The Miami Hurricanes have had themselves one heck of an offseason. They hope to put all of that aside when they take to the field for the first time on Labor Day night against the Maryland Terrapins.
Regardless of what ends up coming from this whole situation with boosters giving improper benefits to players on the team, it is clear that Head Coach Al Golden has his work cut out for him here at “The U.” Miami has never been known as a squeaky clean program, and this is just the latest problem. Whether it ends up being QB Jacory Harris or QB Stephen Morris under center on Monday night, the Hurricanes are still going to be in some trouble. Neither one played well last season, and both definitely have their points of contention this year. Instead, the pressure is going to shift onto the Miami defense, which vows to make a return to the defenses of old from “The U,” which featured stars like Vince Wilfork, Ed Reed, Phillip Buchanon, Jonathan Vilma, DJ Williams, and the likes. This unit did rank No. 3 in the land in pass defense last season at 150.5 yards per game allowed, but this is largely thanks to the relatively weak ACC passing games and a paper thin out of conference schedule, save for the trip to the Ohio State Buckeyes. The potential is there, but the off the field problems could be too much for this team to overcome.
Many tend to forget that this is a new look for the Terps as well coming into this one. Head Coach Randy Edsall called it a “dream come true” to be coaching in College Park, a move which many thought was a fairly lateral one from the Connecticut Huskies in the offseason. Still, the Terrapins definitely have some talent out there on the field, and a lot of it has a ton of experience. QB Danny O’Brien might not have WR Torrey Smith to throw the ball to anymore, but there is no doubt that his experience from last year could pay off in a big way. He had 22 TDs against just eight picks, and he threw for 2,438 yards while splitting time with QB Jamarr Robinson. If O’Brien can find a receiver to pick up the slack from Smith’s departure to the pros, Maryland could once again be a dangerous team this year. Most don’t remember that this was a team that was right there on the verge of playing for the ACC Championship last season, and there was no shame whatsoever in its 9-4 mark, including a bowl victory over the East Carolina Pirates.
Miami Hurricanes @ Maryland Terrapins Pick: Is the wrong team favored in this one? Miami definitely has some decent returning talent, but all of these problems off the field just seem to be making this team like a circus. It’s going to be a madhouse in Maryland for sure on Monday night for a standalone, nationally televised game. We fully expect to see the hosts come out on top.
Free NCAA Football Pick: Maryland Terrapins +5.5 @ Bookmaker Sportsbook
is a staff writer living in the Orlando area. He has covered NFL, MLB, college football, CFL, AFL, NBA, college basketball, NASCAR, golf, tennis, and the NHL for a number of various outlets in his career, and he has been published by a number of different media outlets, including the Orlando Sentinel and the Wall Street Journal.