2010 In Review
After guiding the Hurricanes to a 7-5 overall regular season record, including a 5-3 mark in the ACC and second place in the Coastal Division, Miami head coach Randy Shannon was let go, leaving a four-year record of 28-22 (.560) at his alma mater...Shannon's team posted impressive victories in 2010, including back-to-back road wins over Pittsburgh and Clemson and definitive triumphs over North Carolina and Georgia Tech...But the Hurricanes were also underwhelming at times, in losses to Ohio State, Florida State, Virginia and USF....Shannon was replaced by former Virginia assistant and Temple head coach Al Golden, who had guided the Owls to back-to-back seasons of eight or more wins for the first time in 36 years.....One of the bright spots for the Hurricanes was the play of WR Leonard Hankerson, who led the ACC in pass reception yardage (1,156) and TD receptions (13) and finished second in pass receptions (72, 5.54/gm)...Hankerson was a first-team All-ACC selection and a 2nd-team All-America...He was joined on the All-ACC first team by G Brandon Washington and P Matt Bosher....Six Hurricanes were chosen 2nd-team All-ACC, led by RB Damien Berry (899 yds), but also including T Orlando Franklin, DE Allen Bailey, OLB Sean Spence, CB Brandon Harris and S Ray-Ray Armstrong...LB Colin McCarthy, who led the ‘Canes in tackles with 120 hits, was an Honorable Mention All-ACC selection...Franklin, one of the leaders of the offensive line, earned 3rd-team All-America honors, while Harris was a 2nd-team pick...Bailey, who led the team with seven sacks, and Spence both were Honorable Mention All-America picks...Two Hurricanes also received Freshman All-America honors: T Seantrel Henderson and RB Lamar Miller.
In addition to losing Shannon and the transition of a new staff, Miami loses a total of 11 starters, five on offense and four on defense as well as both specialists in Matt Bosher who earned first-team All-ACC honors as a PK and P at some point in his career...Offensively, the Hurricanes will be without WR Leonard Hankerson, who set a Miami record with 13 TD pass receptions, as well as leading rusher RB Damien Berry, T Orlando Franklin, FB Patrick Hill and TE Richard Gordon...On defense, the Hurricanes lose just four, but three of them--DE Allen Bailey, LB Colin McCarthy and CB Brandon Harris--all earned some form of All-ACC honors and the fourth, CB Ryan Hill, had a productive senior season with eight pass breakups and three interceptions.
Golden welcomes back 46 returning lettermen including 13 starters--six on offense, seven on defense...A major priority for Golden and new offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch will be to settle on a quarterback between senior Jacory Harris and sophomore Stephen Morris... The pair combined to throw for 3,013 yards and 21 TDs last fall, but also 27 interceptions, ranking Miami 104th among all FBS teams in turnover margin...Harris and Morris ended the spring in a dead heat for the starting berth and whichever one emerges in the fall will have several weapons at his disposal...The weapons start with RBs Lamar Miller (646 yds) and Mike James (398 yds) who each averaged 5.7 yards per carry or better, and a talented wide receiver corps which is led by senior big-play receiver Travis Benjamin, who averaged 17.3 yards on his 43 receptions last year, but also includes WRs LaRon Byrd (41 catches), Aldarius Johnson, Tommy Streeter, Allen Hurns and Kendal Thompkins...The tight end position features sophomore lettermen Chase Ford and Asante Cleveland joined by Southern Cal transfer Blake Ayles....Finally, the line returns four of five starters led by RG Brandon Washington, and including C Tyler Horn, LG Harland Gunn and LT Seantrel Henderson...Henderson, though, fell behind redshirt freshman T Malcolm Bunche in the spring, while Jermaine Johnson and Ben Jones are competing for starting honors at RT...Defensive consistency is a goal for this fall and new Coordinator Mark D'Onofrio will have seven starters returning, including three of four linemen upfront in DE Olivier Vernon and DTs Marcus Forston and Micanor Regis ... DE Adewale Ojomo ended spring as the other starter, with veterans DT Luther Robinson, DE Marcus Robinson, DT Curtis Porter and DE Andrew Smith in reserve... Linebacker was a concern in the spring, but big-play OLB Sean Spence (16 TFLs) should be in the running for national honors...Ramon Buchanan (55 tackles, 8 TFLs) will start at one LB spot, with the MLB to be decided in the fall from either sophomore James Gaines or senior Jordan Futch...In the secondary, junior Vaughn Telemaque (58 tackles, 3 interceptions) and 2nd-team All-ACC Ray-Ray Armstrong, ended spring as starting safeties, with Jo Jo Nicolas and Lee Chambers holding forth at the CB positions. Replacing Bosher with one person may prove to be problematic, but junior P-PK Jake Wieclaw ended spring as the leader for both jobs.
Numbers & Notes
1 - Miami led the nation in tackles for loss in 2010, averaging 8.85 negative defensive plays per game. Five Miami players finished in double figures in TFLs. Three of them return this year: OLB Sean Spence (16.0), DT Marcus Forston (12.0) and DE Adewale Ojomo (10.5).
2 - Junior G Brandon Washington was twice honored as the ACC Offensive Lineman of the Week in 2010. The first-team All-ACC offensive guard was honored on Oct. 18 for his play in Miami's 28-13 win at Duke and on Nov. 22 for his play in Miami's 31-17 loss to Virginia Tech.
3 - Senior WR Travis Benjamin has averaged 17.1 yards per catch on his 90 career pass receptions. His average per catch ranks third among all returning ACC receivers who have had at least 30 career receptions.
3 - Three members of Miami's defensive unit, S Ray-Ray Armstrong, DT Marcus Forston and OLB Sean Spence were named to the pre-season watch list for the Nagurski Award, given annually to the nation's top defensive player.
5 - For the fifth time, Miami will be participating in the ACC's nationally televised Labor Day Monday Night football game. The Hurricanes will play at Maryland on Monday, Sept. 5, at Capital One Field at Byrd Stadium in a game nationally-televised by ESPN. The Hurricanes previously met Florida State four times on Labor Day Monday Night, hosting the game in 2003 and 2005 and traveling to Tallahassee in 2004 and 2009.
9 - Nine of Miami's opponents in 2011 earned trips to post-season bowl games last year, including BCS Bowl participants Ohio State (Allstate Sugar), and Virginia Tech (Discover Orange).
309.84 - Over the past seven seasons, Miami's defense has held its opponents to just 309.84 yards per game in total offense. The Hurricanes rank 10th nationally in total defense during that time, a span of 88 games.