#29 Miami (FL) Football 2014 Preview

Miami Hurricanes

Overall Rank: #29
#5 ACC

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Miami got off to a quick start in 2013, beating the likes of Florida, Georgia Tech and North Carolina to begin the season 7-0. But after gaining all of that national attention, the Hurricanes failed to put up much of a fight against Florida State and that carried over with follow up losses to Virginia Tech and Duke. Coach Al Golden rallied his team and they beat Virginia and Pittsburgh to end the regular season. But that momentum quickly went away with a drubbing at the hands of Louisville in the Russell Athletic Bowl.

2013 Record: 9-4, 5-3
2013 Bowl: Russell Athletic Bowl vs. Louisville (L 9-36)
Coach: Al Golden (22-15 at Miami, 49-49 overall)
Offensive Coordinator: James Coley
Defensive Coordinator: Mark D’Onofrio

Returning Leaders:
Rushing: Duke Johnson, RB, 920 yards
Passing: Ryan Williams, QB, 369 yards
Receiving: Stacy Coley, WR, 591 yards
Tackles: Denzel Perryman, LB, 108
Sacks: Anthony Chickillo, DE, 3.5
Interceptions: Tracy Howard, CB, 4

Other Key Returnees: RB Gus Edwards, WR Clive Walford, WR Malcolm Lewis, WR Herb Waters, DB Dallas Crawford, S Rayshawn Jenkins, DB Ladarius Gunter, K Matt Goudis

Key Losses: QB Stephen Morris, WR Alex Hurns, OL Brandon Linder, OL Seantrel Henderson, DE Shayon Green, LB Jimmy Gaines, P Pat O’Donnell

Denzel Perryman is a great linebacker and will once again be the team leader after recording 108 tackles during his junior campaign. Thurston Armbrister and Raphael Kirby will likely step into starting roles at outside linebacker. However, unlike years past, there is actually some decent depth at the position, so Coach Golden will have options if Armbrister or Kirby are not ready for the increased playing time. The secondary will be led by Tracy Howard, one of the best corners in the ACC. Safety Rayshawn Jenkins totaled 46 tackles and three interceptions in 2013 and is the most experienced safety on the roster. But he may not even start. Former running back Dallas Crawford has played great since moving to the other side of the ball and he has all but locked up a starting job. Miami is also high on younger safeties like Jamal Carter and Deon Bush. The strength on offense is Duke Johnson. The running back rushed for 920 yards and six scores before suffering a season ending injury against Florida State. It is no coincidence that the losses came after Johnson’s injury. With a decent offensive line, Johnson will pick up right where he left off as long as he can stay healthy. The Hurricanes also have some talent at wide receiver. Stacey Coley and Herb Waters, along with tight end Clive Walford, have the ability to make this a decent passing attack.

However, somebody has to get Coley, Waters and Walford the ball. That was supposed to be Ryan Williams, but he is done for the year after a spring injury. That leaves redshirt freshman Kevin Olsen as the heir apparent. He was not all that impressive during the spring, so incoming freshmen Brad Kaaya or Malik Rosier will also get a chance leading up to the season and during the campaign if things are not going well. The concern on defense is on the line. End Anthony Chickillo is a talent, but the team as a whole ranked 10th in the ACC in sacks. With very little size or experience in the middle of the line, Chickillo could easily be double teamed as necessary. The rush defense was bad in 2013 and it could be even worse in 2014.

The Bottom Line:
Miami’s non-conference schedule includes Nebraska and Cincinnati and they begin the year with a trip to Louisville. The last time either of those teams played it was against each other in the Russell Athletic Bowl and it was the Cardinals who easily got the best of the Hurricanes in that one. Miami’s other game against an ACC Atlantic opponent is Florida State. It does not get any tougher than that, with all due respect to Clemson. This is a talented bunch and they have more depth on defense than they ever have under Coach Golden, but the tough schedule could derail ACC title hopes before it really even gets started.

Projected Bowl: Sun Bowl

2013 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 160.3 (72nd in nation, 8th in conference)
Passing Offense: 265.5 (33, 4)
Total Offense: 425.8 (48, 5)
Scoring Offense: 33.8 (33, 4)
Rushing Defense: 176.5 (77, 12)
Pass Defense: 249.8 (90, 13)
Total Defense: 426.4 (89, 13)
Scoring Defense: 26.8 (65, 10)
Turnover Margin: 0.38 (32, 4)
Sacks: 2.23 (52, 10)
Sacks Allowed: 1.31 (23, 3)

Madness 2015 NFL Draft Rankings:
#35 Denzel Perryman
#91 Anthony Chickillo

Madness 2014 Recruit Rankings:
#27 Chad Thomas
#29 Joseph Yearby
#56 K.C. McDermott
#155 Trevor Darling
#159 Anthony Moten


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