Miami Football: 10 New Year's Resolutions for the Miami Hurricanes
The University of Miami's football program has been down as of late. The team went a mediocre 7-5 this past season, including a disappointing 5-3 conference record in the ACC.
The Hurricanes finished second in the Coastal Division behind undefeated Virginia Tech and have a date with Notre Dame on New Year's Eve in the Hyundai Sun Bowl.
Shortly after Miami concluded its regular season, head coach Randy Shannon was fired and replaced with Temple head coach Al Golden.
As Golden implements his new ideas into Miami's program the team will likely experience some major changes. Here are 10 New Year's resolutions for Golden and the Hurricanes in 2011.
Protect the Home Field
The Hurricanes went just 3-3 at home in 2010, including losses to Virginia Tech and South Florida at Sun Life Stadium to round out the regular season.
Miami also lost to rival Florida State at home in October by 28 points.
Throw for More Touchdowns Than Interceptions
Miami's passing attack would like to forget 2010 as quickly as possible. The Hurricanes' four quarterbacks combined to throw for just 19 touchdowns and a shocking 23 interceptions.
Twelve of the picks can be attributed to junior quarterback Jacory Harris who completed 54.8 percent of his passes for a grand total of 1,756 yards in leading the nation's 49th-ranked pass offense.
Show Up against Ranked Teams
In 2010 the Miami Hurricanes were winless against the Top 25. Miami went 0-3 in just three matchups with ranked opponents.
In early September the 'Canes lost on the road at Ohio State 36-24. Then they lost at home to two ranked teams in Florida State and Virginia Tech in October and November respectively by a combined 42 points.
Continue To Run the Football
The Hurricanes had one of the nation's more successful rushing attacks in 2010. Miami's ground game averaged over 190 yards per game this season, ranking 26th in the country.
Senior Damien Berry led the attack with 865 yards on only 181 attempts; however freshman Lamar Miller will be counted on next season. The first-year back led the team with six rushing touchdowns in 2010.
Step Up at Wide Receiver
Only four Miami receivers caught double-digit passes in 2010. Senior Leonard Hankerson led the 'Canes receiving core with 66 receptions for 1,085 yards.
Hankerson will be missed dearly though in 2011 as he was responsible for 12 of Miami's 19 receiving touchdowns.
Build on the Defense
In all seven of the Hurricanes wins it was the defense coming up huge. In those seven games Miami's D allowed an average of just 7.7 points.
Over the entire season however the 'Canes allowed an average of 19.7 points per contest, ranking them 21st in the nation. Certainly Miami's defense is something positive they can take from 2010.
Replacing Kicker Matt Bosher
The Hurricanes will be hard-pressed to find another kicker as talented as senior Matt Bosher. Bosher only missed eight field goals in three seasons as Miami's place kicker.
The Jupiter, Florida native went 44 of 52 over his career and racked up 257 points with his leg.
Bring in a Talented Coaching Staff
Former Temple University coach Al Golden has replaced Randy Shannon as the 'Canes head coach. Golden will likely overhaul the coaching staff as he brings in some of his own guys.
Golden must have done something right to get the job, but let's see if he can succeed in putting together a championship-caliber staff.
Figure Out the Quarterback Situation
Heading into 2011 Al Golden's staff may have a tough decision to make regarding their starting quarterback. Junior Jacory Harris is likely the favorite and is expected to start in the Hyundai Sun Bowl on New Year's Eve.
However freshman Stephen Morris started three games for the 'Canes in November and held his own on the field completing 50 percent of his passes for nearly 1,000 yards.
Both struggled with interceptions in 2010 but Morris has made it a two-man race.
Win the ACC
If the Miami Hurricanes want to be a top college football program in 2011 then they must win the ACC. The conference has been down in recent years and the 'Canes' Coastal Division will be very winnable next season.
The reigning ACC champions, Virginia Tech, return some talent, but Miami should be favored over Georgia Tech, North Carolina, Virginia and Duke.
If Miami were to win the Coastal Division, they would likely meet Florida State or Clemson for the conference crown.
Patrick Clarke is a student at Towson University and a writing intern for Bleacher Report.