The Hurricanes were the only team that went to a bowl game this last season and did not score. At one point during Miami’s season it looked as if the offense finally figured it out. Quarterback Jarren Williams had tied the ACC record for passing touchdowns in a game against Louisville. That would be the last win for the Hurricanes on the season, going on to lose versus Florida International, Duke and Louisiana Tech.
Head Coach Manny Diaz wasted no time with his moves dismissing former offensive coordinator Dan Enos. That would be the first of a string of off-season moves that should pay off for the Hurricanes this season.
Manny Diaz and the Spread Offense Coming To Miami
After the dismissal of Enos, fans and alumni alike both agreed it was time for Miami to modernize its offense. The administration heard the requests and was able to pull away Rhett Lashlee from SMU. He led an offense that orchestrated over 40 points a game last season. In addition to spreading the field out to try maximize mismatches in space, Lashlee plans on going up tempo to push the pace.
New Offensive Line Coach
Diaz didn’t end there in adding experience, he also hired two new position coaches for the offensive line and wide receiver positions. The addition of Garin Justice as the offensive line coach gives the Hurricanes a coach with first hand experience in the spread. Justice was an offensive linemen at West Virginia under Rich Rodriguez. He would later become a head coach at Concord University, a division two program in West Virginia. Most recently, Justice doubled as the offensive coordinator and offensive line coach at UNLV.
New Wide Receivers Coach
After the dismissal of Enos, Miami saw former wide receivers coach move on to Penn State. The Hurricanes in turn added Rob Likens as the new position coach to take over a group that has been inconsistent in production. His addition gives the Hurricanes three coaches with experience in play calling. Likens served as the offensive coordinator for Arizona State the past two seasons but also has experience coaching wideouts.
King(s) Of Miami
The revamping of the offensive staff surely was needed but perhaps the biggest addition is at quarterback in D’Eriq King. The former Houston quarterback froze the college football world at halftime of the national championship by announcing that he would transfer. After redshirting this season and graduating, many wondered if he would actually return back to Houston. In 2018 he threw for 36 touchdowns, in addition to running for 14 more. Last season he broke Tim Tebow’s record for throwing and rushing in 15 straight games, he’ll look to extend on that this season.
Miami could’ve stopped there but also added Quincy Roche from Temple, the 2019 AAC Defensive player of the year. He’ll be on the other side of Greg Rousseau, who finished with 15.5 sacks last season. The two are expected to be one of the best defensive end duo’s in the ACC, as both return with double digit sacks totals.
After losing to FIU this past season, Miami adds one of the biggest reasons why they lost to the Panthers in Jose Borregales. Ironically, the Hurricanes already secured the commitment of his younger brother in the 2021 class. The elder Borregales made three field goals against the Hurricanes last season including two that were from beyond 50 yards. Miami’s special teams struggled mightily with shorter field goals which should not be a problem moving forward.
As bad as Diaz’s final three games at Miami were this last season, it’s promising to see the moves being made to ensure the Hurricanes avoid that this season. Another notable move Diaz made was adding Ed Reed, as the new Chief of Staff. The presence of Reed back in the football office benefits the current players to learn how to get to the top of college football. Along with adding a dynamic playmaker in King, Miami has answered the quarterback question. All of the additions won’t guarantee Miami more wins than last season but they do show Diaz isn’t complacent.
Main Photo: BRONX, NY – DECEMBER 27: Miami Hurricanes Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers coach Manny Diaz during the 2018 New Era Pinstripe Bowl between the Wisconsin Badgers and the Miami Hurricanes on December 27, 2018, at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, NY. (Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)