2015 College Football Preview: Miami Hurricanes

The 2014 season went great for the Miami Hurricanes until the last four games. They started off the season with wins against soft teams followed by losses to Nebraska and Georgia Tech. They went on a three game roll beating Cincinnati, Virginia Tech, and North Carolina. Then, they played the dominant FSU Seminoles and it went downhill from there. They closed out the season losing four straight games to FSU, Virginia, Pitt, and South Carolina. This year, the Canes are hoping to bounce back and be more consistent. 2015 Schedule:
  1. Sept. 5th—Bethune-Cookman
  2. Sept. 12th—at Florida Atlantic
  3. Sept. 19th—Nebraska
  4. BYE
  5. Oct. 1st—at Cincinnati (Thursday)
  6. Oct. 10th—at Florida State
  7. Oct. 17th—Virginia Tech
  8. Oct. 24th—Clemson
  9. Oct. 31st—at Duke
  10. Nov. 7th—Virginia
  11. Nov.14th—North Carolina
  12. Nov. 21st—Georgia Tech
  13. Nov. 27th—at Pittsburgh (Friday)
Offense: The offense for the Hurricanes will have a hard time replacing the offense threat they had last season in RB Duke Johnson. Johnson was a very valuable cog in the rushing attack for the Hurricanes. He provided over 1,500 rushing yards and 13 total touchdowns. Replacing him will be tough but they do have two up and coming backs that should do a decent job. Gus Edwards and Joe Yearby were both great backups last season and will hope to develop themselves into key parts of this offense. On the passing side of the ball things are looking very positive. They have QB Brad Kaaya, a promising prospect for the 2017 Draft in two years. Kaaya blew people’s minds last season. As a freshman, he threw for over 3,000 yards, threw 26 touchdowns and had 12 interceptions. Although the Canes lost both WR Phillip Dorsett and TE Clive Walford, the receiving staff still looks like they will be in great shape. The offensive line for Miami looks very weak heading into this season, seeing as they have only one returning starter. They also lost the leader for the line, Ereck Flowers, to the Draft last year. They do have some linemen who are coming off of injuries from last season such as OT Sunny Odogwu who stands at 6’8” and 322 lbs. Defense: The defensive side of the ball for the Hurricanes does not look as promising as the offensive side. Last year the Canes were ranked 30th in the nation in rushing defense. This year will likely be a different story. Miami lost four starters from their front seven in the draft. The most missed piece will be LB Denzel Perryman his hard hitting play style. This year there is a lot of young talent who needs some polish. The biggest one to keep an eye on will be DT Jelani Hamilton. The leader of the LB core would be Jermaine Grace. Grace is the only returning LB for the Hurricanes. He will have to be the glue that holds this defense together. The Canes have a lot of experience returning to their secondary this year, three starters to be exact. Last year they allowed only 192.5 passing yards per game, which ranked 20th in the nation. With a more experienced staff, they are hoping to have one of the best pass defenses in the nation. 2015 Outlook: 8 out of 10 The Miami Hurricanes have an extremely tough schedule to overcome this year, and I am struggling with whether they can do it or not. Don’t get me wrong, the Canes have a great team this season, but in many instances, the teams they are facing will be stronger than them. It is a very rough road schedule. They face Florida State, Cincinnati (who has a brand new stadium), Duke, and Pittsburgh (in November) all on the road. Anyone who follows the ACC knows that in-conference road games are extremely difficult. Even their home schedule is hard, with matchups against Nebraska, Virginia Tech, Clemson, and Georgia Tech, all of which have a very good chance of beating them. I say to not expect more than eight wins out of the Canes this season. The schedule just does not favor them. 2016 NFL Draft Prospects: #2 DB, Deon Bush, Senior—6’1”, 198 lbs #5 LB, Jermaine Grace, Junior—6’1”, 210 lbs #15 QB, Brad Kaaya, Sophomore—6’4”, 218 lbs Austin Morris is the creator of The Scouting Lab. He is a graduate of National Football Post’s Introduction to Scouting and Scouting Boot Camp. He can be reached at amorris3585@scc.stanly.edu