Miami Football: 2013 Hurricane Offense the Best in over a Decade?

David MayerCorrespondent IDecember 13, 2012

MIAMI GARDENS, FL - NOVEMBER 17: Clive Walford #46 of the Miami Hurricanes runs with the ball against the South Florida Bulls on November 17, 2012 at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida. The Hurricanes defeated the Bulls 40-9. (Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)
Joel Auerbach/Getty Images

 I know I am a little early for predictions, but barring any radical changes during the offseason, next year's Hurricane offense could be the most explosive team we have seen at Miami since the 2001 championship team.

Last year's offense scored 31.42 points per game, the most since the 2004 team averaged 31.67. That is not bad, considering the fact that the Hurricanes had only four returning starters on offense.

Next season the offense should be even better as the Canes return their leading rusher, passer, receiver and all five offensive starting linemen. In fact, the Hurricanes should be returning a total of 10 starting players on offense.

The only starter missing will be running back Mike James, who accumulated for 976 all-purpose yards. It won't be that big of an issue, though, because we all know what Duke Johnson did last season in a backup role to James.

The offensive linemen had an overall solid season, but struggled against good defenses like Notre Dame, Kansas State and Florida State. With another year under their belt, they should be able to find consistency and become one of the best units in the entire ACC.

The receivers will be the deepest unit on the entire team. A total of six players who are returning had at least 200 receiving yards last season. I wouldn't expect anything less than 1,000 yards from junior wideout, Phillip Dorsett.

The biggest problem at the receiver position is that there may actually be too many players to throw it to—freshmen Herb Waters and Malcolm Lewis showed they deserve playing time as well.

I will say that the biggest surprise of next season could come from tight end Clive Walford. Walford excelled toward the end of the season, catching 11 passes for 303 yards and three touchdowns in the final four games of the season.

All this won't be possible, though, if something were to happen to starting quarterback Stephen Morris.

Morris proved to not only the fans, but the entire country that he has one of the strongest arms in college football. The best part of his season was the fact that he only threw seven interceptions to 21 touchdown passes.

Heading into the 2012 season, Morris threw more interceptions (11) then touchdowns (seven).

So barring any substantial injuries or suspensions to anyone on the team, I wouldn't be a bit surprised if this team averages over 40 points per game next year. The last Miami team that did that was in 2002—when the Canes' averaged 40.54 points per game.

I mean, heck, they may have to if the defense doesn't improve over last season's No. 116 ranking.