Miami Hurricanes Football Team Preview

The Miami Hurricanes will look to move forward with new head coach Manny Diaz in the aftermath of Mark Richt's surprising decision to retire from coaching.

2018 Season in Review

The Canes entered 2018 with high expectations stemming from their first ACC title game appearance along with a berth in the Orange Bowl. After a deflating loss to LSU in the season opener, Miami was able to win five straight games, with the fifth a narrow 28-27 victory over rival Florida State. The wheels fell off the wagon after that game, as The U lost four straight to ACC foes Virginia, Boston College, Duke, and Georgia Tech.

Wins over Virginia Tech and Pittsburgh would leave Miami with a 7-5 regular season record entering bowl season. Unfortunately, they would again match up with the team that beat them in their previous bowl game, as Wisconsin destroyed the Canes 35-3 in the Pinstripe Bowl.

Key Returning Players (2018 Stats)

  • RB/PR DeeJay Dallas (Junior) - 617 Rush Yards | 6 Rush TD | 1 Punt Ret TD
  • WR Jeff Thomas (Junior) - 35 Receptions | 563 Rec Yards | 3 Rec TD
  • MLB Shaq Quarterman (Senior) - 82 Total Tackles | 14.0 TFL | 5.0 Sacks
  • CB Trajan Bandy (Junior) - 36 Total Tackles | 3 INT | 8 Pass Def

The quarterback situation is up in the air, as incumbents Jaren Williams and N'Kosi Perry will battle Ohio State transfer Tate Martell for the starting job. The winner of that competition will have top returning rusher DeeJay Dallas in the backfield along with top wideout Jeff Thomas and sophomore tight end Brevin Jordan. Graduate transfer Tommy Kennedy will man the left tackle spot on an offensive line that could have three underclassmen starting.

Leading the defense is middle linebacker Shaq Quarterman, who will be joined by fellow seniors Zach McCloud, Michael Pinckney, and Romeo Finley. The defensive line will include top returning pass rusher, Jonathan Garvin, as the junior defensive end will try to build on a season where he registered 5.5 sacks and 17 tackles for a loss. Ballhawking corner Trajan Bandy headlines a secondary unit that lacks experience which should be mitigated with the arrival of USC transfer Bubba Bolden.

Key Departures

  • S Jaquan Johnson (Graduation)
  • DE Joe Jackson (NFL Draft)
  • CB Mike Jackson (Graduation)
  • RB Travis Homer (NFL Draft)

Although no former Hurricanes were drafted particularly high, the losses of these players cannot be ignored. The defense, in particular, was decimated, as starting safeties Jaquan Johnson and Sheldrick Redwine ran out of eligibility and are now members of the Buffalo Bills and Cleveland Browns, respectively. Defensive linemen Gerald Willis and Joe Jackson are also gone, with Jackson having left school early to be drafted by the Dallas Cowboys.

The offense also lost some key personnel, most notably leading rusher Travis Homer, who is now in Seattle. Offensive tackle Tyree St. Louis graduated, while receiver Lawrence Cager elected to transfer to Georgia after graduating early from Miami.

Notable Recruits (Star Ratings and Rankings According to Rivals.com)

  • S Christian Williams - 4 Star | 6-1, 175lb | Daphne HS | Daphne, AL
  • WR Jeremiah Payton - 4 Star | 6-3, 175lb | Fletcher HS | Neptune Beach, FL
  • DT Jason Blissett - 4 Star | 6-4, 280lb | Poly Prep | Brooklyn, NY
  • DE Jahfari Harvey - 4 Star | 6-3, 211lb | Vero Beach HS | Vero Beach, FL

Coach Diaz and his staff went heavy on defense when it came to recruiting, as only one of their top ten prospects plays on offense (receiver Jeremiah Payton). Among those defensive studs is defensive tackle Jason Blissett, the second-ranked prospect from New York state. The Canes also nabbed three high school teammates from Hollywood, Florida's Chaminade-Madonna Prep in Keontra Smith, Cameron Williams, and Te'Cory Couch. One recruit who could immediately compete for playing time is linebacker Avery Huff out of St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Fort Lauderdale.

2019 Schedule

Date Opponent
August 24th Florida (Neutral site game at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, FL)
September 7th @ North Carolina
September 14th Bethune-Cookman
September 21st Central Michigan
October 5th Virginia Tech
October 11th Virginia
October 19th Georgia Tech
October 26th @ Pittsburgh
November 2nd @ Florida State
November 9th Louisville
November 23rd @ Florida International
November 30th @ Duke

The Hurricanes get to prove themselves right away as they take on the Florida Gators in the season opener. A five-game homestand could be a key confidence builder before road trips to Pittsburgh and Florida State, who can be tough to play against in Doak Campbell Stadium. The season could come down to home games against the Virginia schools, who are projected along with Miami to be the top contenders for the Coastal division crown in the ACC.

Where to Bet on Win Totals and Conference Title Odds in New Jersey

If you are in New Jersey you can bet on the Miami Hurricanes on 888Sport. Good luck!

ACC Conference Winner

Sportsbook Miami Link
888Sport NJ +850

* 21+ | NJ only | If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, call 1-800-GAMBLER

Number of Games Won - Excluding Bowl Games & Play Offs

Regular season only. Conference championship games do not count.

Sportsbook Over 8.5 Under 8.5 Link
888Sport NJ -125 +103

* 21+ | NJ only | If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, call 1-800-GAMBLER

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