Written by Vincent Di Mello
Bet on NCAAFWhen Al Golden's Miami Hurricanes take home turf in Sun Life Stadium on November 25th versus the Eagles, they are going to do so as the squad wondering about the season that escaped them. Tight losses to teams like Virginia Tech and Kansas State have launched the 'Canes into the college football wilderness this season.
The killer for the hurricanes has been on the defensive side of the ball even though the offense has played inconsistently at times. Reliable to great quarterback pressure from senior defensive end Marcus Robinson and freshman eye-popper Anthony Chickillo has been undermined by an injury-riddled defensive tackle unit that cannot stop the run.
Include a secondary which has produced merely 2 picks this season, and it's no surprise Miami ranks 51st among Division I teams, giving up 372.1 yards per game. Qb Jacory Harris has what the team needs to make the offense hum, but does his defense have his back?
Like the under-performing Miami Hurricanes, Frank Spaziani's Eagles began the season with their head coach whispering Orange Bowl dreams into their ears, only to collapse into a 3-7 catastrophe. Their only hope of post-season bowl competition is the local bowling alley now that they presently own a dismal ranking of fifth in the ACC Atlantic division.
The loss of their leading playmaker, senior running back Montel Harris, has been the greatest handicap on the offensive side of the ball for the Eagles. It hasn't helped that sophomore quarterback Chase Rettig has come to a halt in his progress. Defensively, this unit has been left with a pathetic team defense ranking of 89 among Division I teams thanks to a deficiency of depth in the secondary and the loss of senior defensive tackle Kaleb Ramsey.
The Eagles managed a victory in their last outing versus North Carolina State, however they won't win this one. Watch for the 'canes to become bowl eligible on the 25th, if they don't do it the week before against South Florida. And look for them to do it big.