2022 Miami Hurricanes Preview

by Matt Fargo

Miami Hurricanes

2021-22 Season Record 7-5 (5-3 ACC Coastal) - 6-6-0 ATS - 6-6-0 O/U

Returning Starters

Offense - 7
Defense - 7

Overview

It is hard to believe that Miami has been this average for this long. Since finishing No. 2, No. 1, No. 2 and No. 5 from 2000-2003, the Hurricanes have one, yes one, double-digit winning season, have not been ranked in the top ten in the final AP Poll and have lost 10 of their 11 bowl games. They have not been awful as they have had only three losing seasons with the worst being a 5-7 record in 2007 but they have been mediocre and that should not be Miami football that is based in the hotbed of recruiting. They have not been able to find the right coach to fit, even Mark Richt could not get rolling, but Miami found its guy and its guy has always wanted to be here. Mario Cristobal left a great situation in Oregon to come back to his alma mater and get this program where it should be, competing for national championships. It will not happen overnight but one of the best recruiters around should make this work.

Offense

Yardage wise, Miami has gotten better on offense in each of the last four seasons and last year, it finished No. 22 in total offense and No. 25 in scoring offense and should be just as potent in 2022. D'Eriq King opened the season as the starting quarterback but was injured after three games which gave Tyler Van Dyke the opportunity and he ran with it. He threw for 2,931 yards with 25 touchdowns and just six interceptions and it is now his team. His top receiver Charleston Rambo is now in the NFL and his No. 2 is also gone but Key'Shawn Smith is ready to take over after 405 yards while transfer help is also on the way. The running game was lagging far behind as the Hurricanes were No. 97 in the country with just 128.8 ypg but get a boost from Henry Parrish, Jr. who comes from Mississippi where he ran for over 500 yards to work with leading rusher Jaylan Knighton. The offensive line will be better with Cristobal in the mix.

Defense

The heart and soul of this team for years was its defense and it has taken a serious tumble the last two seasons, allowing 400 ypg combined. The Hurricanes were No. 77 overall and No. 88 in scoring last season which is so far below their standards. Allowing 44 points to Alabama is one thing but allowing 30 or more points seven other times is uncalled for. While seven starters are back, the biggest impact is new defensive coordinator Kevin Steele to go along with newcomers as Miami loaded up transfer help from top level programs to deliver right away. The defensive line could see three brand new faces which will vastly improve the pass rush that left the secondary on an island. The linebacking corps brings back its two leading tacklers with even more help on the way. The passing defense was as bad as it could be but a lot of it was not on them as they were put in tough spots and should be a strength this year.

2022 Season Outlook

Some legends have roamed the sidelines from Schnellenberger to Johnson to Erickson to Davis to Coker and now Cristobal wants to be put in that group. He made FIU a winner, albeit for just two seasons and went 35-13 at Oregon where he did not have a losing season and now he is back in his hometown and his roots could make all the difference. Playing in the weaker ACC Coastal Division helps and getting to an ACC Championship will happen sooner rather than later. Two home games against Bethune-Cookman and Southern Mississippi will get them off to a confident 2-0 start before a tough trip to Texas A&M. Then Middle Tennessee comes to town prior to a bye week before ACC action kicks off. The early half is navigable then Florida St. and Pittsburgh at home and Clemson on the road are more dicey. The O/U win total is 8.5 and that is big number and even though expectations are high, tread lightly with this one.  

All photographic images used for editorial content have been licensed from the Associated Press.

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