College Football News Preview 2020: Miami Hurricanes Keys To The Season
Biggest Key To The Miami Hurricanes Offense
Let’s start with the basics under new offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee – just get the thing moving.
Start with blocking better, getting the running game going, and relying on a quarterback who can do enough to keep defenses from pinning their ears back to get behind the line.
Too much pressure in the backfield led to no third down conversions – the Canes finished second-to-last in the nation on the key downs.
Miami’s offense might not have been anything special in 2018, but it converted 41% of the time on third downs. Last year? 27%, failing to hit the 30% mark in eight games.
By the way, at SMU last season, Lashlee’s offense converted 44% of its third down shots.
Biggest Key To The Miami Hurricanes Defense
Stay nasty against the run. Totally blown off in a disappointing year for the program record-wise was a special season from a run defense that finished 17th in the nation.
But it was more effective than that.
Georgia Tech was the only team to run for more than 200 yards on the Miami D that never got gouged. There were problems over the previous seasons against the teams that could pound. Last year, no one hit the five-yard-per-carry mark, and overall the defense allowed fewer than 1,500 rushing yards.
The concern this year will be the side and experience in the linebacking corps. Last year had a thumper in 240-pound Shaq Quarterman in the middle – this year the Canes will likely have bulked up safeties in the three spots.
Key Miami Hurricanes Player To A Successful Season
OT Zion Nelson, Soph.
Go ahead and throw the entire offensive line in this bucket. It was awful in pass protection and didn’t deliver nearly enough pop for the running game. To be fair, the front five went with a whole slew of young players who were thrown to the wolves.
It started with Nelson.
A relatively unheralded recruit, the 6-5, 273-pound Nelson bulked up fast and took over a starting job right out of the gate against Florida. On the plus side, the Cane coaching staff came up with a gem – a diamond-in-the-rough starting left tackle – but it also showed how thin the Miami O line was.
Give D’Eriq King just a little time to work, and the Hurricane season – at least on the offensive side – will be a whole lot better.
Key Game To The Miami Hurricanes Season
At Michigan State, Sept 26
It’s a tad misleading considering there have only been two opportunities, but 2015 was the last time Miami beat Power Five program in non-conference play.
The program is 4-0 all-time against Michigan State, but the last meeting was in 1989. This time around, if all goes according to plan, the Canes should be 3-0 before going to East Lansing in the forgive-the-cliche measuring stick game. This is the type of game a team that thinks it can be good should win.
– Miami Hurricanes Schedule Breakdown & Analysis
2019 Miami Fun Stats
– 3rd Down Conversions: Opponents 37% – Miami 27%
– Punt Return Average: Miami 14.24 – Opponents 5.50
– 4th Down Conversions: Opponents 12-of-17 (71%) – Miami 13-of-25 (52%)