Featured

#16 Miami hosts North Carolina on Thursday night to open up ACC play.

The Miami Hurricanes are set to kick-off their ACC schedule Thursday night when the North Carolina Tar Heels roll into town for a nationally televised showdown. The atmosphere is going to be electric. Miami is bringing out their “Miami Nights” jerseys for the first time this season and the crowd is expected to be decked out in black to match the theme of the night.

The Tar Heels were off to a rocky start, losing their first two games of the season to Cal and ECU. It is likely that they would have lost their third consecutive game when the self-proclaimed national champion UCF Knights came to town, but Hurricane Florence had other plans. The game was cancelled and the Heels had an extra week to prepare for the Pittsburgh Panthers.

The Tar Heels wound up winning a shootout and earned their first win of the season 38-35. It was their fourth consecutive victory over the Panthers. Pitt did some damage by putting up 228 rushing yards while averaging 6.3 yards per carry. ECU had similar success in a 41-19 blowout victory over the Heels in week two in which they ran for 220 yards and four touchdowns. If UNC comes to Miami with that soft rushing defense, Miami could have their way with them. And if Pitt and ECU can torch them on the ground, I have to assume that Travis Homer and Deejay Dallas can too.

North Carolina’s Offense

Under center for the Tar Heels is Nathan Elliot. Elliot has been the starting quarterback for North Carolina through three games and has thrown for 669 yards and three touchdowns with four interceptions. However, former North Carolina Mr. Football, Chazz Surratt, is back from his suspension for selling team issued Air Jordan’s. Surratt is just one of 13 North Carolina players that were suspended for at least one game. Surratt struggled as a true freshman last year, winning just one of just eight games that he either started or played significant minutes in. North Carolina head coach Larry Fedora named Elliot as the starter but left the option open of Surratt getting some playing time. In last years’ 24-19 loss to Miami, Elliot went just 16/39 and threw three interceptions and Surratt went 1/3 for 23 yards. Whoever is playing will have some weapons on the outside that shouldn’t be overlooked.

Wide receiver Anthony Ratliff-Williams may be one of the most dynamic playmakers in the entire ACC. Against Pitt, Ratliff-Williams was virtually unstoppable. If Elliot needs to make a play it is safe to assume that he is targeting number 17. Opposite of him is Dazz Newsome, a 5’11 sophomore that has 11 catches for 132 yards and averages 12 yards per catch. Newsome is the guy that Fedora wants to get into open space so he could use his electric speed to crate yards after the catch. Miami is allowing just 145 passing yards per game through four games, which is sixth best in the nation.

Antonio Williams and Jordan Brown have been the workhorses in the backfield. Williams leads the two in carries (39), yards (257) and yards per carry (6.6). The junior back also leads the team in touchdowns with three. Brown, the complimentary back, is averaging 4.4 yards per carry and has two touchdowns of his own. However, the Tar Heels leading rusher from a year ago, Michael Carter, worked his way back into the rotation after missing the first two games due to injury. Carter’s 97 carries for 558 yards and 8 touchdowns last year lead the Heels. Expect to see his workload increase on Thursday.

North Carolina wants to run the ball. They have 103 rushing attempts compared to 62 passing attempts. Unfortunately for the Tar Heels, Miami is fielding the fifth ranked defense against the run, allowing just 78.8 yards per game. The goal for this Hurricanes defense has to be to get Elliot to throw the ball by stuffing the run and let him make his own mistakes.

The most concerning matchup for North Carolina has to be their offensive line, which has given up seven tackles for loss in two consecutive games, going up against Miami’s front seven, which leads the nation in tackles for loss.

North Carolina’s Defense

The Tar Heels are giving up 33.3 points per game which ranks tied for 103rdnationally with New Mexico. Miami, on the other hand, is ranked 18thnationally in scoring offense with 43.5 points per game.

Miami will likely be ushering redshirt freshman quarterback N’Kosi Perry for his first career start. Perry is completing 66.7% of his passes for 317 yards with six touchdowns and two interceptions. If Malik Rosier does in fact get the nod, then the Hurricanes will be led by a redshirt senior with a lot of in-game experience and knowledge of the offense. Rosier has thrown for five touchdowns and has run for five more.

