2008 Miami Hurricanes Football Preview
Miami 2007 Record: (5-7, 2-6 ACC)
2007 Bowl: none
Miami Head Coach: Randy Shannon (5-7 at Miami, 5-7 overall)
Offensive Coordinator: Patrick Nix
Defensive Coordinator: Bill Young
Returning Leaders for the Canes:
Other Key Returnees: OT Jason Fox, RB Javarris James, CB Bruce Johnson, CB DeMarcus Van Dyke, OT Reggie Youngblood, TE Chris Zellner
Key Losses: DE Calais Campbell, S Willie Cooper, LB Tavares Gooden, WR Darnell Jenkins, DT Teraz McCray, C Derrick Morse, S Kenny Phillips, QB Kyle Wright
Miami fans will forgive Coach Randy Shannon for missing a bowl in his first year as a head coach, but it better not happen again. Yet, with only four starters returning on offense and four on defense, there is a lot of work to be done. The good news is that the recruiting has been great and those Miami haters better enjoy it while they can.
Not only did the Hurricanes get a top five recruiting class according to most pundits, but a handful of those incoming freshmen were on campus by the spring. With all that time to adjust to life at Miami, many of the freshmen will make a big impact. Depending on freshmen is not a good thing, but players like linebackers Sean Spence and Arthur Brown and defensive tackle Marcus Forston have enough talent to immediately bolster a depleted defense. Not everybody is a freshmen and the Hurricanes return a couple quality running backs. Graig Cooper and Javarris James did not put up great numbers last year, but they were the most productive part of the offense during the 2007 season.
The rest of the offense, which did poorly anyway, has a lot of key pieces to replace. Redshirt freshman quarterback Robert Marve had the most impressive spring, but true freshman Jacory Harris still has a shot at earning the starting gig. Either way, the quarterback will be inexperienced. Losing wide receivers Darnall Jenkins and Lance Leggett will not help a passing offense that ranked last in the conference in 2007. Like the offense, the defense has a lot of holes to fill and that has led to some switching around. Allen Bailey was moved to defensive end from linebacker during the spring to help replace the pass rushing lost with the departure of Calais Campbell. So far so good for Bailey, but he has some big shoes to fill.
The Bottom Line for the Hurricanes:
The defense was not bad last year, but they had Campbell and Kenny Phillips to lead the way. Linebacker Colin McCarthy is the returning leader in tackles, but is the junior ready to be a leader on the field? With a bunch of underclassmen expecting to see quality minutes, leadership will be extremely important. The level of talent is better than it has been the last couple of years, but it might take a couple of seasons before that results in what Miami fans expect from their program.
2007 Miami Hurricanes Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 145.58 (65th in nation, 3rd in conference)
Passing Offense: 169.50 (108, 12)
Total Offense: 315.08 (110, 11)
Scoring Offense: 20.58 (101, 11)
Rushing Defense: 133.75 (40, 8)
Pass Defense: 212.17 (35, 6)
Total Defense: 345.92 (33, 7)
Scoring Defense: 26.00 (52, 10)
Turnover Margin: -.50 (96, 10)
Sacks: 2.58 (28, 5)
Sacks Allowed: 2.08 (62, 4)
By Joel Welser
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