Best Miami Offensive Player
RB Travis Homer, Jr.
The 5-11, 195-pounder wasn’t supposed to be anything more than a part of a rotation with Mark Walton. But after Week 4, the ground game was Homer’s and he rose to the occasion with 170 yards and a score in the win over Georgia Tech.
He finished with 966 yards and eight scores – averaging six yards per carry – and was solid as a receiver and blocker, but now he’ll have to hold off superstar freshman Lorenzo Lingard and prove he can be more of a workhorse. He only ran the ball 20 times twice.
2. OT Navaughn Donaldson, Soph.
3. C Tyler Gauthier, Sr.
4. RB Lorenzo Lingard, Fr.
5. QB Malik Rosier, Sr.
Best Miami Defensive Player
LB Shaquille Quarterman, Jr.
Go ahead and take any one of at least six defensive players and they belong here. It’s a star-studded team, and the 6-1, 240-pound is its thumping leader. While he might not be the flashiest playmaker, this is his D.
He took over as a true freshman with 84 stops, and continued on with an 83-stop year with 2.5 sacks and seven tackles for loss. Rock-steady, he’s what you’re looking for in an inside linebacker with the right size and enough range to be a factor in pass coverage when needed.
2. S Jaquan Johnson, Sr.
3. CB Michael Jackson, Sr.
4. DE Joe Jackson, Jr.
5. LB Michael Pinckney, Jr.
Key Player To A Successful Season
QB Malik Rosier, Sr.
He has to go from good enough, to great for the Canes to take that next step forward as a true national title contender.
The problem? Accuracy. Over the final three games – all three of the losses – he completed around 45% of his throws with five interceptions, threw 14 picks on the season, and wasn’t consistent enough throughout the year to be reliable.
However, he’s the veteran the coaching staff trusts, and top-shelf talent N’Kosi Perry and hotshot recruit Jarren Williams haven’t been able to push the incumbent out of a job. No matter who’s under center, though, the Canes need better quarterback play.
Key Game To The Miami Season
LSU, Sept. 2 (in Arlington)
The ACC schedule isn’t exactly a breeze, but there’s no Clemson to deal with, and the Florida State game is in Miami. Yeah, road games at Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech late in the season are going to be a problem, but for the most part, a national championship-level team should be able to roll through this slate … if it’s also good enough to beat LSU.
After a rough ending to last season, dropping the opener to the Tigers in Jerry World would make it four straight losses. However, there probably won’t be another major problem – the date with the Seminoles included – until November, so get out of Arlington with a win, and expect a deep run like last season.
2017 Miami Fun Stats
– 4th Quarter Scoring: Miami 122 – Opponents 57
– Time of Possession: Opponents 33:29 – Miami 26:31
– 3rd Down Conversions: Opponents 87-for-220 (40%) – Miami 47-of-163 (29%)