Time to Answer Some Questions

Talk about finding a way to keep up with consistency. All the Hurricanes did last season was overcome plenty of questionable decisions from their quarterback, a suspect running game and injuries all around, among other things, in route to a 11-2 finish and top-5 ranking in January. The feat resulted in praise for UM coach Larry Coker for a job well done - but a repeat performance might be an even tougher task.

As the Hurricanes prepare to start fall practice Tuesday they will do so with many unanswered questions. Questions that could be the difference between another subpar-season (in Coral Gables, anyway) or a run at the national championship.

Which Brock Berlin will show up?

Will it be the guy who stunned the Gators by orchestrating a ferocious second-half comeback or the guy who stumbled against Virginia Tech and Tennessee? Regardless, whatever path Berlin takes just may be the way the ‘Canes go as well.

Berlin's tendency of making poor decision in key moments - and inability to make throws under pressure - last season proved deadly for Miami. Although he has above-average arm strength, Berlin doesn't have to be spectacular for UM to succeed - especially knowing the Canes have simplified their offense. But a reduction in INTs would be a big boost.

Where will Devin Hester fit in?

Hester, who came in with loads of fanfare last spring, had his moments as a freshman, but never really grasped the entire offense - and word is he still hasn't. Getting production from Hester - beyond as a kick returner - is a must. Defense or offense, Hester is too talented of a player not to be a major contributor on this team. With the lack of a star running back and breakaway receiver, UM could use the help. Hester needs to get it going.

Who will take the reigns at WR?

(Read above.) Brown. Irvin. Moss. Wayne. Miami has always had a game-breaking receiver, somebody who could help stretch the field. It's time one of these guys step up as well. UM might not have a player of the quality of those in the past, but Berlin desperately needs a go-to-guy. A guy he can rely on no matter the situation. Ryan Moore? Akieem Jolla?

Will Brian Monroe step up for the Canes?

It wasn't exactly a walk in the park for the true freshman. Despite a strong leg, Monroe wasn't very accurate for most of the season. He had a number of shanks, including back-breakers against Virginia Tech and Tennessee. A turnaround season from Monroe would be uplifting - especially if the offense struggles. Too many times last season the defense was stuck with their backs to the wall.

Will the LBs live up to hype?

Hard to believe the Canes could be better at LB without Jonathan Vilma and D.J. Williams. But the coaching staff has been praising the new unit all summer and expects big things from them. Leon Williams, Roger McIntosh and Tavares Gooden could very well be another great trio at UM, but let's remember they are young (in experience) and have never played together as starters.

There could be a lot of growing pains before they develop a comfort with each other. This will only increase the importance of solid play from the guys up front.

Should the Hurricanes provide resounding answers to these questions they could be squeezing oranges in January.

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