MIAMI HURRICANES SEASON PREVIEW:
For Miami Hurricanes fans, the 2011 season was a series of ups and downs and lost opportunities that made it a frustrating year to watch. After dropping their opening game in surprising fashion against Maryland, the Hurricanes turned around and knocked off Ohio State, Georgia Tech, North Carolina, while losing to a series of unranked opponents along the way to finish with an underwhelming 6-6 record. For head coach Al Golden's squad, consistency is the name of the game for the 2012 season as they try to get back to the top of the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) rankings.
The Hurricanes will experience plenty of turnover on the offensive side of the ball, where they will only return four starters from the 2011 campaign. Quarterbacks Stephen Morris and Memphis transfer Ryan Williams are vying for the starting job, and may struggle to match the high production of the departed Jacory Harris. At running back, the Hurricanes will rely on the talented trio of runners: Mike James, Eduardo Clements and Duke Johnson, each of whom bring unique skill sets to the offense. In the passing game, Allen Hurns and Phillip Dorsett form a formidable duo at wide receiver, but the offense will need increased production out of tight end Clive Walford to overcome a lack of depth. While the offensive line is young, the group has an impressive amount of starts under their belt to hit the ground running quickly in 2012.
The Hurricanes' defense looks to be the team's strong suit heading into 2012, but the unit's biggest question mark is its defensive line. While defensive end Anthony Chickillo enjoyed a stellar freshman season with five sacks, other starters like Shayon Green and Luther Robinson will need increased production to improve the team's rush defense. The linebackers group looks to be one of the most talented corps on the team, with senior Ramon Buchanan and Denzel Perryman providing a steadying force in the middle. Finally, the Hurricanes have one of the best safety duos in the league with Vaughn Telemaque and Kacy Rodgers, as well as cornerbacks Ladarius Gunter and Brandon McGee who should give opposing quarterbacks fits in the coming season.
Looking ahead to the 2012 season, the Hurricanes will face their usual stiff competition from a wide range of ACC foes, but will have to overcome strong non-conference matchups like Notre Dame, Kansas State and USF. If the team can put up a strong conference record, they should be one of many bowl contenders by the end of the year.
MIAMI HURRICANES INFORMATION:
Location: Miami, Florida
Stadium: Sun Life Stadium
Conference: ACC Conference
Rivals: Florida State Seminoles, Florida Gators, Florida International Golden Panthers, Virginia Tech Hokies
Mascot: Sebastian the Ibis
Heisman Trophies: 2 - Vinny Testaverde (1986), Gino Torretta (1992)
Notable Alumni: Vinny Testaverde, Jim Dooley, Ottis Anderson, Bernie Kosar
Notable Bowl Games:
The University of Miami began collegiate football competition in 1926. The Hurricanes have had some legendary coaches including Andy Gustafson, Howard Schnellenberger, Jimmy Johnson, Dennis Erickson, Butch Davis, and Larry Coker. Under these incredible coaches, the Hurricanes won 5 national Championships - in 1983, 1897, 1989, 1991, and 2001, as well as 9 conference titles. Miami's most celebrated rivalries are with Florida and Florida State. The last quarter century has also shown the Hurricanes to be a springboard for a wealth of NFL talent: Vinny Testaverde, Warren Sapp, Santana Moss, Steve Walsh, and Bernie Kosar to name just a few.
The Miami Hurricanes played their home games at the Miami Orange Bowl in Miami, Florida since 1932, but the program announced that starting in 2008 the team will play at Dolphin Stadium, now Sun Life Stadium. The move has been met with criticism, some claiming that the move from the Orange Bowl to Sun Life Stadium has already cursed the Miami Dolphins. It should be interesting to see how this storied program performs with a new coach, a new stadium, and rumors of curses flying. Buy Miami Hurricanes tickets and be a part of college football history!
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