Miami Hurricanes DL named best in College Football

MIAMI, FLORIDA - NOVEMBER 09: (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FLORIDA - NOVEMBER 09: (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

The return of rising redshirt sophomore Greg Rousseau and addition of Temple graduate transfer Quincy Roche have created a lot of buzz for the Miami Hurricanes defensive line. One website named the Miami DL the best in college football.

Edge rushers have become the second most position in football. The return of rising redshirt sophomore Greg Rousseau and addition of Temple graduate transfer defensive end Quincy Roche lead the Miami Hurricanes defensive line on what is expected to be the most dominant pass rush in college football in 2020.

Chris Hummer  of 247Sports.Com chose the Miami Hurricanes defensive line as the best in the country in an article published on Thursday titled Building a superteam from CFB’s top positional units.” The accolades regarding the Miami Hurricanes defensive line have often focused on Roche and Rousseau.

The Hurricanes’ depth at edge rusher goes beyond Roche and Rousseau. Redshirt junior Jaelan Phillips was the top signee in the country in 2017 and the Miami coaching staff is very high on redshirt freshman Jahfari Harvey‘s future. Inside, Miami returns senior Jon Ford and junior Nesta Silvera at defensive tackle.

Hummer rated the Miami defensive line ahead of Alabama and Georgia which says a lot about the potential the Hurricanes have upfront. Rosseau leads all returnees nationally with 15.5 sacks last season and Roche was the second-highest rated edge defender in the country in 2019 behind Chase Young of Ohio State.

"DEFENSIVE LINE: MIAMI HURRICANESNothing is more important for defenses in this pass-happy offensive age than creating havoc for the quarterback. Miami can do that down after down thanks to the nation’s best edge rushing group.The unit is paced by future first-round pick Gregory Rousseau, who broke out last season with 19.5 tackles for loss and 15.5 sacks as a redshirt freshman.Miami lost seventh round pick Jonathan Garvin this offseason, but it actually managed to upgrade at his spot by adding Temple transfer Quincy Roche, who was PFF College’s second-highest graded EDGE defender last season behind only Chase Young.If that weren’t enough, former No. 1 overall prospect Jaelan Phillips is healthy and ready to play after transferring in from UCLA. Throw in redshirt freshman Jahfari Harvey, who the staff is high on, and the Hurricanes’ defensive end rotation is easily college football’s best.Miami is less overwhelming inside with senior Jon Ford (18 tackles, 3.5 TFL in 2019) and Nesta Jade Silvera (19 tackles, 1 TFL), but Ford is steady and Silvera, a former top 50 prospect, has a high ceiling.This pick could have easily been Georgia, which dominated as a run-stopping unit last year. But Miami’s line was arguably as good, if not better. Miami ranked fifth in line yards allowed per carry, per Football Outsiders, while Georgia slotted fourth.Miami also ranked well ahead of Georgia in stuff rate (7th vs. 23rd), which measures the percentage of carries stopped at or behind the line of scrimmage, and sack rate (3rd vs. 89th), which counts the percentage of sacks on all non-garbage time pass attempts.Others under consideration: Georgia, Alabama"

Miami finished seventh in the country in 2019 with 46 sacks. That was six less than the school record set by the 1989 national champions. With Roche and Rousseau leading the charge, the record should be challenged this season. The Hurricanes starting duo combined for 28.5 sacks in 2019.

Roche and Rousseau’s 28.5 combined sacks would have ranked 61st in the country last season. The Miami defensive line is not all about their pass rush. As Hummer illustrated, the Hurricanes were stout against the run in 2019 as the metrics indicated.  Miami finished 17th nationally against the run allowing 113.77 yards per game.

The Hurricanes tied for 10th with Navy allowing 3.17 rushing yards per game. The presence of Roche and Rousseau will allow co-defensive coordinators Blake Baker and Ephraim Banda to be able to compensate against the run and in pass coverage knowing they will not have to blitz to create pressure.

Next. National experts expect big numbers from Roche and Rousseau. dark

The Miami defensive line has a chance to be the best during the Manny Diaz era as head coach and before that the Hurricanes defensive coordinator. Phillips, Harvey and the rest of the Hurricanes backups at edge rusher and the young DTs behind Ford and Silvera have a lot of potential to make an impact in 2020.