Can Richt Lead Miami to their first Coastal Title? Previewing the 2017 Canes Season

Written by James Jernigan
With the next collegiate season of football rapidly approaching, what can we expect from The Miami Hurricanes? With the second year of new head coach Mark Richt, the loss of star QB Brad Kaaya can they recoup, and drive forward? We look at the breakdown of game to game for UM, and where the best opportunity for the chance at the ACC title will come from.

When: Saturday, Sept. 2
Where: Hard Rock Stadium, Miami Gardens (64,982).
Last year: 4-6, 4-4 MEAC.
Last meeting with Miami: lost 45-0 at UM, Sept. 5, 2015
Note: To start the season off with in-state competition of Bethune-Cookman. Overall odds say Miami has this in the bag, with the previous meeting being a blowout of 45-0.

Standing record 1-0

When: Saturday, Sept. 9
Where: Centennial Bank Stadium, Jonesboro, Ark. (30,406).
Last meeting with Miami: lost 41-20 at UM, Sept. 13, 2014.
Note: When the last time these two teams met, a lot happened. Booker Mays “died” during the 2014 game, made full recovery. This game was a breakout day for the first year starting quarterback Brad Kaaya. Will it be a repeat of the last time these two titans met on the gridiron with a fresh first year starter blowing the Red Wolves out of the water, or will Head Coach Blake Anderson come up with another clever play like The Fainting goat from seasons past? Overall UM is looking to nab this away as well

Standing record 2-0

When: Saturday, Sept. 16
Where: Doak Campbell Stadium, Tallahassee (82,300).
Last meeting with Miami: won 20-19 at UM on Oct. 8, 2016.
Note: Last year’s game, as usual, was dramatic and a total bloodbath. Can Miami break a seven-year drought against its in-state rival? Earliest Canes-Noles game since 2009 Miami’s record against FSU in September: 11-11.  Will UM finally break the drought, and come out in a 3-0 lead, or will this loss offset them, and send them into a tailspin? If UM will come out on top, it will energize the team for the rough few weeks ahead. Overall however the reports say FSU will take this one.

Standing record 2-1

When: Saturday, Sept. 23
Where: Hard Rock Stadium, Miami Gardens (64,982).
Last meeting with Miami: lost 24-14 at No. 3 Miami, Nov. 21, 1987.
Note: The only previous game between the teams was a dicey one in UM’s national title season of ’87. The Hurricanes may have been looking ahead to bigger things, and Toledo out rushed them, nearly out-passed them and matched them in touchdowns. It’s been thirty years in the making, lets see how these two teams tee off against each other. Overall Reports say UM will have this one with it’s strong defensive game, Toledo has a strong pass rush, but offensively UM should dominate this one.

Standing record 3-1

When: Friday, Sept. 29
Where: Wallace Wade Stadium, Durham, N.C. (33,941).
Last meeting with Miami: lost 40-21 at UM, Nov. 26, 2016.
Note: Thoroughly beaten by the Hurricanes to close a disappointing, injury-riddled season The Blue Devils look to return, and beat UM. Three impressive games for the 2016 Dukies: a 28-27 win over North Carolina in November, a 38-35 win at Notre Dame, and a close (24-14) loss at Louisville. Overall we are looking for UM to squelch the heat of the Devil’s pitchfork, and press on 4-1.

Standing record 4-1

When: Thursday, Oct. 12
Where: Hard Rock Stadium, Miami Gardens (64,982).
Last meeting with Miami: lost 35-14 in Atlanta on Oct. 1, 2016.
Note: This game seems as if it will be a instant win for UM as they play at home against GT. Not much more needs to be said here. Overall ratings have it 86% for UM to win.

Standing record 5-1

When: Saturday, Oct. 21
Where: Hard Rock Stadium, Miami Gardens (64,982).
Last meeting with Miami: lost 17-10 at No. 14 Miami, 2003.
Note: This game seems as if it will be a instant win for UM as they play at home against Syracuse. Not much more needs to be said here. Overall ratings have it 72% for UM to win.

Standing record 6-1

When: Saturday, Oct. 28
Where: Kenan Memorial Stadium, Chapel Hill, N.C. (63,000).
Last meeting with Miami: won 20-13 at UM on Oct. 15, 2016.
Note: Should be good enough to get back to a bowl, despite major losses on offense (quarterback Mitch Trubisky, running back Elijah Hood, receivers Ryan Switzer, Bug Howard and Mack Hollins) and turnover at nearly every position. The offense could turn to redshirt freshman quarterback Chazz Surratt or last year’s backup, Nathan Elliott lost three of last four to close 2016, including one-point loss to four-win Duke, seven-point loss at home to rival N.C. State, and a Sun Bowl loss to a Christian McCaffrey-less Stanford. Overall 52% to win

Standing record 7-1

When: Saturday, Nov. 4
Where: Hard Rock Stadium, Miami Gardens (64,982).
Last meeting with Miami: won 37-16 in Blacksburg on Oct. 20, 2016.
Note: Stellar debut for coach Justin Fuente, which won the Coastal and handed UM its worst loss of last year.  He loses a lot, though: receivers Isaiah Ford and Bucky Hodges and quarterback Jerod Evans, and has a load of questions entering the spring. The Hokies were good, but they did get Miami at its weakest point last year. Hopes are with UM coming through this game on the other side should clinch the ACC title. Overall 68% to win this one.

Standing record 8-1

When: Saturday, Nov. 11
Where: Hard Rock Stadium, Miami Gardens (64,982).
Last meeting with Miami: won 30-27 at South Bend on Oct. 29, 2016.
Note: Last year’s meeting was expected to be Miami’s toughest game of the season, heading into the 2017 season can really upset the Hurricane’s. However if they pull this off, it will cap out their season. Overall 54% to win this one.

Standing record 9-1

When: Saturday, Nov. 18
Where: Hard Rock Stadium, Miami Gardens (64,982).
Last meeting with Miami: lost 34-14 at Charlottesville, Nov. 12, 2016.
Note: Only two Power Five teams (Kansas, Rutgers) finished lower in USA Today’s postseason rankings than the Cavaliers, who lost their last seven games. The biggest offseason news in Charlottesville: two juniors, linebacker Micah Kiser and safety Quin Blanding, returned for their senior seasons. The power schools hit it off on this one with one more game left in the regular season afterwards, who will clinch the win? Overall 65% in favor of UM.

Standing record 10-1

When: Friday, Nov. 24
Where: Heinz Field, Pittsburgh (68,400).
Last meeting with Miami: lost 51-28 at UM, Nov. 5, 2016.
Note:  The final game of the season, which UM looks to close out strong. Not much to do, and be able to close strong is something UM is fantastic at. We are looking forward to seeing the season closer between UM and Pitt.

Standing record 11-1

Current outlooks say Miami will have a overall chance to win all games, but week three’s matchup with FSU. Overall the outlook seems really bright for this new UM team, with a solid record prediction of 11-1. This should allow for a solid run for the ACC title, giving them their sixth in the school’s history.

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