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2011 College Football Season Preview: Miami Hurricanes

2010 Record: (7-6, 5-3 in ACC)

Head Coach: Al Golden (27-34 All-Time, First Year at Miami)

Last Bowl Game: 2010 Sun Bowl (lost to Notre Dame 33-17)

2010 Preview

CFBZ Miami Links

ACC Roundtable

College Football Roundtable (Feb 7)

Pre-Spring All-ACC Team

Returning ACC Offensive Firepower

Spring Football Questions: ACC Coastal


9/5: at Maryland (2010 result: won 26-20)

9/17: Ohio State (2010 result: lost 36-24)

9/24: Kansas State

10/1: Bethune-Cookman

10/8: at Virginia Tech (2010 result: lost 31-17)

10/15: at UNC (2010 result: won 33-10)

10/22: Georgia Tech (2010 result: won 35-10)

10/27: Virginia (2010 result: lost 24-19)

11/5: Duke (2010 result: won 28-13)

11/12: at FSU (2010 result: lost 45-17)

11/19: at USF (2010 result: lost 23-20 OT)

11/25: Boston College 

2010 Offensive Statistics:

Scoring: 26.3 ppg (5th in ACC, 66th in Nation)

Rushing Yds/Game: 183.69 yds/game (3rd in ACC, 29th in Nation)

Passing Yds/Game: 238.8 yds/game (5th in ACC, 43rd in Nation)

Total Yds/Game: 422.5 yds/game (1st in ACC, 31st in Nation)

2010 Defensive Statistics:

Scoring: 20.7 ppg (5th in ACC, 27th in Nation)

Rushing Yds/Game: 172.77 yds/game (9th in ACC, 83rd in Nation)

Passing Yds/Game: 150.5 yds/game (1st in ACC, 3rd in Nation)

Total Yds/Game: 323.3 yds/game (3rd in ACC, 22nd in Nation)

2010 Misc Stats:

Turnover Margin: -0.62 per game (11th in ACC, 104th in Nation)

Penalties: 69.9 yds/game (11th in ACC, 114th in Nation)

Returning Starters:

Offense: 6

Defense: 7

Kicker/Punter: 0

Top Returning Statistical Leaders:

Passing: QB Jacory Harris, Sr (148 of 270 for 1793 yds, 14 TD, 15 INT)

Rushing: RB Lamar Miller, Soph (108 for 646 yds, 5.9 ypc, 6 TD)

Receiving: WR Travis Benjamin, Sr (43 rec for 441 yds, 1 TD)

Tackles: LB Sean Spence, Sr (111)

Sacks: DE Oliver Vernon, Jr (6)

Interceptions: SS Ray Ray Armstrong, Jr; FS Vaughn Telemaque, Jr (3)

Bowl Predictions:

Athlon Sports: Champs Sports (vs Syracuse)

Phil Steele: Sun (vs UCLA)

The U started off the year at 5-2 with victories over Clemson, Pitt and UNC. But they faltered down the stretch when they got upset at Virginia by 5 points and then lost their last three games of the season. The Virginia loss and the stretch run at the end of the season sealed the fate of Randy Shannon. Miami made a somewhat surprising hire of Al Golden to take the reigns of the Hurricanes. The Temple Owls were 0-11 the year prior to Al Golden arriving. In four years he was winning 8 and 9 games in his last two seasons. It's pretty clear that he doesn't have four years in this stint but Miami also has a hell of a lot more talent than does Temple.

When we did our Pre-Spring All-ACC team, Miami ended up with the third most members behind FSU and Virginia Tech. And that's with talented guys like Lamar Miller, Travis Benjamin and Jacory Harris not making the team. Statistically, Miami was pretty good last year as they finished 1st in the ACC in Total Offense and 3rd in Total Defense. But they were near the bottom of the Nation in turnovers and penalties. In every game that Miami lost last year they lost the turnover battle. In those 6 losses, the Hurricanes gave up 19 more turnovers than they took away. That's a startling statistic. It's 3 per game. You can't give the ball away three more times a game and expect to win.

By contrast, in the games that Miami won they only lost the turnover battle one time and it was only by one turnover. Outside of turnovers, the main key for Miami could be Jacory Harris. At one time in his college career Jacory was thought to be the next big thing but somewhere along the way he got side tracked. This is his last chance, can he make the most of it? One thing is for sure, there won't be much time for Al Golden to settle in at Miami as he plays at Maryland and then hosts Ohio State to start the season. We traveled down to South Beach and talked to Kyle Perez from Hurricane Sports Nation to get his take on the Canes.

What are your overall impressions of Al Golden now that he has been on campus for a few months?

I think Golden is bringing an excitement back to the program that was sorely needed. The jury is still out though until he can prove things on the field.

Quarterback is a huge question mark for the Hurricanes. Jacory Harris did not follow up a promising sophomore year as expected and he's locked in a battle with Stephen Morris. Who do you want to win the job this year?

I would like to see Jacory Harris win the starting job so he can prove all of his naysayers wrong. Harris has faced criticism all 4 years he has been at Miami.  Harris deserves a storybook ending to his career that would include a big bowl win. Morris is the future of the program and should see some time as well.

Going into fall practice, what are the biggest question marks (besides QB) that still need to be addressed?

The biggest question mark would have to be the secondary and the defensive front. The safeties and ends are proven, but the corners and tackles are super thin. Jo Jo Nicolas had a big spring, but someone else needs to have a big camp and lock down the other corner spot. Keon Payne, Lee Chambers, Brandon McGee and Thomas Finnie are all candidates. As far as tackle is concerned someone other than Marcus Forston, Curtis Porter, and Micanor Regis need to emerge from the pack.

Looking at the schedule, what are the most important games this year?

The two most important games are the 2 rivalry games. Florida State embarassed the Hurricanes at home last year, and it is important for Al Golden to win that game for recruiting purposes. Ohio State is the other important game. We all know the reason for that one.

What is the biggest reason to be optimistic about Miami football in this year?

The biggest reason to be optimistic is the offensive line and the running attack led by Lamar Miller and Mike James.

What is your gut feeling on the final record for the 2011 season and what makes the season successful in your eyes?

My gut feeling is 9-3 with losses to Florida State, Maryland, and Virginia Tech. Winning the coastal and playing in a signifigant bowl would be a HUGE accomplishment for 2011.

Coming In August: ACC Preview

Next Preview: Boston College

2011 Team Previews

ACC- Clemson

Big East- Louisville

Big Ten- Minnesota

C-USA- East Carolina, Houston, Marshall, SMU, Southern Mississippi, UAB, UCF

Independent- Army

MAC- Ball St, Bowling Green, Buffalo, Central Michigan, Eastern Michigan, Temple, Toledo

MWC- New Mexico, UNLV, Wyoming

Sun Belt- FAU, FIU, Louisiana, Middle Tennessee, North Texas, Troy, ULM, Western Kentucky

WAC- Idaho, San Jose St


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