Miami (FL) Hurricanes
Location: Miami, FL
Coach: Mark Richt (19-7) 3rd Season at Miami
Stadium: Hard Rock Stadium (Capacity 65,326)
2rd: ACC (1st in Coastal Division)
14th: Division I
2017 In a Sentence: Miami had a strong season in 2017. They won their first ten games of the season, rising to #2 in the polls before losing their last regular season game at Pitt. The Hurricanes then lost to Clemson in the ACC championship and then again lost to Wisconsin in the Orange Bowl.
Biggest Shoes to Fill: DL Chad Thomas was the anchor of the Hurricanes defensive line in 2017. He tied for the team lead with 12.5 tackles for loss and 4.5 sacks. Thomas added 43 total tackles. He is a versatile lineman who could line up inside or outside on the line. Thomas was drafted in the third round of the NFL draft by the Browns. He also plays 9 instruments, so he is as versatile with music as it is on the field.
Key Player: It’s not often that a defensive back leads a team in tackles, but that’s what Miami had in 2017 with DB Jaquan Johnson. With 96 tackles, 1 sack, 4 interceptions, with one touchdown, Johnson was all over the field for Miami. In his senior season, Johnson should again lead the Hurricane defense as he heads toward being drafted in the 2019 NFL draft.
Fearless Prediction: Miami will start the season in the top 10 in 2018. The Hurricanes will hope to compete for the ACC Championship and a spot in the 4 team playoff.
Jamie is a proud 2002 graduate of James Madison University. He’s witnessed the growth of the program from no one in the stands in 1998, to the hiring of Mickey Matthews, to the 2004 National Championship, to the 2008 team, to the struggles in the early 2010s, and finally the rebuild under Mike Houston. He also allegedly really enjoys Washington, DC-based Stanley Cup winners.
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