Should Miami Hurricanes Be on Upset Alert Against Ark St, Toledo?

MIAMI, FL - SEPTEMBER 13: Braxton Berrios
MIAMI, FL - SEPTEMBER 13: Braxton Berrios /

The Miami Hurricanes will face some difficult battles once ACC play commences with their trip to Florida State on September 16. Do they have trap games in the non-conference part of their schedule?

Athlon Sports has an article “Predicting the ACC’s Biggest Upsets in 2017”. The Miami Hurricanes will host Bethune-Cookman week one. That should be an automatic win against the very mediocre Football Championship Subdivision Wildcats.

Week two Miami faces what potentially could be a trap game against Arkansas State in Jonesboro. It’s a week before they travel to Florida State for the ACC opener. The Redwolves went 8-5 last season and won the AutoNation Cure Bowl against Central Florida.

Arkansas State has gone to six straight bowl games. The RedWolves have split their postseason games. Blake Anderson has gone 24-15 in his three seasons with the Red Wolves.

Auburn’s Gus Mulzahn, Boise State’s Bryan Harsin and former Mississippi State coach Hugh Freeze have all spent time leading the Arkansas State program.

Athlon lists these as potential upsets, not games they are predicting will happen. Could Miami be a victim to games that could be:

"“Chances for a big stunner are there for the taking” Athlon went on to state: (Keep in mind, these are not upsets that we necessarily think will happen, just a few to keep an eye on.)"

Athlon’s take on the trip to Arkansas State is:

1. Arkansas State over Miami, Sept. 9

This is another upset that is highly unlikely, but there’s a reason it’s No. 1 on this list. The Hurricanes are traveling to Jonesboro, Arkansas, for this one, and these types of road games against an inferior Group of 5 opponent – even though Miami did it last year at Appalachian State and had zero problems – could be tricky. Arkansas State earned a share of the Sun Belt title last year and although the Red Wolves must replace some key contributors, could be a pest when the Hurricanes come to Centennial Bank Stadium.

Arkansas State earned a share of the Sun Belt title last year and although the Red Wolves must replace some key contributors, could be a pest when the Hurricanes come to Centennial Bank Stadium.

Two weeks after traveling to Arkansas State Miami hosts a very good Toledo team at Hard Rock Stadium. The Rockets went 9-4 last season under first-year head coach Jason Candle.

Toledo defeated Appalachian State 31-28 in the Camellia Bowl last season. Miami won 45-10 at Appalachian State last season. Matt Campbell went 35-15 at Toledo from 2011-15 before leaving for Iowa State for the 2016 season.

Athlon’s upset watch for the Miami-Toledo game is:

"2. Toledo over Miami, Sept. 23Miami has pretty much everything figured out on its roster with the exception of quarterback and, to a lesser extent, the defensive backfield, but could get a very stiff test here. Toledo might be the best team in the MAC this fall, and if the Hurricanes stumble a bit on offense to begin the season, they could be in for a battle at Hard Rock Stadium."

The Arkansas State and Toledo games bookend the Florida State game. Either of them could be trap games. Miami cannot afford to look ahead going into the game at Arkansas State.

The Hurricanes were focused going into Boone, North Carolina last season. They defeated Appalachian State 45-10 a week before opening the ACC season at Georgia Tech.

The game against Toledo could be a trap depending on how the Florida State game turns out. Miami will need to stay healthy and avoid a blowout. A decisive loss or possibly even an upset win could affect the Miami Hurricanes psyche for the Toledo game.

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They cannot go into the Toledo game with their minds still on the Florida State game either good or bad. They need to be focused or Toledo could be ripe for an upset.