Miami football compared with other ACC schools with third-year head coach

Aug 24, 2019; Orlando, FL, USA; Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 24, 2019; Orlando, FL, USA; Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /

The Miami football program showed significant improvement in their second season under Manny Diaz. Miami improved from 6-7 during the first season under Diaz in 2019 to 8-3 in 2020. Diaz has shown the willingness to make extensive changes on the coaching staff to improve the Hurricanes.

For the third straight offseason, Diaz identified changes that needed to be altered the Miami coaching staff. After changes to the offensive coaching staff during the 2020 offseason, Diaz made changes to the defensive staff during the 2021 offseason. The biggest change is Diaz resuming defensive play calling.

Shortly after the 2020 season ended, Diaz announced he was resuming defensive play-calling for the 2021 season. Co-defensive coordinator Ephraim Banda left for Utah State to run his own defense. Blake Baker was essentially demoted from DC without calling plays. Baker eventually left to become linebackers coach at LSU.

Diaz is one of four ACC Coaches entering their third season that CBS Sports profiled in July of 2020. The Miami football team defeated Scott Satterfield and Louisville for the second straight season in 2020, lost to Mack Brown and North Carolina the last two seasons and did not play Geoff Collins and Georgia Tech in 2020.

Miami lost to Georgia Tech in 2019 during Diaz and Collins’ first seasons. The loss to the Yellow Jackets was one of three destressing 2019 Miami defeats. The Hurricanes host Georgia Tech on November 6 in a game they should be expected to win comfortably. Georgia Tech finished 3-6 in 2020.

Diaz was originally set to succeed Collins at Temple before Mark Richt’s retirement led to an 18-day stint in Philadelphia leading to a return to Miami in late December 2018. Despite their 2019 win over Miami, Georgia Tech is 6-16 in two seasons under Collins. Collins had to transition the Yellow Jackets offense out of the triple option.

In his second stint at North Carolina, Brown has led the Tar Heels to a 15-10 record. North Carolina has defeated Miami the last two seasons, but the Tar Heels also had surprising losses last season to Florida State and Virginia. Miami showed consistency last season. North Carolina has to become more consistent in 2020.

Manny Diaz seventh in ACC Coaching Rankings. light. Trending

Satterfield is 12-12 in two seasons with Louisville. After leading the Cardinals to an 8-5 record in 2019 and earning ACC Coach of the Year, Louisville slipped to 4-7 last season. Miami has outscored Louisville 99-61 the last two seasons. Miami and Louisville’s future scheduled games are yet to be determined by the ACC.

Miami has to continue winning the games they are expected to emerge victorious in 2021 while winning at least one big game. Miami was blown out in big games during the 2020 regular season by Clemson and North Carolina and lost to Oklahoma State in the Cheez-It Bowl. The season opener against Alabama is a huge test.

Miami has to at least avoid being embarrassed by Alabama. Earning at winning at North Carolina would be a huge boost to the Hurricanes’ quest to win the ACC Coastal Division Title. North Carolina has not won the Coastal since 2016, the last Division title for Miami came in 2017.

Next. Miami surprise team per national CFB analyst Phil Steele. dark

The Miami football program needs to continue to show development under Diaz. He has shuffled the coaching staff in each of the last three seasons. Miami needs to build stability on the staff and in the program to become a perennial contender in the Coastal as they should be. The next step is a serious contender to win the ACC.