Miami football has high 2021 expectations from CBS Sports

LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY - SEPTEMBER 19: (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY - SEPTEMBER 19: (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /

The Miami football team enters the 2021 season following their best season since 2017 with an 8-3 record in 2020. Miami returns 19 starters in 2021 and is expected to compete for an ACC Coastal Division title. An article posted by Chip Paterson of CBS Sports examined how many wins Miami will have in 2021.

The expectation for the Miami football program in 2021 is to reach 9.5 wins. Miami opens the season against Alabama at Mercedes Benz Stadium in Atlanta and travels to North Carolina on October 16. The Hurricanes are likely to be expected to win their other 10 games of the 2021 season.

After playing Alabama Miami has home games against Appalachian State, Michigan State, FBS Central Connecticut State and Virginia before a bye week and the trip to Chapel Hill. Miami returns home following playing the Tar Heels to host North Carolina State. The expectation is that Miami will finish that stretch at least 5-2.

Miami alternates the last five 2021 games on the road and at home. The Hurricanes play at Pittsburgh, Florida State and host Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech. North Carolina is the only Miami opponent in 2021 who defeated them in 2020. Miami did not play Georgia Tech or any of the non-conference opponents in 2020.

"Miami (Chip Patterson)Over/Under 9.5 winsWins: Appalachian State, Michigan State, Central Connecticut State, Virginia, NC State, Georgia Tech, at Florida State, Virginia Tech, at DukeLosses: vs. Alabama, at North Carolina, at PittAnalysis: No matter what happens against Alabama, the key is going to be how Miami responds because it should be favored in its next four games and arrive in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, with a chance to take the driver’s seat in the ACC Coastal against North Carolina on Oct. 16.I’ve got the Tar Heels winning that one, but other than a trap-game loss at Pitt on Oct. 30 (more on that below) we’re giving Miami the win on the rest of the slate. While you may argue that flipping Pitt takes this over, I’ll counter by asking if you have confidence in the Canes winning every game in which they’re favored.If it’s not Pitt, it could be NC State or Virginia Tech. Pick: Under 9.5"

In addition to NC State, Pittsburgh, or Virginia Tech as games, the Miami football team seems most likely to lose Georgia Tech should be included. The Yellow Jackets have a two-game winning streak against the Hurricanes. Georgia Tech and Miami did not play in 2020. The game was canceled in December due to Covid.

Miami has dominated Pittsburgh with wins in five of their last six meetings and 21 out of the last 24. The one loss was an infamous defeat that ended a chance at an undefeated regular season in the final game of the 2017 season. That ended a 15 game winning streak overall and 10 games to begin the 2017 season.

After improving from 6-7 during Manny Diaz’s first season in 2019, the Hurricanes improved to 8-3 last season. More development will be expected in 2021. Winning 10 games including a bowl game is a reasonable goal with an ACC Coastal Title possible if Miami can win at North Carolina.

The Tar Heels lost four games last season including at Florida State and Virginia allowing 36.75 points per game. Miami needs a makeover of their defense against North Carolina this season. The Tar Heels lost most of their playmakers on offense but return quarterback Sam Howell. Miami might need QB D’Eriq King to carry them.

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If the Miami defense can return to its pre-2020 form, the Hurricanes can be a force in the ACC Coastal and have a chance to reach the ACC Championship Game. Howell and King will be the favorites to earn first and second-team All-ACC. October 16 in Chapel Hill will be considered the de facto ACC Coastal Championship Game.