Whoever is under center should be able to sling it all over the field. In their loss to ECU, North Carolina allowed seven players to average over ten yards per catch and three had over 20 yards per catch. The Tar Heels rank 99thnationally with 11.03 yards allowed per reception. Jeff Thomas averaging 26.3 yards per catch, which leads the nation, and Lawrence Cager averaging 19.3 should only dig North Carolina into a deeper hole in that category.

Cole Holcumb, the Tar Heels starting middle linebacker, had a great day in their win against Pitt. He finished the game with 12 total tackles including two big tackles for loss and a sack. Star defensive end Malik Carney is still out due to suspension. Carney had 2.5 sacks and 3.5 tackles for loss in the opener against Cal.

Prediction

On paper, this matchup does not favor North Carolina in any way, shape or form. But games aren’t won on paper. Miami must go out and simply do what they have been doing. I would not expect the Hurricanes to hold UNC to zero yards for three quarters as they did against FIU, but I could see Miami dominating this game and keeping their foot on the gas. The Heels have struggled against average competition and they now face Miami, who is far and away the most physically talented team that Larry Fedora and the Tar Heels have played thus far. They are easy to run on, their defensive backs aren’t playing very well and they rank in the bottom third in virtually every important defensive stat.

They are 122ndin turnover margin, tied for dead last nationally in turnovers gained with one and 109thin 3rddown defense. I don’t see how this team is going to keep the Hurricanes offense in check. If they played elite offenses I would understand, but they have played Cal, ECU and Pitt.

I think Miami makes a statement in this matchup after allowing UNC to hang around last year in a 24-19 win in Chapel Hill. N’Kosi Perry gets his first official win as a starter and Miami rolls for their fourth consecutive win.

Miami – 45

North Carolina – 17

Dolphins vs Raiders Week 3 Preview

Jon Gruden and his 0-2 Raiders visit the undefeated Dolphins this Sunday at Hard Rock Stadium at 1:00 pm EST. These two teams have had the complete opposite starts. One team will receive their first win and one team will receive their first loss on Sunday.

 

Before giving top their top defensive player and former defensive player of the year in 2016, Khalil Mack is now a Chicago Bear. With that, the Raiders have no pass rush in their arsenal. They have dropped their first two games to the LA Rams, 30-13, and the Denver Broncos, 20-19. First year head coach Jon Gruden might not be on the hot seat just yet, but only time will tell after Sunday.

On the other hand the Miami Dolphins have started 2-0 with Ryan Tannehill back under center. Starting with a win against the Tennessee Titans by a score of 27-20; a game that took over seven hours to complete after multiple lightning delays. In Week 2, the Fins traveled to New York to take on the Jets and their rookie quarterback Sam Darnold. With many Dolphin fans in attendance, Miami went to work and handled business by a score of 20-12.

Going into Week 3 against a desperate Oakland Raiders team, one team will receive their first win or their first loss. The Dolphins are a three point favorite over the Raiders. The over/under is 43.5

Last year the Raiders came up on top against the Dolphins 27-24 in a tight one in Miami. Dereck Carr three for over 300 yards, Marshawn Lynch had two touchdowns and Jared Cook had a solid game as well with 120+ receiving yards. In his last five road games, Marshawn Lynch has over 406 scrimmage yards and Dereck Carr’s passer rating has staying constantly over 90. With their other weapons in the receiving core, Amari Cooper and Jordy Nelson have had good starts to their season.

However, Ryan Tannehill is currently 9-1 in his last ten games and has completed 70 percent of his passes to open up the season. The veteran Frank Gore has been running all over the Raiders over the years. He has almost 470 scrimmage yards in 4 meetings. Along with Gore, wideout Kenny Stills has 436 receiving yards and four touchdowns in his las five home games. Dolphins defense has looked exceptional, especially with the addition of Minkah Fitzpatrick and Robert Quinn. To go with Stills and Gore on the offensive side of the ball, Danny Amendola, Albert Wilson and Jakeem Grant are all weapons for Tannehill to feed to. Speaking of weapons, WR Devante Parker is set to play this Sunday as he makes his return after being sidelined with an injured finger. He is expected to make some plays for this loaded offense.

