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Georgia Tech Football: Opponent Previews - Miami Hurricanes

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Let’s talk about Da U!

NCAA Football: Cheez-It Bowl-Oklahoma State vs Miami Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

Ed. Note: Sorry, this was supposed to post yesterday, but I was just trying to emulate Miami fans attending College Gameday (h/t to Jeff for that joke)

So for most Georgia Tech fans, the school they hate more than any other is that school a couple hours east. I’m different, though. For me, that school is Miami. I don’t have a particular reason to hate Miami, I just do. And personally, I think that’s the best reason you can have to hate a team.

Who’s Gone?

The Pass Rush

Losing three defensive linemen to the NFL Draft normally means that your defensive line is losing a lot of talent, and that’s absolutely the case here. Coming into this season, the Hurricanes lost Jaelan Phillips, Gregory Rousseau and Quincy Roche, who were all impressive in their own rights, to the NFL Draft. This leaves a pretty big hole along the defensive line.

Who’s Back?

QB D’Eriq King (maybe)

So, this is where things get interesting. During the Cheez-It Bowl last season, King tore the ACL in his right knee and underwent surgery to have it repaired. Now, while Manny Diaz and the school said he should be back in time for Fall camp, I think it’s important to note that this injury happened on the same knee on which King tore his meniscus. A couple weeks ago, Diaz said that King was nearly 100 percent. If that proves to be true, Miami’s offense will continue to make strides under second-year offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee. If not, they will be scrambling for a replacement.

All three running backs

While King may have been the leading rusher for the Canes last season, he was far from the only competent one they had. In addition, the Canes trotted out the rotation of Cam’Ron Harris, Donald Chaney, Jr. and Jaylan Knighton, each of whom averaged more than four yards a carry and combined to have more than 1,200 yards rushing.

WR Mike Harley

Out wide, King will have his favorite target from last season returning to him in Mike Harley. He caught 57 passes for 799 yards and seven touchdowns. Looking at his career numbers, he is also on the verge of setting some records for receptions and receiving yards, so he will be looking to have a big year.

S Bubba Bolden

While the Canes may have lost a lot of defense up front, they do bring back one of the better players they had on defense in Bubba Bolden. Last season, he led the Canes in tackles while also forcing four fumbles.

Who’s New?

CB Tyrique Stevenson

In what was probably the biggest addition Miami had this offseason, former UGA cornerback Tyrique Stevenson took his talents to South Beach. As a former five-star prospect, Stevenson has a pretty high ceiling, but yet to reach that potential. While at UGA, he was primarily used as a nickel back, breaking up five passes last season. Coming to Miami, I imagine his role will probably expand.

DL Leonard Taylor

The top defensive tackle in the 2021 class, Leonard Taylor is just a beast. While he won’t fill the holes left by the three edge rushers the Canes lost, Taylor will certainly make an impact this season. Just watch his film, it’s a lot of fun (though not for us):

Season Outlook

I’m going to keep this pretty short. Miami should be good this season, but there’s a chance they won’t be. I think it’ll come down to a couple things. First, what is the defense going to do. They were kind of hit-or-miss last season and lost three great defensive ends. They also shuffled some coaches around. Will they see improvement? The other thing is quarterback. Can D’Eriq King come back in full force? If not, who steps up? If the Canes can get those things figured out, I think they’re a strong contender for the Coastal this season.

How do you feel about Da U?