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2013 Miami Florida
Schedule and Odds
It's crazy to think just how successful Miami (FL) was last year considering they were so young. 10 freshmen started at least one game and another 11 saw game action. It was a testament to the players that they still finished tied atop the ACC Coastal Division with a 5-3 conference record and 7-5 overall. The glaring weakness for this team was its defense that finished last in the ACC in almost every relevant category. One of their worst losses of the season came at Virginia, losing 41-40.
Obviously, they'll need to improve that defense if they want to improve this year. Even though they only lost one senior, three other former starters are out of the picture because of transfer or suspension. Still, a good portion of last year's squad is intact, but that's mainly because the Hurricanes had an ever-changing unit in 2013. With one more year under these guy's belts, improvement should be expected but won't be guaranteed.
The offense is where Miami succeeds and they return every relevant player possible. A new offensive coordinator will be in town from Florida State in James Coley, but he shouldn't change too much. Back is running back Duke Johnson who is an explosion waiting to happen. He'll see plenty more touches in his sophomore season, but he doesn't really have an experienced guy to spell him which could hurt. Stephen Morris is back under center after he did a respectable job in his first season as the starter. He gets back most of his top receivers and will be behind an offensive line that returns all five starters. It's likely the offense will have to carry this team once again.
2013 Miami Florida Football Schedule
Aug. 30 vs. Florida Atlantic
Sept. 7 vs. Florida
Sept. 21 vs. Savannah State
Sept. 28 at South Florida
Oct. 5 vs. Georgia Tech
Oct. 17 at North Carolina
Oct. 26 vs. Wake Forest
Nov. 2 at Florida State
Nov. 9 vs. Virginia Tech
Nov. 16 at Duke
Nov. 23 vs. Virginia
Nov. 29 at Pittsburgh
The Hurricanes schedule is about the same strength as it was last year, but they'll have a few harder tasks on the road in conference play. Games at North Carolina and Florida State will be their hardest as they couldn't beat either of those teams at home last year.
And just like 2012, Miami will have to face another possible Top 10 team in Florida in just their second game. The goal for the Canes should be to try and keep it within 40 points which they didn't do against Kansas State or Notre Dame last season. Their other three non-conference games are relatively easy with the hardest coming at South Florida.
Without expecting them to beat UNC or FSU, their other two important games will come at home against Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech. Miami beat both of them last year so there's no reason they should lose to either one this year.
If each unit improves at least slightly, this team should be able to make it to nine regular season wins and fight for the Costal division. If neither improves, expect a lot of high-scoring battles that could go either way, a la the Virginia game from last year.
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