It's all about the U. That's what they used to say about the 'Canes back in the day. History aims to repeat itself, as first year coach Mark Richt, will lead the Miami Hurricanes into battle this season. Richt, who was let go from Georgia in 2015, might be just what the doctor ordered in South Beach. The Al Golden experiment ended poorly for Miami, who struggled to find an audience, and more importantly, struggled to find big wins. Miami couldn't get fans to come out to Sun Life Stadium. They averaged around 60% capacity for the season. With an 8-5 mark last year, the fans that were there, had little reason to cheer. The Miami faithful, however, were able to watch the 'Canes rough up Virginia Tech 30-20.
The story of the Miami turnaround starts and ends with Mark Richt. If Richt has any measure of success, like the kind he had in Georgia, Miami will be more than fine. Richt put together 9 ten win seasons at U.G.A.. He won two S.E.C. titles, and compiled an overall record of 145-51. The knock on Richt is that "he can't win the big one". The A.C.C. Coastal should prove easier footing than the S.E.C. East.
Mark Richt Looks To Return Hurricane Football To Prominence - Mark Richt's return to Miami ignited the fan base... https://t.co/IG4O3bCl8d— Fox Sports 1350 (@1350amAkron) June 27, 2016
Richt has some offensive firepower to begin his tenure. Junior QB Brad Kaaya is a dark horse Heisman candidate for some, and he should have a big season. Kaaya had 3 300 yard games last year. In the age of hyper stats, this isn't mind blowing, but with a better supporting cast and better scheme, look for this number to double. Kaaya will have some great weapons on the outside including: Stacy Coley, Lawrence Cager, and Braxton Berrios. The running attack will be led by Joseph Yearby, who rushed for over 1000 yards last season. Gus Edwards and Mark Walton should also get plenty of work for Miami.
Defensively, Miami should be much improved. Look for DE Chad Thomas to have a big season. At 6'6", he has the size and speed to wreak havoc on anybody's offensive line. The secondary is untested, but has a proven commodities in Corn Elder, and fellow seniors, Jamal Carter, and Rayshawn Jenkins.
The schedule really helps Miami slide into 2016. They have back to back home games with FAMU, followed by Florida Atlantic. They then hit the road to face Appalachian State. They get Florida State and Miami at home. The toughest part of the schedule for Miami is in October. Miami travels to Blacksburg on 10/20, and then heads to South Bend to take on Notre Dame. I have the Hurricanes at 10-2, with losses to Florida State and Notre Dame. This will probably rankle the Hokies faithful, but Miami has way too much talent to beat this year. Depending on what shakes out in the Atlantic, watch Miami as a darkhorse team to represent the A.C.C. come playoff time.