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           ***** NCAA Football Preview - Miami-Florida Hurricanes *****
 
 By Scott Haynes, Senior College Football Editor
 
 Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) -
 2012 SEASON IN REVIEW: Progress is being made in Coral Gables, as Al Golden's
 second season at the helm at Miami yielded a 7-5 overall record, including a
 5-3 mark in the ACC, good for a tie for first-place in the Coastal Division.
 Despite qualifying for the ACC Championship Game, the Hurricanes completed a
 self-imposed two-year postseason ban.
 
 Miami started off strong, with wins in four of the first five games. The lone
 loss over that span came in disappointing fashion at Kansas State (52-13), but
 three of the wins were in-conference, as Miami knocked off Boston College
 (41-32), Georgia Tech (42-36 OT) and NC State (44-37) to give the team a nice
 start to conference play.
 
 However, momentum was halted in early October, as the Hurricanes were once
 again humbled by a powerhouse, getting routed by Notre Dame (41-3). The team
 would also return to earth in league play, as the loss to the Irish was
 followed by back-to-back ACC setbacks to North Carolina (18-14) and Florida
 State (33-20).
 
 Golden got his squad back on the right path though, as Miami closed out the
 2012 campaign with three wins in the last four games, kicking off the run with
 an impressive 30-12 victory over Virginia Tech. The team dropped its third
 conference game in heart-breaking fashion after that, falling at Virginia,
 41-40, but again rallied with victories over USF (40-9) and Duke (52-45) to
 finish at 7-5.
 
 2013 ANALYSIS:
 
 OFFENSE: Miami got it done last year with an explosive offensive attack,
 balanced, with strong quarterback play and a potent rushing attack.
 
 Ten starters return from an offense that averaged just over 440 yards per
 game, including senior quarterback Stephen Morris. The 6-2, 214-pounder had a
 strong junior campaign in 2012, completing 58.2 percent of his passes, for
 3,345 yards, with 21 touchdowns against just seven interceptions.
 
 Matching those numbers will be made easier by a deep receiving corps that
 returns the top three pass catchers from a year ago. Headlining the group is
 5-10 junior Phillip Dorsett, who led the team with 58 receptions, for 842
 yards and four TDs last year.
 
 The emergence of tailback Duke Johnson last year, has provided Miami with
 great balance going forward. As a freshman in 2012, Johnson averaged a
 whopping 6.8 yards per carry and finished second in the ACC in rushing with
 947 yards and 10 TDs.
 
 The Miami offense will also benefit from the return of the entire starting
 offensive line from 2012, highlighted by junior guard Malcolm Bunche (6-7,
 323) and senior tackle Seantrel Henderson (6-8, 346), both of which earned
 honorable mention All-ACC l season ago.
 
 Golden thinks a veteran offense is certainly a plus going into the season.
 
 "I would hope I don't have to guard against anything, especially on the
 offensive side with the experience and leadership we have. I hope they're
 chasing excellence right now, and not waiting for me to motivate them. I think
 Stephen [Morris] has a lot to do with that."
 
 DEFENSE: Defensive coordinator Mark D'Onofrio has his work cut out for him in
 2013, despite 10 starters returning on the defensive side. Last year, the
 Hurricanes were abused both by the run and the pass and gave up an ugly 486.4
 yards of total offense per game.
 
 The defensive line returns four starters, led by rush ends Shayon Green (team-
 high 67 tackles) and Anthony Chicklillo (45 tackles, four sacks). Junior
 linebacker Denzel Perryman (64 tackles, five TFL) leads the way for Miami in
 the linebacking corps. An unproven secondary will need players to step up and
 become leaders. Sophomore DBs Tracy Howard, Deon Bush and Rayshawn Jenkins 
are
 talented but must step up their games, while junior Ladarius Gunter and senior
 A.J. Highsmith push for playing time as well.
 
 SPECIAL TEAMS: Miami's kicking game will be completely revamped in 2013, with
 the loss of place kicker Jake Wieclaw and punter Dalton Botts. Sophomore Matt
 Goudis is the likely replacement for Wieclaw. Goudis played sparingly last
 season, mostly kickoffs. Cincinnati transfer Pat O'Donnell will step in and
 handle the punting duties, after earning All-Big East Second-Team honors with
 the Bearcats. The return game should be one of the best in the ACC with
 Johnson's explosive return abilities, after averaging 33.0 yards per return
 with two touchdowns as a freshman last season.
 
 OUTLOOK: The Hurricanes are one of the favorites in the Coastal Division for
 good reason. The offense will once again be one of the ACC's best. It will be
 up to the defense to shore things up in 2013.
 
 The non-conference schedule is taken care of in the month of September. The
 Hurricanes should get wins over Florida Atlantic, Savannah State and USF, but
 the real test will come week two at home against the Florida Gators.
 
 Conference play kicks off October with a home date against Georgia Tech. Other
 ACC foes that make the trip to Miami are Wake Forest, Virginia Tech and
 Virginia. Road trips in-conference consist of North Carolina, Florida State,
 Duke and Pittsburgh.
 
 Miami is the only top team in the Coastal Division with the Seminoles on their
 schedule, so that game in early November will be key to Miami's run at the
 division crown.
 
 Golden is ready for the challenge of contending for a conference title.
 
 "I don't make excuses for last year, every team is different," said Golden .
 But every time we talk about what we weren't last year, I remind the staff and
 the team what we were. We were a team that were underdogs seven times, we were
 a team that played the third-hardest schedule in the country, we were a team
 that played 21 freshmen, we were a team that played three of our first four
 games on the road. They played in some hard venues, way before a lot of those
 guys were ready, and I'm proud of them. Now let's take that experience, add
 some poise, some composure, a little more of a quiet mind to eliminate some
 mental errors and penalties, and let's go."
 
 
 
 08/19 09:20:11 ET