The Miami football team exceeded expectations in 2020 according to Brandon Marcello of 247 Sports in an article that is a “Way-too-early 2021 preview: ACC.” Miami entered the 2020 season projected to finish sixth in the ACC according to the media. The Hurricanes finished 7-2 in the ACC to finish third.
Only Clemson and Notre Dame who only had losses to each other before they both made the College Football Playoff finished ahead of Miami in the ACC. The Hurricanes losses were to the Tigers and North Carolina in 2020. Both games were blowouts. Miami has to be able to win big games to contend for an ACC Championship.
The Hurricanes lost by a combined 106 to 43 against Clemson and North Carolina in 2020. Clemson is off the schedule, but Miami plays Alabama in the 2021 season opener at Mercedes Benz Stadium in Atlanta. Marcello broke down each team in the ACC with a 2020 Review, 2021 season outlook and 2021 recruiting ranking.
The 2020 season was a big step forward for the Miami football program. Unlike 2019, the Hurricanes did not lose games they were expected to win. Miami improved from 90th in scoring in 2019 to 26th in 2020 and from 98th in total offense in 2019 to 32nd in 2020. Marcello summarized the Miami season.
"2020 (Miami football) review: Miami was a contender in the ACC again because of offseason additions at offensive coordinator (Rhett Lashlee) and quarterback (D’Eriq King), but the big wins were few.The Hurricanes are still several steps behind Clemson, and North Carolina still had the edge with Sam Howell leading the Tar Heels’ offense. Still, Miami exceeded expectations despite losing by a combined 61 points."
Miami had a lot of new faces in 2020 both on the roster and the coaching staff. Lashlee and King were the biggest reasons for the improvement on offense. Wide receiver Mike Harley greatly improved in 2020 leading Miami with 57 receptions for 799 yards and tied with Brevin Jordan with seven receiving touchdowns.
Harley and King both return in 2021 to lead the Miami offense. In the second year under Lashlee with King at QB, the Miami football program should continue to make progress. The Hurricanes offense was fun to watch in 2020. King will have an offensive coordinator a second straight season for the first time in 2021.