#25 Miami (FL) Football 2021 Preview

Miami Hurricanes
Overall Rank: #25
#3 ACC
 Miami Logo
Miami got off to a great start in 2020. In their first nine games, the Hurricanes won eight with the only loss coming at Clemson. The campaign did not end well though with a 62-26 loss at home against North Carolina and a close defeat against Oklahoma State in the Cheez-It Bowl.
2020 Record: 8-3, 7-2
2020 Bowl: Cheez-It Bowl vs. Oklahoma State (L 37-34)
Coach: Manny Diaz (14-10 at Miami, 14-10 overall)
Offensive Coordinator: Rhett Lashlee
Defensive Coordinator: Manny Diaz
Returning Leaders:
Rushing: Cam’Ron Harris, RB, 643 yards
Passing: D’Eriq King, QB, 2,686 yards
Receiving: Mike Harley, WR, 799 yards
Tackles: Bubba Bolden, S, 74
Sacks: Jared Harrison-Hunte, DL, 3.0; Bradley Jennings Jr, LB, 3,0
Interceptions: Al Blades, CB, 2
Other Key Returnees: RB Donald Chaney Jr, RB Jaylan Knighton, WR Mark Pope, WR Dee Wiggins, CB Te’Cory Couch, CB DJ Ivey, K Andres Borregales, P Lou Hedley
Key Losses: TE Brevin Jordan, DE Jaelan Phillips, DE Quincy Roche
D’Eriq King really helped turned the offense around. There is still work to do though. King threw for 2,686 yards and 23 touchdowns with just five interceptions. He also added 538 yards and four touchdowns on the ground and thrived in Miami’s new offensive scheme. King is recovering from a torn ACL though and it remains to be seen if he will be at full health this year. Mike Harley is a great receiver and caught 57 passes for 799 yards last year. Mark Pope, Dee Wiggins and Oklahoma transfer Charleston Rambo will provide King plenty of talented options at wide receiver. Behind an improving offensive line, the ground game has plenty of potential too. Cam’Ron Harris rushed for 643 yards and ten touchdowns and Donald Chaney and Jaylan Knighton both tallied over 50 carries and averaged over four yards per attempt.
The defensive coaching staff saw some overhaul in the offseason in the hopes for dramatic improvement. The front line was decimated by departures and there is not a ton of experience ready to step into the starting lineup. The secondary is now the strength of the defense, led by safety Bubba Bolden who tallied 74 tackles last season. Cornerback Al Blades intercepted a team high two passes and Georgia transfer Tyrique Stevenson will add more options for Coach Manny Diaz.
The Bottom Line:
If the offense can keep improving and the defense can see a quick turnaround like the offense did last year, this could be a very dangerous Miami team. We will learn a lot early on when the Hurricanes play Alabama in Atlanta. A non-conference game against Michigan State is the type of game this team should win. Without Clemson on the schedule, the biggest conference games come in back-to-back weeks in October with a trip to North Carolina and a home date against NC State.
Projected Bowl:  Gator Bowl
2020 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 162.5 (67th in nation, 8th in conference)
Passing Offense: 277.3 (29, 5)
Total Offense: 439.8 (32, 6)
Scoring Offense: 34.0 (26, 4)
Rushing Defense: 174.5 (76, 7)
Pass Defense: 233.9 (65, 4)
Total Defense: 408.4 (67, 5)
Scoring Defense: 27.0 (51, 4)
Turnover Margin: 0.36 (38, 4)
Sacks: 2.73 (32, 7)
Sacks Allowed: 2.73 (98, 8)