Score prediction:

Dolphins – 27

Raiders – 17

Miami Dolphins vs. Oakland Raiders in Miami, FL @ Hard Rock Stadium at 1:00 p.m. EST.

All Things Deejay Dallas; he is no RB, he is everything.

Photo Courtesy: Sun Sentinel

Miami Hurricanes Athlete Deejay Dallas is the whole enchilada. What are you going to get out of him? He can run the ball from the backfield, catch the ball on a fly, take back punts and kicks and do you want him to throw the ball? Done.

 

Reigning from Brunswick, Georgia, Dallas is going into his second year at The U. Being one of the most versatile players in the country, he is expected to shine this year and have an even bigger impact for this Hurricanes team. Starting in the receiver position last year he then transferred to running back. He also played quarterback in the wildcat along with punt and kick returns.

Playing 12 of the 13 games last year as a freshman, Dallas ran for 217 yards, three touchdowns on 41 carries. He also caught four passes racking up 92 yards.

He is listed at 5’10 220 pounds. He has gained an impressive 25 pounds in the offseason after being 195 in 2017. The sturdy and speedy Dallas is an extremely skilled athlete that can handle multiple roles on the field. He clocks in at 4.45 in his 40 yard dash and is one of the faster guys on the team. He is also already helping out freshman like Cam’Ron Davis and Lorenzo Lingard with their game and ways to improve in certain areas.

Dallas and Jeff Thomas are a lock for punt and kick returns for the Canes this upcoming season. Both speedsters put on a show with their legs last year and look to do go above and beyond this year. This Miami Hurricanes team has a lot of promising signs to be exceed everyones expectations this year.

With the guy who can do it all, Deejay Dallas is a big aspect to this team and their success. If healthy of course the one-two punch of RB1 Travis Homer and Dallas in the backfield can be lethal. Running backs coach Thomas Brown is by far impressed with what Dallas has become. Not only impressive but there is more to come from him with a whole lot of potential.

A very early preview of the 2018 Miami Hurricanes

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.

Prediction:

National Ranking: 4

ACC Coast Prediction: 1

Ryan Tannehill is back and eager to make fans excited for 2018

Featured

Number 17 is back in uniform on the practice field with a big smile on his face. 

Every May all NFL teams hold voluntary practices for players to come out and run through plays they do not really use for months. Not really “voluntary” practices, all players come out and get to work in the blistering sun and prepare themselves for training camp essentially.

For number 17, it is pure excitement to be on the field.

Frustrating by watching the game with the coaches, even worse watching practice as well all of 2017. After being sidelined with a torn ACL, Ryan Tannehill couldn’t take the smile off his face in the first day of Dolphins OTA’s. Discouraged by watching the game with the coaches, even worse watching practice as well.

After a season of Jay Cutler under center, Tannehill looks to be more poised and more ready than ever. After six years of Tannehill in Miami, theres not much more to say than he is arguably and above average quarterback. With a frustrating and wavering fan base in Miami, these Dolfans want to see an elite Tannehill. All in all, this may be his last chance to prove himself to the Dolphins and to the city of Miami.

Under the steady eye of head coach Adam Gase, Tannehill has improved through the work they have put in together. Gase has had history with great quarterbacks as in Peyton Manning, other than the fiasco of Cutler last season, Tannehill has improved and can only get better from here.

His last eight games on the field included 215 yards per game, 69.1 percent of his passes were completed, with 13 touchdowns and five interceptions. Let’s face it, he looked pretty good. The five picks are a little too much for eight games, but he looked like a solid quarterback.

You can tell Tannehill was eager and and ambitious to get out on the football field all last season on the sideline. Standing next to Gase and other coaches, listening on in every play, helping and guiding other players through out the game and just being involved constantly along with being on crutches. With a year off he has a better understanding on what Gase and this offense is trying to do to get back in the playoffs.

With some work left to do for the rest of OTA’s and going into training camp this summer, Tannehill and the rest of the gang need to get back on track with their “star” quarterback. It all starts with a healthy Tannehill and the rest will fall into place for the Fins. The multiple weapons Miami acquired through the draft and offseason include Danny Amendola, Albert Wilson, Frank Gore, Mike Gesicki, Durham Smythe and Kalen Ballage. This will give Tannehill a chance to start fresh with some new players and return to the scheme of this offense.