2006 ACC Preview & Prediction: Miami

As one would expect, there's plenty of talent at all of the skill positions for the Hurricanes. Junior quarterback Kyle Wright garners most of the attention because with so much talent surrounding him, he can't afford to show the inconsistency of inexperience which plagued him so much last year.

2005 RECORD: 9-3 overall, 6-2 ACC (2nd in Coastal).

HEAD COACH: Larry Coker, 53-9 overall in five seasons at Miami.

KEY ADDITIONS: RB LeSean McCoy, CB Ryan Hill, K Matt Bosher, RB Kylan Robinson, OL Ian Symonette, WR Sam Shields.

KEY LOSSES: WR Sinorice Moss, OT Eric Winston, OT Rashad Butler, OG Tony Tella, OG Tyler McMeans, DE Thomas Carroll, DT Orien Harris, SLB Rocky McIntosh, CB Kelly Jennings, CB Marcus Maxey.

OFFENSE: As one would expect, there's plenty of talent at all of the skill positions for the Hurricanes. Junior quarterback Kyle Wright garners most of the attention because with so much talent surrounding him, he can't afford to show the inconsistency of inexperience which plagued him so much last year.

He has tailback Tyrone Moss, who returns from an ACL injury, lined up behind him, while stud receivers (Ryan Moore, Lance Leggett and Darnel Jenkins) are to either side of him. There's also a future NFL player in junior tight end Greg Olsen for Wright to go to. The problem for the quarterback though is making sure he has enough time to get those players the ball. Even with a veteran offensive line last year, he still got sacked an extremely high 36 times. Only one starter, center Anthony Wollschlager, returns from last season's line, and he may be the weakest link up front.

Regardless of how good the line is, with so much talent around him, Wright will still be expected to lead the Hurricanes to a division title.

DEFENSE: In a word: ridiculous. This unit has the potential to be one of the best defenses in the storied history of Miami. The defensive line is fast and big with ends Bryan Pata and Baraka Atkins leading the way. Also, there's so much depth up front that the backups are possible future All-Americans.

If that weren't enough, the pair of starting safeties, Brandon Meriweather and Kenny Philips, is each an All-American candidate. The group of linebackers might even be better. There are five linebackers that will fight for starting spots and the Hurricanes can't go wrong with whom they decide to put on the field. All will likely get equal amounts of playing time.

If there is a weak spot on defense, it's at the cornerback position. Junior Glenn Sharpe returns after sustaining an ACL injury last year and sophomore Randy Phillips is still young and somewhat inexperienced. Even so, it's still poised to be one of the best defenses in the entire country.

BY THE NUMBERS: 104 – Number of consecutive weeks the Hurricanes have been ranked in the AP Top 25.

WHAT TO WATCH: With an overhaul of the coaching staff and plenty of experience on each side of the ball, fans will scream for Coker's ouster should the Hurricanes fail to reach the ACC Championship or at the very least win 10 games.

PREDICTION: 10-2 overall, 7-1 ACC (1st in Coastal).


Head coach Larry Coker



QB Kyle Wright







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