Head coach: Manny Diaz (first year)
Last year’s record: 7-6 (4-4 ACC), Pinstripe Bowl loss to Wisconsin, 35-3
Final AP ranking: Unranked
Recruiting Ranking: No. 28 (zero 5-stars, seven 4-stars, 10 3-stars)
First game: Aug. 24 against Florida (Futures available on BetAmerica)
Win total: Over 8.5
Miami’s former defensive coordinator, Manny Diaz, is now at the helm of the Miami Hurricanes following the departure of Mark Richt. The first-year coach has taken over a 7-6 team, which finished the season with an abysmal loss to Wisconsin in the Pinstripe Bowl.
There’s much to look forward to in Diaz’s first year, however, as he’s brought in a ton of talent, particularly through the transfer portal. Quarterback Tate Martell, formerly of Ohio State, will take the field for The U in the fall, if he’s eligible, as will former Auburn running back Asa Martin. On defense Miami will add UCLA’s Chigozie Nnoruka and Jaelan Phillips, plus safety Bubba Bolden of USC and Virginia Tech’s Trevon Hill.
Miami lost several defensive pieces at the end of last season, along with QB Malik Rosier, running back Travis Homer and offensive linemen Tyree St. Louis and Venzell Boulware. The Hurricanes will return sophomore wideout Jeff Thomas, running back DeeJay Dallas and quarterback N’Kosi Perry to the offense. Should Martell be available to suit up, he’ll battle it out for the starting QB spot over Perry and redshirt freshman Jarren Williams.
With Alabama quarterbacks coach Dan Enos making the switch to green and orange as new Miami offensive coordinator, the offense and QB play should improve. The wide receiving corps should strengthen, as well, with Buffalo transfer K.J. Osborn and 4-star freshman Jeremiah Payton.
Still, a lot is left to be answered heading into the season. Miami went on a four-game losing streak last year in conference play, then beat Virginia Tech and Pittsburgh before falling 35-3 to Wisconsin.
Win Total: Over 8.5 (-150), Under 8.5 (+130)
Diaz promised to revamp the program and usher in a “new Miami.” With the former defensive coordinator in charge and an offensive coordinator familiar with national titles on Miami’s side, the team should improve on its seven-win season and grab the over (-150). Miami will more than likely lose its opener to Florida and drop its final game of the season at Duke, but no one else on the schedule is too threatening to the Hurricanes.
Miami vs. Florida, Aug. 24
As for the season opener, Florida should have much more figured out coming into the game compared to Miami. The Gators finished last season strong under first-year coach Dan Mullen and will have plenty of momentum to carry into the first game of 2019. Look for the Gators to cover the -7.5 (-110) spread on a neutral field as Miami uses its opener as a chance to get all of its pieces in order.
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