#35 Miami (FL) Football 2015 Preview

Miami Hurricanes

Overall Rank: #35
#6 ACC

Miami Team Page#35 Miami (FL) Football 2015 PreviewBuy Miami Football Tickets

The 2015 season is without question a make or break season for head coach Al Golden and the Miami Hurricanes. There is enough talent within the program based on the NFL Draft results from this past spring for Miami to be better than settling for 6-7 and a bowl game against a mediocre at best South Carolina team. While playing in Sun Life Stadium is the ultimate home-field disadvantage, there is still more than enough talent in the program to overcome that and be a contender in the ACC Coastal Division on an annual basis.

2014 Record: 6-7, 3-5
2014 Bowl: Independence Bowl vs. South Carolina (L 21-24)
Coach: Al Golden 28-22 at Miami, 55-56 overall
Offensive Coordinator: James Coley
Defensive Coordinator: Mark D’Onofrio

Returning Leaders:
Rushing: Joseph Yearby RB, 509 yards
Passing: Brad Kaaya, QB, 3,198 yards
Receiving: Herb Waters, WR, 277 yards
Tackles: Jermaine Grace, LB, 60
Sacks: Three with 3 sacks each
Interceptions: Two with 2 each

Other Key Returnees:  OG Daniel Isidora, WR Rashawn Scott, TE Standish Dobard, S Deon Bush, LB Raphael Kirby, LB Tyriq McCord, DE Chad Thomas, WR Stacey Coley

Key Losses: RB Duke Johnson, WR Phillip Dorsett, LB Denzel Perryman, WR Clive Walford, LT Ereck Flowers, C Shane McDermott, LG Jon Feliciano

One thing that will help Miami get moving in the right direction is the quarterback position is stabilized. Brad Kaaya did a nice job as a freshman, throwing for 3,198 yards. Kaaya, for the most part, kept the Hurricanes in games including a near upset of Florida State. The secondary will return multiple playmakers as well, led by Deon Bush who had a pair if interceptions last season. This experience in the secondary will buy Miami time while they reload their front seven, which will be led by senior linebacker Raphael Kirby. Herb Waters and Stacey Coley will have to set the tone for the wide receivers and make plays for the Hurricanes. Also, keep an eye on Rashawn Scott, who was the best receiver for Miami during spring practice and you could expect to see more use of the tight end with the return of Standish Dobard. Joseph Yearby will have the challenge of replacing the great Duke Johnson at running back as he showed signs of being able to produce last season when called upon.

The inconsistency of Miami as a whole is a big reason why Al Golden has his back against the wall in 2015. Instead of building on the near upset of Florida State, the Hurricanes followed that game up with a very flat embarrassing 30-13 loss at Virginia. The combination of turnovers and penalties were a lethal combination that doomed Miami all throughout the 2014 season. The Hurricanes were penalized 93 times and committed 24 turnovers. Defensively, Miami is going to have to find a way to generate more pressure on the quarterback after ranking in the bottom half of the ACC in sacks. The offensive line is going to be another big question that will need to be answered as the Hurricanes are replacing 111 career starts, including a top ten NFL pick in left tackle Ereck Flowers. The ability to get the offensive line to gel quickly will tell the story of the 2015 season very quickly.

The Bottom Line:
It is going to be critical for the Hurricanes to take care of business in the first two games against Bethune-Cookman and Florida Atlantic. If they don’t, the schedule starting with Nebraska on September 19th becomes very daunting. The game against the Cornhuskers will probably be a virtual road game at Sun Life Stadium considering how well Nebraska fans travel. But the Cornhuskers will still be going through a bit of transition with new head coach Mike Riley implementing his system. With a very difficult road schedule including trips to Florida State, Cincinnati and Pittsburgh, the Hurricanes need to hold serve at home and upset a Clemson or Georgia Tech if they will have a chance at eight wins this season.

Projected Bowl: Military Bowl

2014 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 180.4 (48th in nation, 6th in conference)
Passing Offense: 249.9 (47, 5)
Total Offense: 430.3 (44, 4)
Scoring Offense: 29.2 (59, 9)
Rushing Defense: 137.1 (30, 5)
Pass Defense: 192.5 (17, 3)
Total Defense: 329.6 (14, 4)
Scoring Defense: 24.3 (36, 7)
Turnover Margin: -0.08 (66, 9)
Sacks: 2.08 (68, 10)
Sacks Allowed: 1.62 (29, 4)

Madness 2015 Recruit Rankings:
#96 Mark Walton
#147 Tyree St. Louis


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