2014 Miami Hurricanes Team Preview
Head Coach: Al Golden
2013 Record: 9-4 Overall, 5-3 ACC Coastal
2013 Bowl Result: Lost to Louisville 36-9 in the Russell Athletic Bowl
2013 returning starters: 7 offense, 7 defense
Odds to win 2015 College Football Championship: 150/1
Odds to win 2014 ACC Championship Game: 12/1
Odds to win 2014 ACC Coastal Division: 3/1
Regular Season Wins: over 7.5 -160 / under 7.5 +130
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Last season, the Miami Hurricanes started off the season 7-0. However, they then went on a three game losing streak against Florida State, Virginia Tech and Duke all by 18 points or more. The Hurricanes would win their last two regular season games and would play Louisville in the Russell Athletic Bowl. Miami would get crushed in that game 36-9.
Miami averaged 266 passing yards and 160 rushing yards last season. The Hurricanes scored 34 points a game last season. Seven starters are back now under coordinator James Coley and head coach Al Golden.
Quarterback Stephen Morris is now with the Jacksonville Jaguars. Morris threw for 3,028 yards with 21 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. Ryan Williams was supposed to be the starter this year but he tore is ACL in spring practice and is out indefinitely. Freshman Kevin Olsen was supposed to start in place of Williams but he is suspended for the season opener at Louisville for violating team rules. It looks like former BYU and Kansas quarterback Jake Heaps will start the opener.
Duke Johnson was All-ACC last year despite breaking his ankle in the eighth game. He will again be the feature back after he had 145 carries for 920 yards and 6 touchdowns, plus 4 catches for 77 yards. Dallas Crawford had 137 carries for 558 yards and 12 touchdowns, plus 20 catches for 171 yards and a touchdown. He moves to safety though. Gus Edwards and true freshman Joseph Yearby will get carries as well. Edwards rushed for 338 yards and 5 touchdowns last season.
Receiver Allen Hurns is now with the Jacksonville Jaguars. He had 62 catches for 1,162 yards and 6 touchdowns. Stacey Coley looks to take over as the go-to receiver after making 33 catches for 591 yards and 7 touchdowns. Tight end Clive Walford had 34 catches for 454 yards and 2 touchdowns. Receiver Herb Waters had 28 catches for 405 yards and 5 touchdowns.
Three starters return to a solid offensive line, including NFL ready Ereck Flowers.
Miami gave up 426 yards per game and 27 points per game. Seven starters return under coordinator Mark D’onfrio.
End Anthony Chickillo and tackle Olsen Pierre are good talents but the line added depth with five star recruit Chad Thomas and JUCO transfer Michael Wyche.
Linebacker Daniel Perryman led the team in tackles with 108 last season and moves from the outside to the middle. The unit took a hit when potential star sophomore Alex Figueroa was dismissed from the team in July.
Corner Tracy Howard had 4 interceptions last year and is a shut down corner. Ladarius Gunter has 17 career start. Safeties Rayshawn Jenkins and Deon Bush also have experience. The natural athlete Crawford was originally recruited as a defensive back before moving to tailback.
Kicker Matt Goudis made 13 of 17 field goals last year. He could also replace punter Pat O’Donnell who averaged 47 yards per punt. Coley had both a punt return and a kickoff return for a touchdown last year. Johnson can also return kickoffs.
Outlook / Schedule
Miami opens with a rematch of their bowl loss from a year ago on the road at Louisville. The Hurricanes have home non-conference games against Florida A&M, Arkansas State and Cincinnati, plus a tough game at Nebraska. Miami has home conference games against Duke, North Carolina, Florida State and Pittsburgh. The Hurricanes travel to Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech and Virginia. Miami should win 8 games and contend with North Carolina and Virginia Tech for the Division title.
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