the Orange Bowl to Wisconsin.
Expectations were high going into 2018, and the balloon deflated very quickly as LSU dominated them in the Advocare Classic. After winning the next five, poor offensive play, particularly from an unsettled quarterback position, led to the team finishing a lackluster 7-5.
The team’s low point came in a rematch against Wisconsin this time at the Pinstripe Bowl. The Hurricanes were thoroughly embarrassed, losing 35-3 and were outclassed by the Badgers. Three days after the game, Richt announced his retirement.
The Hurricanes return eight starters on offense and hope to find an answer at quarterback between Ohio State transfer Tate Martell, N’Kosi Perry, and redshirt freshman Jarren Williams.
The Canes ranked fourth in the nation in total defense last season. If they can replace some critical losses on this unit, they have the potential to be just as good. The key was Diaz’s decision to stay after accepting the head coaching position at Temple.
Under Diaz, the club created the turnover chain and the defense played at a level not seen since the program’s heyday in the past two seasons. The team added several transfer recruits on both sides of the ball to help with depth and graduation losses.
The Hurricanes total win expectation is 8.5. The opener against Florida is a challenge with the changes and new faces to gel. They also have a trip to Tallahassee in early November. However, they get Virginia and Virginia Teach at home and do not face Clemson. I think optimism in Coral Gables is warranted and the team should be able to reach at least nine wins.
ACC Conference Predictions (Episode 1)
The first part talks about Clemson, Florida State, and the remaining teams in the Atlantic Division. The second part talks about Miami, Virginia, Virginia Tech, and the remaining teams in the Atlantic Division.