Miami Hurricanes 2nd Most Underrated Team in Country

MIAMI GARDENS, FL - NOVEMBER 05: Miami Hurricanes players celebrate after the game against the Pittsburgh Panthers at Hard Rock Stadium on November 5, 2016 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Rob Foldy/Getty Images)
MIAMI GARDENS, FL - NOVEMBER 05: Miami Hurricanes players celebrate after the game against the Pittsburgh Panthers at Hard Rock Stadium on November 5, 2016 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Rob Foldy/Getty Images) /
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The Miami Hurricanes have been anointed College Football’s Second Most Underrated team by the sports website the Spun. Oklahoma State was their most underrated team.

The Spun expects the Miami Hurricanes defense to lead the way in 2017. They mention that seven starters return defensively, it’s actually eight.

Auburn, Miami’s ACC Rival North Carolina State and Stanford were the other three teams that The Spun listed. The Hurricanes have been getting a lot of recognition in the preseason.

Several Hurricanes were named to the All-ACC preseason team. Quite a few Miami players have also been named to preseason award watch lists. Miami running back Mark Walton has been named on at least two teams and to three

Miami running back Mark Walton has been named on at least two teams and to three award watch lists for this fall. Linebacker Shaq Quarterman and wide receiver Ahmmon Richards have also gotten recognition on preseason award watch lists.

The Spun’s examination of Miami said:

"“Miami will exceed everyone’s expectations this season for one reason: Defense. The Hurricanes return seven starters from last year’s terror of a unit. The Canes’ defense held opponents to just 18.5 ppg last year, and there’s no reason to believe they won’t be even better this year. On offense, the Canes have emerging stars at running back and wide receiver in Mark Walton and Ahmmon Richards, respectively.Quarterback will be a question mark after Brad Kaaya’s departure, but Miami benefits from a relatively easy schedule so there’s certainly time to figure out who should be under center. I wouldn’t be shocked if they only lost one game this season, all of the talent is there.”"

Walton returns having rushed for 1,117 yards and 14 touchdowns last season. He is 10 touchdowns and 12 rushing touchdowns from tying the school records.

Richards is coming off a freshman season in which he broke Michael Irvin’s 31-year-old school record for yards receiving by a freshman. He finished with 934 yards receiving on 49 receptions with three touchdowns last season.

Miami’s front seven is the strength of the defense. The Hurricanes terrorized opponents backfields last season. UM finished fifth in the country last season with an average of 8.3 tackles for loss as a team.

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  • The relatively easy schedule the Hurricanes have this year features the toughest game early. Miami will visit Florida State in week three. What the schedule doesn’t have is the gauntlet that the Hurricanes faced last October.

    Miami had to face Florida State, North Carolina, Virginia Tech and Notre Dame in successive weeks last October. Miami entered that stretch 4-0. They left it 4-4. The Hurricanes finished the season with five straight wins.

    A lot has been made in recent seasons about Miami having a hangover effect after playing Florida State. That should not be an issue in 2017.

    After traveling to Tallahassee, Miami plays three of its next four games at home. They host Toledo, travel to Duke on a Friday night and then return home to host Georgia Tech and Syracuse. The Orange replaces North Carolina State on the schedule this season.

    Miami’s toughest stretch this season will be a trip to North Carolina followed by visits from Virginia Tech and Notre Dame. Miami finishes the season with a visit from Virgina and a trip to Pittsburgh. The game against the Panthers is Friday of Thanksgiving weekend.

    The quarterback battle is the biggest question mark Miami will face going into camp. Malik Rosier figures to be the starter. He has the most experience heading into training camp.

    Rosier’s biggest challenge will be freshman N’Kosi Perry. Perry has a bigger upside and more skills. If he does get the start how patient will Head Coach Mark Richt and offensive coordinator Thomas Brown be with their prized recruit?

    Next: Miami Hurricanes RB Mark Walton Racking Up Preseason Honors

    If Rosier can grasp the playbook and show the ability to avoid mistakes he will have a great chance to challenge Rosier to become the starter.