2023 Miami Hurricanes Predictions: After failing to qualify for a bowl game for the 1st time since 2007 second-year head coach Mario Cristobal overhauled his coaching staff with seven new assistants and an influx of transfers. Despite being written off by most pundits heading into the season, optimism runs high in South Florida with a roster littered with NFL talent. The litmus test of where Miami is at will come early with 17th-ranked Texas A&M visiting in week 2. Can the Hurricanes return to the upper echelon of FBS football? ESPN2 News CFB picks experts give away their free 2023 Miami Hurricanes predictions.
Quarterbacks: After earning ACC Freshman of the Year honors, Tyler Van Dyke (133.6 passer rating) was a shell of himself last season, battling a lingering shoulder injury that hindered his ability to throw accurately. Aside from the injury, the once-touted NFL prospect was hesitant to get rid of the ball and mentally unraveled on more than one occasion. After a promising spring under new coordinator, Shannon Dawson the strong-armed junior should be among the ACC’s best. Backup Jacurri Brown is a dual threat that filled admirably for Van Dyke last season in his lone start against Clemson.
QB Rating:4.0 out of 5.0 stars
Running Backs: Henry Parrish (617 yards 4.7 YPC 4 TD) has excellent hands out of the backfield and should be an All-ACC 2nd or 3rd teamer. With the departure of Jaylan Knighten (423 yards) the ‘Canes will rely on some highly touted youngsters to backup Parrish. Freshman 4-star recruit Mark Fletcher Jr. (6’1″ 225 Lbs.) is a powerful runner that could be an every-down back in the near future. 4-star recruit Chris Johnson is a burner that won the Florida 3M 100 meters competition two years in a row. Nebraska transfer Ajay Allen is the wildcard of the bunch averaging 5.8 yards per carry last season in limited action.
RB Rating:3.5 out of 5.0 stars
Wideouts: Colbie Young is a big target (6’5″ 215 Lbs.) that should thrive in Dawson’s vertical passing system. Alabama transfer and Miami native Tyler Harrell (4.25) is a dangerous downfield threat averaging 26.2 yards per reception in his career. Jacolby George has had a fantastic spring displaying big-play ability. Slot receiver Xavier Restrepo knows how to get open with sure hands over the middle. Oft-injured Oregon transfer Cam McCormick (6’5″ 260 Lbs.) has some upside at tight end and could be Van Dyke’s safety valve.
WR Rating:3.5 out of 5.0 stars
Offensive Line: Miami boasts some good talent on the O-line with Alabama transfer Javion Cohen (6’4″ 305 Lbs.) earning 2nd-team All-SEC honors last season at Guard. Left tackle Zion Nelson (6’5″ 316 Lbs.) has All-American talent after missing nearly all of last season with a knee injury. Right tackle 5-star recruit Francis Mauigoa (6’6″ 315 Lbs.) has NFL potential and could start immediately. Massive left tackle Jalen Rivers (6’5″ 327 Lbs.) is a 4-star recruit that provides depth behind Nelson and Mauigoa as a 3rd-year redshirt freshman. UCF transfer Matt Lee was a three-year that excelled in the passing game, solidifying the center position. This unit has the potential to be one of the best in the country.
OL Rating:4.5 out of 5.0 stars
Defensive Line: Sack leader Akeem Mesidor (7.0 sacks) and Jahfari Harvey (5.5 sacks) are experienced edge rushers coming off impressive seasons. Mesidor (6’2″ 280 Lbs.) has NFL ability and should be an All-ACC 1st teamer. Defensive tackle Leonard Taylor III is an impact player that projects as a 1st or 2nd round NFL pick. USC transfer Jacob Lichtenstein has excellent athleticism and will battle Purdue transfer Branson Dean who earned All-Big Ten honorable mention in 2021.
DL Rating:4.5 out of 5.0 stars
Linebackers: Washington State transfer Francisco Mauigoa (6’3″ 230 Lbs.) is coming off a 60-tackle season, upgrading the inside linebacker position. Undersized redshirt freshman Wesley Bissainthe (6’1″ 205 Lbs.) is a ballhawk that plays bigger than his size. Junior Corey Flagg Jr. (34 tackles 2.5 sacks) is an overachiever that plays sideline-to-sideline, backing up Mauigoa in Miami’s 4-2-5 defensive scheme.
LB Rating:3.0 out of 5.0 stars
Secondary: For the first time since 2006 Miami has a returning All-American in safety Kameron Kinchens (6 INT’s). Miami has one of the best safety tandems in the country with 5-star recruit James Williams (6’5″ 215 Lbs.) alongside Kinchens. At cornerback UCF transfer Davonte Brown (4.55) had a pair of interceptions last season and comes with experience having started 31 games. Junior Daryl Porter (4.55) who was shaky last season will most likely be joined by Oklahoma transfer Jaden Davis (4.49). A host of talented youngsters will vie for playing time in the nickel package.
DB Rating:4.0 out of 5.0 stars
Special Teams: Special teams ranked 28th overall last season and should be solid once again. Junior kicker Andres Borregales is an All-ACC leg that has been dependable. Freshman Australian punter Dylan Joyce is unproven.
ST Rating:3.5 out of 5.0 stars
2023 Miami Hurricanes Predictions: The ‘Canes are a young rebuilding team but they will be much better than last year when everything that could go wrong went wrong. The former Miami offensive lineman Cristobal put his stamp on this year’s squad with a beefy front line that should be able to greatly improve offensive production. Exiled offensive coordinator Josh Gattis was a disaster, refusing to adjust his scheme to fit personnel. Gattis’s replacement Shannon Dawson is an aggressive play-caller that knows how to position his chess pieces for success. With a relatively soft schedule that ranks 56th in the nation, Miami will cash in on the over 7.5 wins prop.
ESPN2 News Free CFB Picks: Over 7.5 Wins (3 Betting UNITS)