The Miami Hurricanes during the 2019 season could be described as one of the biggest roller coasters in college football: a season that started with two close losses - including one to in-state rival Florida - turned around with six wins in their next eight games that included a blowout victory over rival Florida State.
However, it was the final three games that soured everything with a stretch of games that included an embarrassing loss to crosstown rival FIU, a loss to a Duke team that finished with a losing record and a shutout loss to Louisiana Tech in the bowl game that cost former offensive coordinator Dan Enos his job.
Yet, the confidence is Coral Gables is so high that many think the ‘Canes and second year head coach Manny Diaz have a legit chance to play in their second ACC Championship Game in the last four seasons. Why?
Well, it starts with a quarterback that was among the most sought after grad transfers this past offseason coming to ‘The U’. After that comes an offensive line building off of their bright moments last season and a defense that kept Miami in plenty of games.
Will 2020 see the Hurricanes playing for rings and titles or once again being a season left with fans saying “what if”? Here’s a preview of the upcoming season.
2019 Season Recap
It could be argued that the ‘Canes were one player away from being a 10 win team last season with kicking woes costing the team games against Florida, North Carolina, Georgia Tech and FIU. Miami’s biggest achievement last season was a 27-10 win in Tallahassee that got their hated rivals to fire their head coach before that stretch of three straight losses to end the season.
Best Returning Player
The offense has guys like tight end Brevin Jordan back for the 2020 campaign, but the best player might be someone with a very familiar name to ‘Canes fans. Cornerback Al Blades Jr. has lived up to the family legacy that includes his uncles and father, all legends in Coral Gables, and will be called upon to make sure the defense doesn’t fall back a step.
Most Intriguing Newcomer
Is there any question? When the ‘Canes were able to get quarterback D’Eriq King to transfer from Houston, he was immediately penciled in for the starting role come Thursday night against UAB.
King played just four games last season before sitting out, a move that caused some to question his commitment. But no one can question his 78 total touchdowns and over 6,300 yards of offense in just 22 starts with the Cougars.
Can Miami finally play up to their true potential?
The Hurricanes had the talent on the field to be a 10 win team last season, but finished with their second losing record in the last six seasons. Why?
Quite simply, it was not being able to get over any loss that may come their way. It’s not going to be potential losses to Clemson or Florida State that will test them in 2020, but any hiccups to teams they should beat along the way.
Most Important Game
September 19th at Louisville: This was a Cardinals team that surprised many last season and finished with an 8-5 record in head coach Scott Satterfield’s first season. More importantly, it’s a physical (sometimes dirty) team who could beat Miami up before back to back games against the Seminoles and Tigers. If Miami doesn’t watch out, this could be the hiccup game against a team they blew out last season.