Miami Hurricanes finished the 2022 season with only five wins, including a loss to Middle Tennessee.
Let me start here. In Mario Cristobal’s second season, he will coach the Miami Hurricanes to a better record than last season.
Cristobal will begin his 12th season as a head coach, where he is 67-67 and 3-3 in bowl games.
Rebuilding will not buy Cristobal time.
In college football, the idea of rebuilding doesn’t exist like it used to – USC and Lincoln Riley just blew that out of the water. However, there needs to be a mix. Yes, the quick fix of the transfer portal and NIL must be a part of it, but it’s still vital to crank up your talent base.
Cristobal has raised the stakes with an impressive incoming recruiting class.
If you’re a big-time program, the guys you lose through the transfer portal can almost always be easily replaced or upgraded, and those who rock stick around.
Deion Sanders, also known as Coach Prime at Colorado, does not have rebuilding in his vocabulary. He will be starting his season with 86 new players on his college football team. He has flat-out shared he is in Boulder, Colorado to win.
Cristobal does not need to say he is at Miami to win; instead, showing it with the product on the field.
The starting 22 is loaded with upper-level students and veteran transfers, but overall, this is a very young team. It all begins with veteran quarterback Tyler Van Dyke on offense.
Van Dyke got beaten up and missed time late last year – hence the absence of November points – but he has the NFL size, arm, and accuracy to rebound fast if he gets time to work. He also needs the receivers around him to come through. He is too good to throw for just 1,836 yards and ten scores. Expect those numbers to improve if he remains uninjured.
The wide receivers have been missing in action. When available, they have been average. Expect Colbie Young to play well in a new style of offense and scheme. Tyler Harrell from Alabama will be valuable for Van Dyke, but safety-valve TE Will Mallory has to be replaced after leading the way with 42 catches. That’s where Cam McCormick comes in. He has extended his availability from Oregon, and Miami is expected to be a fresh start.
The running game shows flashes. That’s where star recruit Mark Fletcher is supposed to help – he’ll get every shot to be the new leading man for the ground game – and getting Ajay Allen away from Nebraska is a plus. The running game goes where the offensive line goes, which is expected to be better.
Mario Cristobal hired Marshall defensive coordinator Lance Guidry. Hurricanes’ defense could not get teams off the field on third down last season, and pass defense needed to be up to Hurricanes standards.
Kamren Kinchens and James Williams are in beast mode every game in the secondary. Leading pass rusher Akheem Mesidor is back at one end after coming up with seven sacks, and Jahfari Harris is back on the other side after finishing second with 5.5 sacks. They’re good, future NFL defensive tackle Leonard Taylor is exceptional, and getting veteran transfer DT Branson Deen from Purdue makes a good situation great.
September 9, 2017, was the last time Miami started 5-0. The critical game to catch national attention will be the week two match-up hosting Texas A/M. Set the win and loss total at 8-4.