Miami Hurricanes Season preview
For the past couple of years, the Miami Hurricanes football team has had plenty of big name prospects, with nothing to show for it. Now we are entering the second year under Head Coach Al Golden and the new culture that he has brought to this program. After a disappointing 6-5 season last year, the canes are hoping to make some major strides this year in route to an ACC Championship. Even though the record was not great for the canes, you can see the difference Coach Golden has made in his first year. For example, players were not quitting on the team and they were playing much harder than in the last 5 years. The Canes where easily 5 or 6 plays away from contending in the ACC Championship game. The goal for next year is to take that next step and being tough enough physically and mentally to make those extra plays to win some close ball games.
Once again the Canes will have to face a very tough ACC schedule and a sleight of formidable out of conference opponents. The canes start of the season with two difficult road games in hostile environments against Boston College and Kansas State. Miami faced both of these teams at home last season and lost in heartbreaking fashion both times. The Kansas State game came down to a last second sneak by former Hurricanes quarterback Jacory Harris. Kansas State went on to have a great season after this game led by quarterback Collin Klein who will be returning next season and is a favorite to be one of the top quarterbacks in the nation. Boston College is always a tough ACC opponent and the Canes will have to bring their best game to defeat the Eagles on the road. The one thing working in Miami’s favor is the departure of star linebacker Luke Kuechly for Boston College. Kuechly was a 1st rounder in this past NFL Draft. He was a force against Miami last season recording 9 total tackles and an interception which he returned for a touchdown. The departure of Kuechly will really help the Canes by opening things up in the middle where he used to patrol. The Canes should get a victory against them and get off to a good start in conference play. After a pit stop at home to face Bethune-Cookman, the Canes are back on the Road to face an always tough Georgia Tech team. Miami has always had success against the Yellow Jackets option style offense, and with returning starters Denzel Perryman, RamonBuchanan, and Vaughn Telemaque, the Canes should be well prepared to handle this unique offensive approach. The Canes then head back home once again to face another tough ACC opponent in North Carolina State. The Wolfpack always give Miami heir best game, but being at home, the Canes will have the home field advantage and should take care of them. After that, comes the part of the schedule which is going to make or break the Hurricanes entire 2012 season. The Canes have 4 very difficult games against Notre Dame on a “neutral field”at Soldier Field in Chicago (which is virtually a home game for them) in October which will be a test to how mentally and physically strong the Hurricanes really are.The Irish are a very much improved team. Then it is back home for ACC rivals North Carolina, Florida State, and Virginia Tech. This four game stretch is going to be the roughest part of Miami’s schedule as they have to face two ACC favorites in V.T. and F.S.U. while also going to Chicago to face Notre Dame in a very harsh environment and facing a stout defense and star sophomore running back Giovani Bernard. If the Canes can get at least 3 wins in this stretch of games, it will be a great achievement. The Canes go on to end the season with games at Virginia, at home against South Florida, and finally on the road at Duke. The Hurricanes will have a tough road ahead of them and their season will be very much determined by the growth and development of Junior quarterback Stephen Morris as well as being able to weather the harsh 4 game stretch in October. The Canes have a chance to win all of their games as their toughest opponents are at home, but being a realist I don’t see why the canes should not end their season going at least 9-3 which will be a major improvement compared to what Hurricane fans have been accustomed to these past couple of years. Hopefully the second full year under Golden will give the Canes that necessary toughness they’ve been lacking to win some big games this season.