The time has come for me to preview the Miami Hurricanes 2020 football season.
There is only good news to read. The Hurricanes are better, especially on the offensive side. Last season disaster is an understatement for the offense.
Head Coach Manny Diaz won the transfer lottery with D’Eriq King taking his talents to Coral Gables in the offseason. King was a dominant statistical force for the Houston Cougars. He threw for 4,925 yards and 50 touchdowns with ten picks and ran for 1,421 yards with 28 scores – in his 34 games of work with the Cougars. All of that was missing in the Hurricanes offensive attack.
Diaz though defensive-minded, added an offensive coordinator who can push this offense to the level it needs against a Clemson Tigers team post-Covid-19 was added on the schedule. Offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee will test his schemes in the ACC after handing the high-powered SMU offense over the last two years.
The feel-good story offense is the return of Junior Brevin Jordan at the tight end position. Jordan missed the final four games of the season with a left foot ankle/ailment; moreover, he was not available for the four spring practices UM got in before the coronavirus pandemic.
Jordan is worth the hype at tight end, especially since King will throw the football to him. KJ Osborn and Jeff Thomas are gone, but Michael Redding and Xavier Restepo are good promising prospects at the wide receiver positions.
The running game finished dead last in the ACC last season. Leading rusher DeeJay Dallas took his talents to the NFL. Still, juniors Cam’Ron Harris and Robert Burns have just enough experience to improve from where they were last season, especially with a better offensive line.
Defense is who kept the Hurricanes in the games they played last season, but the offense could not return the favor. They finished fourth in the nation in tackles for loss, was great at coming up with sacks, and finished 13th in total defense.
The talented linebacking trio of Shaq Quarterman, Michael Pinckney, and Romeo Finley is gone. “The U” does not have issues playing young prospects. The defensive line and secondary will be fine.
The Hurricanes are in the middle of a COVID hot spot. Health and safety is the most important thing leading to games being postponed. However, if the season can continue with a consistent slate for the ACC safely, Miami should improve from their 6-7 record last season. 8-3 this season, 7-3 ACC.