The impact that will be made by the Miami Hurricanes hiring Mark Richt has yet to be determined, but they’ve definitely got the right man behind center. This may surprise some of you, but Brad Kaaya actually ended the 2015 regular season ranked atop the ACC with 274 passing yards per game. What’s more amazing was he did that under the watch of former Miami head coach Al Golden.
Much has been debated about the Golden’s tenure, but no one can debate that he had the ability to bring in elite talent. What would ultimately be his downfall was his inability to win big games, and while the same could be said about his replacement, Richt had to deal with a more difficult schedule in a much tougher conference year in and year out. The ACC isn’t quite the same gauntlet as the SEC.
The thought that’s on everybody’s mind is whether Richt will be able to do what Golden couldn’t. He definitely doesn’t have to do much to exceed his predecessor, as Golden helped orchestrate a five-game losing streak to the rival Florida State Seminoles and never got close to winning the ACC or even making the conference championship game. What was once a program in constant pursuit of a title has become a program just hoping to win a few big games a year and use those wins to find something to build on.
Richt brings a pro-style offense and has had success with a few standouts. Kaaya has tremendous upside and shares many of the gifts possessed by Richt’s former quarterbacks. His upside is high, and this is only his junior season. There’s no reason to believe there won’t be immediate success on the offensive side of the ball. There are concerns with Miami in the secondary, so a few shootouts can be expected, but at least they have enough talent at the quarterback position to keep them in games and maybe even pull off a few upsets.