Miami Hurricanes: 2013 Game By Game Preview
The Miami Hurricanes have the potential to have their best regular season in 10 years.
Offensively, they are stacked. Senior quarterback Stephen Morris has a chance to put up big numbers. He will be protected by one of the best offensive lines in the nation, and has the deepest receiving corps in the ACC. Let's not forget last year's ACC Rookie of the Year Randy "Duke" Johnson, who could be in contention for the Heisman Trophy before it's all over, is still there. New offensive coordinator James Coley is installing a more up-tempo system with an emphasis on the vertical passing game. Barring catastrophic injury, the Canes should light up the scoreboard.
The Achilles heel of this squad is on the defensive side. The Canes were horrible against the pass last year, and even worse against the run. Nearly everyone returns which could be a good thing or a bad one. They should be better in the secondary with the movement of Tracy Howard into the starting lineup and the continued improvement of A.J. Highsmith. They should also be improved at the defensive tackle position with everyone now healthy and a year stronger and better. The question marks on this team are the defensive ends. Can they provide an adequate pass rush to take the pressure off the secondary?
The special teams should be solid with the addition of All-Big East punter Pat O'Donnell, a transfer from Cincinnati. Speedster Phillip Dorsett should be a dangerous return man, and Johnson will add excitement to that area too. It remains to be seen how placekicker Matt Goudis performs in pressure situations. That could hurt Miami in big games.
Overall, Miami should have an excellent offense, above-average special teams and mediocre defense. They return 19 of 22 starters from a 7-5 season a year ago. So, let's look into our crystal ball and see how they do this season, game by game.
This will be the last game between these two rivals for the foreseeable future. The teams are evenly matched, and the fan bases truly hate each other. This could be one for the ages. Miami takes it at home.
Miami 44, Florida 41 in OT
Savannah State Tigers
Head Coach Al Golden isn't known for running up the score, but it might be unavoidable in this game.
Miami 66, Savannah State 9
South Florida Bulls
The Bulls will hang tough in a big home game, but Duke Johnson and the Canes will wear them down in the second half.
Miami 30, South Florida 17
Georgia Tech Ramblin' Wreck
The Yellow Jackets triple-option offense gives everyone fits, including Miami. This game will keep Canes fans holding their breath the entire time.
Miami 37, Georgia Tech 31
North Carolina Tar Heels
Miami doesn't usually lose on Thursday nights, but the Tar Heels always give the Canes problems. The partisan crowd propels the Heels to victory and dash any hope of a national title for the Hurricanes.
UNC 38, Miami 27
Wake Forest Demon Deacons
Coming off their first loss of the season, the Canes will be looking for redemption. They will get it at the expense of the Deacons.
Miami 44, Wake Forest 20
Florida State Seminoles
It seems like forever since these two rivals faced off and both of them were highly ranked. The Seminoles squeak past the Hurricanes in front of a raucous home crowd.
FSU 29, Miami 28
Virginia Tech Hokies
The Hokies will face a Miami team coming off a devastating loss to Florida State. They will keep this one close, but Miami prevails late.
Miami 33, Virginia Tech 27
Duke Blue Devils
With the Coastal division crown still within reach, Miami puts an old school whoopin' on the Blue Devils.
Miami 47, Duke 16
Virginia is another team that has been a thorn in the side of Miami since their ACC debut. The Hurricanes exorcise some demons and win impressively over the Cavaliers.
Miami 42, Virginia 21
The cold, nasty Pennsylvania winter could slow down the Canes offense in this late-season affair. For the first time in two seasons, the defense steps up and wins a game. Miami begins preparing for their showdown with Clemson in the ACC Championship game.
Miami 19, Pitt 16