NCAA Football ACC FootballMiami (FL) Hurricanes

Miami Football: Schedule Preview for 2014

Miami Football: Schedule Preview for 2014

Miami Hurricanes
Rob Foldy - USA Today Sports

If the Miami Hurricanes are able to answer the questions at the quarterback position and get someone on the defensive side of the ball to step up, this could be the season that the "U" gets back to the 10-win plateau for the first time since 2003 and becomes a legitimate contender to win the ACC Coastal Division.

Sept. 1 at Louisville

Louisville Cardinals
Rob Foldy - USA Today Sports

Sept. 1 at Louisville

Louisville Cardinals
Rob Foldy - USA Today Sports

A rematch of the 2013 Russell Athletic Bowl will have a different look with two new quarterbacks and a new head coach at Louisville. This will be a great opportunity for the Hurricanes to show their fans how good they will be this season if they can pull the upset.

Sept. 6 vs. Florida A&M

Florida A&M
Greg Bartrum - USA Today Sports

Sept. 6 vs. Florida A&M

Florida A&M
Greg Bartrum - USA Today Sports

The Florida A&M Rattlers travel to Coral Gables to collect their big paycheck for facing Miami. This game should be settled within the first half and will give Al Golden an opportunity to give early playing time for second and third stringers that could play later dividends as the season progresses.

Sept. 13 vs. Arkansas St.

Arkansas State
Crystal LoGiudice - USA Today Sports

Sept. 13 vs. Arkansas St.

Arkansas St.
Crystal LoGiudice - USA Today Sports

The Hurricanes then have another winnable game against the Arkansas St. Red Wolves. It will be a second straight road game against a BCS conference team for a program that is breaking in a new quarterback. This is an opportunity for Miami, led by the seven returning starters, to flex its muscles and improve on the pedestrian numbers that had them ranked 89th nationally in total defense.

Sept. 20 at Nebraska

Nebraska Cornhuskers
Bruce Thorson - USA Today Sports

Sept. 20 at Nebraska

Nebraska Cornhusker
Bruce Thorson - USA Today Sports

This ACC vs. Big 10 matchup could go a long way in regards to bragging rights for two conferences that are trying to get respect nationally. Traveling to Lincoln will not be an easy task as the Cornhuskers look to regain their "Blackshirt" defense moniker. This game could come down to which team is able to have the most success rushing the ball.

Sept. 27 vs. Duke

Duke Blue Devils
Dale Zanine - USA Today Sports

Sept. 27 vs. Duke

Duke Blue Devils
Dale Zanine - USA Today Sports

Last season's ACC surprise, the Duke Blue Devils are looking to build upon a successful 2013 season and have the benefit of 14 starters returning for the season. This will be the fifth game of the season and Miami will have an identity -- hopefully one that doesn't have them lose by 18 like last year's game in Durham.

Oct. 4 at Georgia Tech

Georgia Tech
Joshua S. Kelly - USA Today Sports

Oct. 4 at Georgia Tech

Georgia Tech
Joshua S. Kelly

Facing the triple-option Yellow Jackets is always a tough task, especially when you consider that the Hurricanes were ranked 12th against the run in the ACC last season. Conversely, Miami's big play ability in the passing game should be able to take advantage of Georgia Tech's porous pass defense that was ranked 83rd nationally giving up 244.5 YPG.

Oct. 11 vs. Cincinnati

Cincinnati Bearcats
Andrew Weber - USA Today Sports

Oct. 11 vs. Cincinnati

Cincinnati Bearcats
Andrew Weber - USA Today Sports

Cincinnati travels to Miami with the opportunity to continue their BCS Bowl quest if they are able to upset the Hurricanes. The Bearcats have seven Floridians on their roster, and they would love nothing more than to upset Miami and show that the "U" made a mistake by not recruiting them.

Oct. 23 at Virginia Tech

Virginia Tech Hokies
Ivan Pierre Aguirre - USA Today Sports

Oct. 23 at Virginia Tech

Virginia Tech Hokies
Ivan Pierre Aguirre - USA Today Sports

The Hurricanes travel to Blacksburg, Va. in what could be the game to determine who represents the Coastal Division in the ACC Championship game. With Logan Thomas graduating, Virginia Tech hopes that whoever the new starter is will be settled in with the position when they face Miami, because the Hokies will have to rely on the eight offensive veterans as only five starters return on defense.

Nov. 1 vs. North Carolina

North Carolina Tar Heels
Jeremy Brevard - USA Today Sports

Nov. 1 vs. North Carolina

North Carolina Tar Heels
Jeremy Brevard - USA Today Sports

UNC is right behind Miami when it comes to expectations for the season. The major difference is the Tar Heels are more youthful at positions compared to the Hurricanes. If new starters like QB Marquise Williams and CB Brian Walker grow up fast, they could provide Miami a serious battle on the field and the division.

Nov. 15 vs. Florida St.

Florida St. Seminoles
Melina Vastola - USA Today Sports

Nov. 15 vs. Florida St.

Florida St. Seminoles
Melina Vastola - USA Today Sports

"Redemption" is the word for this rivalry game against the Seminoles after last season's 41-14 blowout. Everyone forgets this was a close game in the first half and some will say that the momentum shifted to FSU once Duke Johnson went down with the season-ending injury. If the Hurricanes are able to match the first half intensity of last year, this could be a closer game than many expect.

Nov. 22 at Virginia

Virginia Cavaliers
Geoff Burke - USA Today Sports

Nov. 22 at Virginia

Virginia Cavaliers
Geoff Burke - USA Today Sports

The Hurricanes travel to Charlottesville to face a Cavalier program that could be on the verge of change if 2014 is a repeat of last season. Head coach Mike London was given a long leash, but it seems that he has yet to turn around the UVA program despite the upgrade in talent. If the losing trend continues Miami could be facing a Virginia team that would have mailed in the season weeks prior, and this will become an easy victory.

Nov. 29 vs. Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh Panthers
Charles LeClaire - USA Today Sports

Nov. 29 vs. Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh Panthers
Charles LeClaire - USA Today Sports

Miami closes the regular season against a young Panthers team that only has 10 seniors in the two-deep, but at this point in the season the young players have grown up enough and could play spoiler to a Miami team that has its sights set on the ACC Championship game in Charlotte. Miami has to contend with star tailback James Connor, but if they can keep him below his 2013 YPC average of 5.5 they could make Pitt one-dimensional.