Mark Richt and his Canes expect to be in contention again this year in the College Football Playoffs.
Finally breaking out into the big picture and being able to play in a New Years Six Bowl, Miami made a statement last year. Coming in at No. 8 in the way too early rankings according to ESPN, The U looks to get back in a bowl game and make some noise.
Mark Richt and the Canes went 10-3 capturing the ACC Coastal Division. Not ending the way most fans wanted to, losing 34-24 in the Orange bowl to the Wisconsin Badgers. However, Richt has the boys in the right track to have, what is expected, a remarkable season.
The Hurricanes have many offensive weapons, the turnover chain should make its appearances once again this year, and the question that always lingers is the QB job. Having all the right pieces, Miami just needs to put them together.
Malik Rosier is coming off a 10 win season with the Canes. The fifth year senior has proven that he can get the job done at times but at other times fans aren’t the biggest supporter of him. During the three game losing streak Miami had last year to end the season, Rosier’s passing percentage was 44.9 percent. N’Koski Perry, Cade Weldon and true freshman Jarren Williams are ready to take his job this offseason. If Rosier’s accuracy doesn’t play up to par, there will cost likely being some changes on who is under center.
No matter the QB, this offense has weapons. Coming off knee surgery and looking better than ever, Ahmmon Richards is back along with speedsters Jeff Thomas and Mike Harley. In the backfield it includes Travis Homer and DeeJay Dallas who we have all seen what they can do. The two freshman tight ends Will Mallory and Brevin Jordan have high expectations coming into this program and making a name for themselves. Other players like Lorenzo Lingard, Lawrence Cager, and Mark Pope also are going to have a big impact on this offense.
Lets face it, the offensive line has not been great. The only sure things are the two seniors of Tyree St. Louis and Tyler Gautheir. Also, sophomore Navaughn Donaldson have the job locked. The rest of the O-Line is up for grabs. The summer is long and this coaching staff will put something together to protect the line.
The dazzling turnover chain caught the country’s attention last year 30 times. With 13 fumbles and 17 interceptions, the Canes should repeat this number of turnovers. However, during their 1-3 finish the coverage struggled as opponent completed 70.1 percent of their passes in those four games and only picking it off once.
The D-Line is looking solid though, with Joe Jackson, Johnathan Garvin, Gerald Willis and highly anticipated Nesta Silvera all have NFL talent. This line should hold it down and go to work int he trenches foe this Canes team. Other than them, the rest of this defense is about to improve with some new players and current ones. Jaquan Johnson, Michael Jackson and Trajan Bandy lead the secondary. Michael Pickney, Shaq Quarterman, and Zach McCloud lead the linebacker squad with other competitors in line.
With Michael Bagdley out the door, Bubba Baxa will fill his shoes in a big role for this Miami Hurricanes team. Punter Zach Feagles struggled last year, we all know that. With a lot of offseason work he should grow and make this season better than last. Also, expect Jeff Thomas or Deejay Dallas to back up Braxton Berrios job last year at punt returner.
With work to do this offseason, Miami will look to get back into the College Football Playoffs discussion and the ACC title game. Mark Richt is building a championship caliber team little by little. There has been signs and it has been proven last year. Opening up against LSU, Miami’s goal to come out with some fireworks and show the world the U is back.
National Ranking: 4
ACC Coast Prediction: 1