Thursday, August 25, 2005And Going the Opposite Way..
Sept. 3 – Miami (10-1, 7-1 in ACC) – Offense: The Cane offense is long on great prospects, but short on proven production. Unlike last year when the attack relied on experience over potential, players like QB Kyle Wright, RB Tyrone Moss and WR Lance Leggett have more excitement around them and have more NFL potential.
And don't forget Ryan Moore in this mix as well. This offense should be a little more explosive than the last two years under Brock Berlin as long as Wright comes around. Leggett is especially explosive at receiver, but the player that concerns me is little-known tailback Derron Thomas. He's worked his way up to #2 on the depth chart and this kid is a gamebreaker. A small back that runs under a 4.4, he's going to make plays on someone.
Moss and Leggett have given a glimpse of what they can do, but Wright, or Kirby Freeman, has to show the maturity and poise to handle one of college football's most glamorous and highly scrutinized positions. The offensive line will be more than solid, but it needs Eric Winston and Tyler McMeans to return to pre-injury form.
Miami's offensive line should be top 3 in the nation. And that's a concern because FSU's defensive line is returning one starter. The winner of this game is traditionally the team that runs the ball better. As good as I feel about FSU's running game and the new offensive line coach, Miami's core is still better.
Defense: This will be one of the best defenses in the country, if not the best. The only concern is with a run defense that was surprisingly soft last year allowing 155 yards per game. If that's tightened up, this will be a killer with 11 players returning who started six or more games last year.
Some say it was injuries, but that's hogwash, the fact is Miami got punked last year at North Carolina because they underestimated them and they never recovered. The offense started going into the tank and teams figured out how to run on the defense and take Antrel Rolle out of the game. Will they be better against the run this year? I don't know. The front four is stout but the back seven had some holes last season, experienced or not.
That doesn't include superstar Devin Hester taking over the full-time job at one of the corners. The linebacking corps has the potential to be one of Miami's best ever.
Can you say hyperbole? I thought you could. Linebacking corps the best ever? No. It's not better than the Jonathan Vilma, D.J. Williams and Darrell McClover group. No it's not better than the Bermuda Triangle of Jesse Armstead, Darrin Smith and Micheal Barrow. No it doesn't have the potential to be better. Say Miami's linebacking corps could be very talented and leave it at that. No need for this "best ever" crap. Not even close. Leon Williams might be the worst Miami linebacker against the run since their days under NCAA sanctions.
As for Devin Hester at cornerback? When it comes to him fielding punts, I'm scared. When it comes to him covering receivers, I'm happy.