The Miami Hurricanes were once an NCAA football juggernaut. They regularly competed for the National Title from the late 1980’s into the early 2000’s. The Hurricanes secured five national titles and nine Big East Championships during that stretch of supremacy. When the school was found guilty of recruiting violations, their empire came crashing down. Miami football has slowly built their program back up over the past few years. Finally, in 2017, the No. 2 Hurricanes find themselves at 10-0, battling for their first ever ACC Championship and a spot in the NCAA Playoff.
The decision to clean house in 2016 is looking like a good one. The first year coaching staff immediately put up a 9-4 season last year, pointing toward a bright future. The Hurricanes have shown improvement under second-year head coach, Mark Richt, who was hired along with 10 other new coaches a year ago. Richt is a former Miami quarterback and successful Georgia Bulldogs head coach.
Some close games early in the season raised questions about the ceiling for Miami’s success. They managed to pull out each of those close games and build momentum as the year progressed. Junior defensive back, Jaquan Johnson has been excellent all year, stopping drives and creating turnovers. All questions about the legitimacy of the Hurricanes’ undefeated record were answered in a 41-8 steamrolling of No. 9 Notre Dame. The Miami offense has especially picked up steam under their new starting quarterback, Malik Rosier. the junior is a threat both in the air and on the ground, keeping defenses guessing. Rosier, coupled with dual-threat running back, Travis Homer, are a dangerous tandem. Homer has over 1,000 all-purpose yards on the season.
Miami locked up their first 10 win season since 2003. While this is a nice statistic, the Hurricanes have much bigger plans. They have secured a date with defending National Champions, No. 4 Clemson, in the ACC Title Game. First, the Hurricanes must get through Pittsburgh on Friday. If Miami can pull off an unlikely 12-0 season, they will earn a spot in the playoff for the first time.