MIAMI GARDENS, FL - OCTOBER 22: Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets Head Coach Paul Johnson (L) chats with Head Coach Al Golden of the Miami Hurricanes before the game at Sun Life Stadium on October 22, 2011 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)
This year Da U comes to The Flats on September 22 in a Coastal Division Rivalry Game. They will have already played two away games against Boston College and Kansas State and a home opener against Bethune Cookman. I would expect Miami to be 2-1 headed into this game and looking to start the ACC race off with a win. However the Hurricanes will be breaking in a new QB, RB, WR, and 4 lineman on the offensive side of the of the ball. Miami is always a talented team (25th in BillC's two year recruiting rankings) and has had our number recently (3 straight losses to Da U). Inside we will look at Miami a little more in depth.
Anytime I think of Georgia Tech and Miami I think back to this game. Our first white out under CPJ and really the first time our offense *clicked*. We were rolling through and around that Miami Defense for a 41-23 win. Also I could watch that highlight tape all day, thats the option. Anyway, since then it hasn't been as pretty and really hasn't been that close. In 2009 we lost our only conference game to them in September and actually would have been undefeated heading into the georgia game if not for that loss. 2010 wasn't any better and after flying down to last year's game on Saturday morning at 7:00 am to go tailgate all day surrounded by the worst and most annoying *football* fans you could find and then actually having to sit there and watch our team make a mess of themselves, I can tell you last year was awful as well. But this year will be different I say!
This game being played so early is certainly in Georgia Tech's favor. Miami has to find a replacement for Jacory Harris between the incumbent but erratic Stephen Morris, or transfer Ryan Williams. Williams is a much more (all together now NFL Scouts) Pro-Style quarterback who could fit into the system, but is also a two-star transfer from Memphis, not exactly Da U. I expect Stephen Morris's talent to win out here. Miami has a stable of running backs to replace the stud Lamar Miller, including incoming all-world-future-first-round-pick Duke Johnson, and will probably still be using a running back by committee approach in September. Miami's receiving corps are a little more of a question. They lose NCAA-Football-Legend Travis Benjamin (seriously though, was this guy unstoppable in everyone else's NCAA dynasties or was it just me?) and Tommy Streeter and only return one receiver targeted on more than 10% of pass plays last year. Thats still light years ahead of what we return but, we run the option so there. Again a long list of 4 star WR's and TE's are waiting to prove their worth though, I wouldn't be surprised if they found one stud this year. The offensive line is the biggest worry for the Hurricanes, losing 4 starters is always hard but they are also the 4 most seasoned starters on the line. You can't preview Miami without mentioning Seantrel Henderson, the under-preforming-oft-injured number one recruit many years ago. He has also been held out of fall camp because of concussions so he might not even be playing us. Heres to hoping he hasn't gotten it together by the time they play us.
Miami's defense has about as many questions as their offense. Outside of Freshman All American Anthony Chickillo there are not that many proven playmakers on the defensive line, which should really give our offensive line alot of freedom to move onto the second level. I won't pretend to know anything about Miami's Linebackers, they lost Sean Spence (Psych!) and that is really all I got for you, expect some hard hitters though. In the secondary Miami recently dismissed starting safety Ray-Ray Armstrong who was one of their best, or rather most frequent, tacklers in the secondary. They return some skill and depth and bring in 8 (EIGHT!) DB recruits. Considering we won't be throwing the ball like at all I would think this works in our favor, most new corners or inexperienced ones aren't used to getting beat up on every, single, play.
Miami this year, and last year as well, is a program that really is just waiting for the NCAA to make its decision on the scandals that have been going on there. You can argue wether or not Miami did more or less than USC, UNC, and Penn State, but either way the NCAA will come down with harsher penalties than what have already been levied on this program and, unfortunately for Da U, there is no expected delivery date on those penalties. I really don't see anything special happening for Miami this year, they could go 8-4 and surprise some people, or 5-7 and miss a bowl game. Either way I do not see them giving us too much trouble on September 22nd. In continuing with our Community Win Prediction Theme (don't miss your chance to vote!) I predict that Georgia Tech would win 7 games out of 10 against the Hurricanes and see us sending the them back home with a loss. What say you fellows?
If you want more information on Miami here are some great links to read up on: