Miami football ranked much higher by PFF than consensus

Dec 5, 2020; Durham, North Carolina, USA; Mandatory Credit: Nell Redmond-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 5, 2020; Durham, North Carolina, USA; Mandatory Credit: Nell Redmond-USA TODAY Sports /

The consensus rankings have the Miami football team about 15th nationally. Miami is ranked 14th by the AP Media Poll and 16th in the USA Today Coaches Poll among the two major surveys among who the best team is nationally. Most major media outlets rank Miami in the teens.

Pro Football Focus has more confidence nationally in the 2021 Miami football team than other media outlets. Miami is ranked ninth by PFF. The potential of the Hurricanes offense and return of 19 starters led by quarterback D’Eriq King are two of the major reasons stated by PFF for ranking the Miami football team ninth.

PFF is also high on the potential that King has with wide receivers Mike Harley and Charleston Rambo who the Miami football program added as a transfer from Oklahoma during the 2021 offseason. Offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee returns for a second season with the Miami offense expected to continue developing.

Harley was a different player over the final six games of 2020 than during the first three and half seasons of his college career. Harley had 40 receptions for 625 yards and six of his seven TD receptions. The Miami offense should be explosive in 2021 with Lashlee calling plays and King as the signal-caller.

"9. MIAMI (FL.) HURRICANESThe Hurricanes are poised to have one of the most explosive offenses in college football thanks to quarterback D’Eriq King. He’s fresh off an elite-graded season in his first year with Miami and is set to replicate that during 2021. On 111 runs — 85 designed and 26 scrambles — King totaled 26 rushes of 10 or more yards.He produced more than 10 yards after contact on 13 of those attempts, the most at the position. The 5-foot-11, 202-pound quarterback also rarely put the ball in harm’s way, ranking No. 3 in the FBS in turnover-worthy play rate (1.7%).King did tear his ACL in The U’s final game, but he has made a speedy recovery and will be ready to roll come Week 1.Another key area to monitor is the performance of wide receiver tandem Charleston Rambo and Mike Harley. Rambo was a big-play threat for Oklahoma in 2019 before a drop in play during 2020.Back in 2019 with Jalen Hurts at quarterback, