Miami Football 2013 Team Program

David KenyonFeatured ColumnistAugust 18, 2013

Miami Football 2013 Team Program

0 of 12

    The regular season is just days away, and there is excitement surrounding the 2013 edition of the Miami Hurricanes.

    After an offseason riddled with coaching changes 'Canes fan are eager for the beginning of the season to arrive. With potentially one of the nation's best offenses, Miami is a legitimate contender for the Atlantic Coast Conference championship despite a handful of new coaches.

    The Hurricanes have plenty of important games, returning stars and intriguing new players to watch throughout 2013. Head coach Al Golden's team is captained by two seniors—quarterback Stephen Morris and defensive end Shayon Green.

    Offensive and defensive schemes have stayed the same, but Miami is hoping for better results than its 7-5 record in 2012.

    Head coach Al Golden's team is captained by two seniors—quarterback Stephen Morris and defensive end Shayon Green.

Video Preview

1 of 12

    Bleacher Report experts Barrett Sallee, Michael Felder and Adam Kramer discuss how the Hurricanes will fare in the 2012 season.

    Plus, one prediction might come as a surprise.

Recapping 2012

2 of 12

    Miami entered the 2012 campaign as a very young team, and the inexperience certainly showed throughout the season. However, head coach Al Golden led his squad to a semi-historic, yet still simply decent season.

    After quickly falling behind 14-0 to Boston College, it appeared as if 2012 was going to start on a forgettable foot. Eduardo Clements scored a one-yard touchdown to cut the deficit to seven, but Denzel Perryman changed the momentum of the entire game with a pick-six as the first quarter expired.

    Then, of course, Duke Johnson exploded onto the scene with two 50-plus-yard touchdown runs, and the 'Canes took down the Eagles 41-32.

    Riding high, Miami traveled to Manhattan, Kansas, to face Heisman candidate Collin Klein and the Kansas State Wildcats.

    Long story short, it didn't go very well.

    With a 52-13 thrashing, Kansas State redirected the Hurricanes back to Florida. The Wildcats' 52-spot was the fourth-most points allowed in school history by Miami.

    The next week, however, the 'Canes were back on course. Powered by Duke's four touchdowns, Miami took down FCS foe Bethune Cookman 38-10, and the victory sparked a mini-winning streak.

    Over the next two weeks, Stephen Morris threw for a jaw-dropping 1,002 yards and seven touchdowns against Georgia Tech (42-36, OT) and North Carolina State (44-37). Unfortunately for Miami, budding receiver Malcolm Lewis suffered a horrific leg injury against Georgia Tech and was lost for the season.

    But after Miami opened 2012 with a 4-1 overall record and 3-0 mark in conference play, the 'Canes dropped three consecutive games to Notre Dame (41-3), North Carolina (18-14) and Florida State (33-20). Notre Dame bulled the 'Canes defense for 376 rushing yards, UNC capitalized on Stephen Morris' fourth-quarter injury, and FSU outscored Miami 17-7 in the fourth quarter to pull out the victory.

    The Hurricanes had 12 days to prepare for rival Virginia Tech, and the Thursday night showdown kicked off Miami's final third of the season.

    Morris (ankle) and Johnson (turf toe) took full advantage of the extended layoff to heal, and the duo did not disappoint in the 30-12 victory over the Hokies. Morris threw for 170 yards and two touchdowns, and Duke had an 81-yard kick return and a 65-yard run—both of which set up Hurricanes scores. The Miami defense, although it allowed 421 total yards, stepped up and forced three turnovers.

    Surprisingly to many, the 'Canes then controlled their own destiny to winning a division title. Miami faltered the next week, however, and lost a heartbreaker 41-40 to Virginia.

    The U pounded South Florida 40-9 before its final ACC contest of the season, and, with a win, Golden's team would clinch a spot in the conference championship.

    Led by Morris and Johnson, Miami's high-powered attack again carried the team, posting 646 total yards on offense. The 'Canes left Durham with a 52-45 win over Duke and a Coastal Division title.

    But as the NCAA cloud still hovered over the university, Miami decided to forgo postseason play for the second consecutive season, and the Hurricanes did not have an opportunity for a rematch against Florida State.

    Miami finished the 2012 season with a 7-5 overall record, including 5-3 in ACC action.

Depth Chart

3 of 12

    Note: * denotes returning starter

    Offense

    Wide Receiver

    1. SR Allen Hurns* 6'3", 195
    2. FR Stacy Coley 6'1", 180
    3. JR Rashawn Scott 6'2", 203

    Left Tackle

    1. SO Ereck Flowers 6'6", 312
    2. JR Malcolm Bunche* 6'7", 327

    Left Guard

    1. JR Malcolm Bunche* 6'7", 327—OR—
    2. JR Jon Feliciano* 6'5", 318

    Center

    1. JR Shane McDermott* 6'4", 296
    2. SR Jared Wheeler 6'5", 319

    Right Guard

    1. SR Brandon Linder* 6'6", 319
    2. SR Jared Wheeler 6'5", 319

    Right Tackle

    1. JR Jon Feliciano* 6'5", 318
    2. SR Seantrel Henderson* 6'8", 345

    Tight End

    1. JR Clive Walford* 6'4", 259
    2. SR Asante Cleveland 6'5", 260
    3. JR Beau Sandland 6'6", 255

    Fullback

    1. SR Maurice Hagens* 5'11", 247
    2. FR Walter Tucker 6'0", 226

    Quarterback

    1. SR Stephen Morris* 6'2", 218
    2. JR Ryan Williams 6'5", 223

    Running Back

    1. SO Duke Johnson 5'9", 196
    2. SO Dallas Crawford 5'10", 196—OR—
    3. SR Eduardo Clements 5'9", 192

    Slot Receiver

    1. SO Herb Waters 6'2", 193
    2. FR Stacy Coley 6'1", 180

    Wide Receiver

    1. JR Phillip Dorsett* 5'10", 179
    2. SO Herb Waters 6'2", 193
    3. SO Malcolm Lewis 6'0", 187

     

    Defense

    Defensive End

    1. JR Anthony Chickillo* 6'4", 277
    2. JR Ufomba Kamalu 6'6", 285

    Defensive Tackle

    1. SR Curtis Porter 6'1", 325
    2. SR Justin Renfrow 6'6", 320

    Defensive Tackle

    1. JR Olsen Pierre* 6'4", 305
    2. SR Luther Robinson 6'3", 303
    3. SO Jelani Hamilton 6'5", 283

    Defensive End

    1. SR Shayon Green* 6'3", 264
    2. SR David Gilbert 6'5", 256
    3. FR Al-Quadin Muhammad 6'3", 236

    Outside Linebacker

    1. SO Thurston Armbrister 6'3", 233—OR—
    2. FR Alex Figueroa 6'3", 235

    Middle Linebacker

    1. SR Jimmy Gaines* 6'3", 240
    2. SO Raphael Kirby 6'0", 235
    3. SR Kelvin Cain 6'3", 250

    Outside Linebacker

    1. JR Denzel Perryman* 6'0", 240
    2. SR Tyrone Cornelius 6'2", 225

    Cornerback

    1. SO Tracy Howard 5'11", 184
    2. SO Antonio Crawford 5'11", 187

    Safety

    1. SO Kacy Rodgers II 6'2", 212
    2. SR AJ Highsmith* 6'0", 208
    3. JR Deon Bush 6'2", 212

    Safety

    1. SO Rayshawn Jenkins 6'1", 215
    2. JR Nantambu-Akil Fentress 5'9", 198

    Cornerback

    1. JR Ladarius Gunter* 6'2", 196
    2. FR Nate Dortch  5'11", 173
    3. FR Artie Burns 6'0", 190

     

    Special Teams

    Kicker

    1. SO Matt Goudis 6'0", 172

    Punter

    1. SR Pat O'Donnell 6'5", 222
    2. SO Matt Goudis 6'0", 172

    Long Snapper

    1. JR Sean McNally 5'10", 200
    2. SR Paul Kelly 6'1", 262

    Short Snapper

    1. SR Paul Kelly 6'1", 262
    2. SR Brandon Linder 6'6", 319

    Kick Returner

    1. JR Phillip Dorsett 5'10", 179
    2. SO Duke Johnson 5'9", 196—OR—
    3. FR Artie Burns 6'0", 190

    Punt Returner

    1. JR Phillip Dorsett 5'10", 179
    2. SO Antonio Crawford 5'11", 187

    Notes: Kacy Rodgers II and Deon Bush each started six games at safety in 2012.

    Depth chart courtesy of hurricanesports.com.

Injuries

4 of 12

    OL Danny Isidora (foot) — Out eight weeks

    OL Hunter Knighton (shouder) — Out for season

    OL Alex Gall (hand) — Wearing no-contact jersey

    WR Rashawn Scott (unknown) — Wearing no-contact jersey, expected for season-opener

    RB Brandon Yosha (unknown) — Wearing no-contact jersey

    DB Deon Bush (sports hernia) — Wearing limited contact jersey, expected for season-opener

    DL David Perry (knee) — Wearing limited contact jersey

    DL David Gilbert (foot) — Questionable for season-opener

    QB Preston Dewey (personal matter) — Has not reported

Players to Watch

5 of 12

    With Miami returning so many starters, the players to watch have not changed greatly; instead, more is expected from last season's main contributors.

    Stephen Morris and Duke Johnson were the catalysts driving Miami's offense in 2012. Morris started every game, threw for 3,345 yards, 21 touchdowns, seven interceptions and completed 58.2 percent of his passes.

    Johnson ran for 947 yards with a 6.8-yard-per-carry average, scored 10 touchdowns and caught 27 passes for 221 yards and another score. With a 31.9-yard average and two touchdowns on kick returns, Duke earned All-America honors for his special teams success.

    Anthony Chickillo led the team with four sacks, and Shayon Green racked up the most tackles (67) for the 'Canes, but both players must be more impactful at the line of scrimmage. Excluding Chickillo's sacks, the pair combined for just 4.5 tackles for loss.

    Two experienced linebackers return in Denzel Perryman and Jimmy Gaines. Perryman missed three games, yet he still compiled 64 total tackles, and Gaines tallied 57 stops and picked off two passes.

    Manny Navarro of The Miami Herald notes Gaines is stepping into a leadership role as two of last season's top tacklers are no longer on the team. Since the 'Canes' defense will feature new linebackers, the veterans must be even more productive this season while guiding the less-experienced players.

    True freshmen linebacker Alex Figueroa, defensive end Al-Quadin Muhammad and wide receiver Stacy Coley could each make some noise at their respective positions during their first season in Coral Gables.

Coaches

6 of 12

    Wide receivers coach George McDonald left 'The U' to take the same position at the University of Arkansas before accepting the offensive coordinator position at Syracuse.  Miami's national recruiting coordinator Brennan Carroll will replace him.

    Former UM player Mario Cristobal was hired as the tight ends coach but almost immediately bolted for Nick Saban and Alabama, clearing the way for former South Florida assistant Larry Scott to take the job. 

    Offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Jedd Fisch left for the NFL's Jacksonville Jaguars, but Golden wasted no time, however, and snagged former Florida State OC James Coley to lead the Hurricanes offense.

    Terry Richardson, the 'Canes running backs coach for two seasons, soon followed Fisch to the Jaguars.

    Golden searched in-house and tabbed former Senior Football Operations Coordinator Hurlie Brown to replace Richardson.

     

2013 Schedule and Most Important Games

7 of 12

    Note: Key games in bold, TV notes in italics.

    August 30: Florida Atlantic @ Miami, 8 p.m. ET, ESPNU

    September 7: Florida @ Miami, noon ET, ESPN

    September 21: Savannah State @ Miami, TBD

    September 28: Miami @ South Florida, TBD

    October 5: Georgia Tech @ Miami, TBD

    October 17: Miami @ North Carolina, 7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN

    October 26: Wake Forest @ Miami, TBD

    November 2: Miami @ Florida State, TBD

    November 9: Virginia Tech @ Miami, TBD

    November 16: Miami @ Duke, TBD

    November 23: Virginia @ Miami, TBD

    November 29: Miami @ Pittsburgh, Time TBD (ABC, ESPN or ESPN2, TBD)

     

    Key Games

    Florida Gators

    Miami has often been expected to be better than the team actually is, but with an early matchup against Florida, the Hurricanes have a chance to prove they are for real in 2013.

    It is also a chance for Al Golden to get his tenure-defining win at The U, so Miami will certainly be pumped up for this game.

     

    North Carolina Tar Heels

    The Hurricanes cannot win a Coastal Division title without winning conference games against the best opponents.

    Simply put, Miami's road to Charlotte leads through Chapel Hill, so the 'Canes must be ready for this primetime ACC contest after a 12-day layoff.

     

    Florida State Seminoles

    It's a rivalry, a conference game and a season-defining contest.

    Heading into the first week of November, Miami could either be undefeated in ACC play or have its conference championship hopes hanging by a thread.

    And if the 'Canes are faced with the problems of the latter, Florida State becomes a must-win game.

     

What to Look for on Offense

8 of 12

    Miami's offense utilizes both pro-style and spread formations, so the 'Canes can either work quickly down the field or move methodically toward the end zone. New offensive coordinator James Coley calls it a "tempro" offense, according to Susan Miller Degnan of The Miami Herald.

    The scoring attack can be shouldered by Morris, but Miami is more effective when the run game is clicking. In three of the team's five losses last season, the 'Canes gained just 40, 84 and 29 yards on the ground.

    Duke Johnson bulked up over the offseason, and he is prepared to jump from 16 touches per game to the 20-25 range. Fullback Maurice Hagens will again clear the way for the Hurricanes running backs.

    Plus, six offensive linemen, who accounted for 59 of the 60 possible starts in 2012, return this year. After allowing 18 sacks last season, Henderson, Linder et al. can definitely improve in pass protection.

    With Dorsett, Hurns, Scott, Waters, Lewis and Coley on the outside, Miami has playmakers lining up at receiver every down. But the group must actually catch the ball this season, because dropped passes plagued the Hurricanes throughout 2012.

    Golden's offense must finish drives more efficiently, though, because The U scored only 27 touchdowns on 52 red-zone opportunities. Simply put, Miami's offense is going to have plenty of chances to put up points, and the 'Canes will likely need every touchdown due to a defense in need of improvement.

What to Look for on Defense

9 of 12

    What to look for in Miami's defense is, in a word, improvement.

    Throughout 2012, the 'Canes allowed 217.92 rushing yards per game and a 4.97 yards per carry average to its opposition. Miami lost the time-of-possession battle during 10 of 12 games, and the defense allowing the third-most first downs per game (26.17) in the country is a major reason why.

    Playing a man-to-man defense, Golden and defensive coordinator Mark D'Onofrio relied on linemen to pressure the quarterback, but the 'Canes rarely made their opponent's gunslinger nervous. The Hurricanes managed just 13 sacks and forced a simply average 22 turnovers (seven interceptions), especially considering Miami forced six turnovers against NC State.

    At defensive end, Chickillo, Green and Pierre provide the 'Canes with experience, and veterans Luther Robinson and Curtis Porter look to play an entire season for the first time in their collegiate careers.

    Perryman, Gaines, Thurston Armbrister and Tyrone Cornelius each started games in 2012, and sophomore Raphael Kirby, converted linebacker Tyriq McCord and newcomer Alex Figueroa will contribute, too.

    The secondary was certainly torched on a number of occasions, but an improved pass rush will pay dividends for the cornerbacks and safeties. Seven defensive backs who started last season, highlighted by Deon Bush, Tracy Howard and Ladarius Gunter, are back on the field.

X-Factors for 2013

10 of 12

    Malcolm Lewis

    All you need to know about Malcolm Lewis' ability is seen in his 18-yard touchdown reception against Boston College in the 2012 season opener. The sophomore showed burst, shiftiness and vision during one simple screen pass.

    Unfortunately, Lewis suffered a horrendous leg injury (warning: not for weak eyes) against Georgia Tech that ended his season. All indications are that Lewis is close to 100 percent, and that is great news for the Hurricanes.

    If Lewis is completely ready by the time Miami plays its first conference game—which happens to be vs. Georgia Tech—the slot receiver position would provide yet another weapon for Morris and the 'Canes offense.

     

    Raphael Kirby

    Injuries hampered Raphael Kirby early in his freshman season, but he played well as a reserve. Kirby made four-plus tackles in three games, including a career-high five during his collegiate debut.

    Though Kirby and Gaines are competing for the same starting job, behind a paywall, David Lake of 247Sports notes Gaines is an important mentor to the sophomore.

    Jimmy has pushed me since I got here. He has always been a mentor to me. We both help each other. To be the type of player that I want to be, he pushes me. We push each other to get to where we need to be to help this team win.

    Momentum swings are always important, and Kirby is already one of the bigger hitters on the team. With his big-hitting ability and the leadership of Gaines, Kirby could become an enormous factor for the Miami defense.

     

    Tracy Howard

    Last season, Tracy Howard—not surprisingly—did not reach the lofty expectations set for him after being the nation's top cornerback recruit. Howard played in every game, made 17 tackles and broke up four passes.

    Via Michael Casagrande of the South Florida Sun Sentinel, Howard said the defense is "more comfortable" and "ready to roll this year."

    It was not fair to expect an All-America-caliber performance from the Miramar High School product as a true freshman, but he certainly can develop into the lockdown-corner Miami so desperately needs.

Top Storylines to Watch

11 of 12

    Can Duke Johnson handle the beating?

    Duke Johnson split carries with Mike James in 2012, and Golden was able to limit Johnson's touches.

    But as the featured back, will Duke be able to avoid injury and play the entire season?

     

    How will James Coley do as the offensive coordinator?

    FSU head coach Jimbo Fisher was in charge of play-calling duties in Tallahassee, so Golden enticed his new OC away from the rival Seminoles with the promise Coley will have the opportunity to run the offense.

    But can he do it?

     

    Defensive Improvement

    No. The Hurricanes defense was not good last season. Yes. You get it.

    Will the defense force more turnovers, get more sacks and allow fewer yards in 2013?

    That is to be seen.

     

    First Out-of-State Test

    Golden's team plays the first five games of the season in the state of Florida, including games against Florida and Georgia Tech.

    Will the 'Canes be ready for the pivotal division matchup against the Tar Heels in Chapel Hill?

     

    Can Miami finally beat Virginia?

    For some reason, the Hurricanes have trouble with the Virginia Cavaliers. Miami has lost three consecutive games to the Wahoos.

    Saturday, November 23, marks the date of this year's tilt; can the 'Canes avoid a letdown against Virginia?

Season Prediction

12 of 12

    The general consensus around college football nation is that the Hurricanes could surprise in 2013. Bleacher Report's Barrett Sallee even predicted an 11-1 regular season (see slide 2).

    Lately, expectations have not realistically been this high for a Miami team, but there is a good feeling surrounding this squad.

    After the season-opening win against Florida Atlantic, Golden faces Will Muschamp and the Florida Gators on September 7. I believe the 'Canes win this game, and Miami emerges into the national spotlight.

    Ultimately, the Hurricanes will finish the 2013 regular season with a 10-2 record (6-2 ACC) and head to the school's first-ever ACC Championship Game before falling to Clemson.

    Miami has not won 10 games in a season since 2003, but the Hurricanes will hit the mark and finally be able to play in a bowl.