NCAA Football Miami (FL) Hurricanes

Miami Hurricanes: 2013 Game By Game Preview

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Miami Hurricanes

Stephen Morris
Robert Mayer - USA TODAY Sports

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.

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Florida Atlantic Owls

Graham Wilbert
Steve Mitchell - USA TODAY Sports

The Hurricanes are clearly better than the Owlsbut first-game mistakes and the coaching staff's unwillingness to show the Gators the entire playbook should keep this score closer than expected.

Miami 31, Florida Atlantic 10

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Florida Gators

Jeff Driskel
Kevin Liles - USA TODAY Sports

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

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Savannah State Tigers

Anthony Bostick
Melina Vastola - USA TODAY Sports

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

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South Florida Bulls

Matt Floyd
Kim Klement - USA TODAY Sports

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

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Georgia Tech Ramblin' Wreck

Vad Lee
Josh D. Weiss

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

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North Carolina Tar Heels

Bryn Renner
Jeremy Brevard - USA TODAY Sports

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

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Wake Forest Demon Deacons

Tanner Price
Jeremy Brevard - USA TODAY Sports

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

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Florida State Seminoles

Jameis Winston
Melina Vastola - USA TODAY Sports

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

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Virginia Tech Hokies

Logan Thomas
Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

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

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Duke Blue Devils

Anthony Boone
Bob Donnan - USA TODAY Sports

With the Coastal division crown still within reach, Miami puts an old school whoopin' on the Blue Devils.

Miami 47, Duke 16

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Virginia Cavaliers

David Watford
Jason O. Watson-USA TODAY Sports

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

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Pitt Panthers

Chad Voytik
Charles LeClaire

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