Everything went to plan for Miami last season, at least for the first 10 Games. After winning those, the Hurricanes dropped their last three with the loss at Pitt showing some immediate flaws with Malik Rosier (+8000 for Heisman) and the offense. If they can fix those heading into 2018, another ACC Coastal title should be waiting for them. Easier said than done, but bookmakers believe in them with +3500 spring odds (at 5Dimes Sportsbook) to win the National Championship, which places them well ahead of anyone else in the division. Their spring over/under of 8.5 wins was also getting a lot of action on the over.
Most of the talk from the spring was regarding the quarterback competition because Rosier didn’t have the spot locked down after last year’s 54.0% completion rate to go with 26 TDs and 14 INTs. He has the leg up due to experience, but redshirt freshman N’Kosi Perry will be in his rearview mirror all season. After Rosier was sacked Four times in the spring Game, it was also evident that the line needs to be figured out. It lost two key starters from last year’s group that wasn’t consistent to begin with. If the line struggles, that could mean more problems for the offense. At the least, running back Travis Homer (966, 8 TDs) should be in for another nice season. Rosier lost his top wide out, which means LAwrence Cager (16 receptions) is expected to have a bigger role with the hope that Ahmmon Richards (439 yards) returns fully from a knee injury. This team won last year, but the offense managed less than 30 points per Game and was helped numerous times by the defense.
The question is if Miami’s defense can repeat, forcing turnovers at the same rate and allowing less than 20 points per Game. The line lost a slew of starters, but it was evident in the spring that it’s already restocked and Joe Jackson is elite on the end. Linebacker should be set for the Hurricanes with Shaq Quarterman and Michael Pinckney back and the same goes for the secondary where safety Jaquan Johnson and corner Michael Jackson are two of the best in the conference. Miami may have lost a few starters, but the talent is still there so this group can be just as good as long as key contributors improve, namely at linebacker.
The Hurricanes don’t get to start with a freebie this time as the Game against LSU in Texas could decide a lot for the upcoming season. Win that and the sky is the limit without any other Games that stand out on the Schedule. Getting UNC and FSU at home early on helps, but that also means Four road Games in their final six. To win the Coastal division again, the ‘Canes have to win at Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech on back-to-back weeks in November. This team has the talent to make another ACC title Game, but if the offensive line regresses, there could be some issues in doing that. Either way, this team is close to a lock for eight wins and could be headed for 10 again with a nice regular season Schedule.
2018 Miami Hurricanes Football Schedule
Sept. 2 vs. LSU (AT&T Stadium, Arlington)
Sept. 8 vs. Savannah State
Sept. 15 at Toledo
Sept. 22 vs. Florida International
Sept. 27 vs. North Carolina
Oct. 6 vs. Florida State
Oct. 13 at Virginia
Oct. 26 at Boston College
Nov. 3 vs. Duke
Nov. 10 at Georgia Tech
Nov. 17 at Virginia Tech
Nov. 24 vs. Pittsburgh