Frank Spaziani has studied tape of the University of Miami for months. He can tell you everything the Hurricanes did and didn’t do in Al Golden’s first year in charge of the Miami program.
What the Boston College coach can’t do is tell you what the Hurricanes are going to do in Golden’s second year or who is going to do it?
Neither can Golden really. Just too many young, new faces in the two-deep mix, so much so that Golden said that he probably wouldn’t release a depth chart until the middle of the week.
For Spaziani, this creates a problem since BC will have to deal with Miami on Saturday in a season opener that is crucial for both teams, but more crucial for BC since Golden’s job is not on the line based on what happens this season.
What we do know about Miami is this. Expectations are fairly low–the Canes were picked to finish fifth in the ACC Atlantic Division.
Only 11 starters–and only four on offense are returning, so there will be plenty of new faces. That is not to say there isn’t potential for some really good things eventually happening at the U.
The problem for BC is that the newcomers are only inexperienced. In terms of talent, Golden brought in a Top 10 recruiting class and has two players who BC will get an up close and personal look at on Saturday afternoon in RB Duke Johnson and CB Tracy Howard who may be very, very, very good.
Johnson is only 5-foot-9 inches, 180 pounds, but scored 70 TDs in his high school career and has been the talk of training camp.
Howard has said that one of his goals was to help the Canes get program get back to its days of being in the Top 10 as quickly as possible. He also said that he has his eyes on making it as a freshman All American.
Ah yes, we do remember those types of Hurricane players don’t we?
Throw the always dangerous QB Stephen Morris who is erratic, but is now healthy again and won the starting job during camp and you have some potential problems for not only BC, but the rest of the ACC–if they develop at the pace Golden hopes they develop, which is quickly.
BC comes into the game with as many question marks as the Canes, with a new offensive system and a new offensive coordinator in Doug Martin and after a training camp filled with injuries, some nagging, some serious.
No one, including Spaziani and Martin has seen what the offense can do at full strength and with the latest injury to WR Bobby Swigert (left knee, out several weeks) there are more questions.
So there will be some surprises on Saturday on both sides.
Miami, of course, is also dealing with an ongoing NCAA investigation into its activities and no one knows what the final judgment will be on that. Serious sanctions remain an option that will cause more chaos in a program that has dealt with it for years and often thrived.
The Canes are very young offensively, not quite as young defensively, but there is talent on the roster.
Added to the mystery was the lingering presence of Hurricane Isaac, which forced the Hurricanes to practice indoors at the Dolphin facilities.
By Saturday, Hurricane Isaac is expected to be a rainstorm somewhere in the Midwest.
What kind of force Golden’s Hurricanes will be at The Heights remains the question.
© 2012, Mark. All rights reserved.