Miami Hurricanes Five most memorable defensive performances with Manny Diaz as coordinator

MIAMI, FL - SEPTEMBER 22: 2018 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FL - SEPTEMBER 22: 2018 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images) /
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The U is back! At least on the defensive side of the ball, the Miami Hurricanes proved they can play at a championship level during Manny Diaz’s three-year reign as defensive coordinator.

The Miami Hurricanes defense was one of the best over the last three seasons while led by current head coach Manny Diaz as the coordinator. Diaz has infused the energy he incorporated into the Hurricanes defense over the last three seasons to the entire team over the five months since he succeeded Mark Richt as head coach.

The Miami Hurricanes defense has often been dominant during Diaz’s tenure as the coordinator. Diaz’s defense showed the type of impact the Hurricanes can have on that side of the ball early in his tenure.

In Miami’s 2016 ACC opener a pair of fumble return touchdowns by freshmen Joe Jackson and Shaq Quarterman were the catalysts in a 35-21 victory at Georgia Tech. The pair of touchdowns that came in a three-play span against the Yellow Jackets offense extended a 14-7 Miami lead to three touchdowns.

The win over Georgia Tech improved the Hurricanes to 4-0 to open the 2016 season. Miami would conclude that campaign with five straight victories and their first bowl win 10 years.

Quarterman and Jackson were In the infancy of their collegiate careers. Both would go out to outstanding performances throughout their tenures with the Miami Hurricanes. Jackson became a fourth-round pick of the Dallas Cowboys in the 2019 NFL Draft. Quarterman returns in 2019 for his senior season.

The Hurricanes stellar finish to the 2016 season set the tone for 2017. Miami carried the momentum of the five-game winning with them. That propelled them on a magical run to begin 2017.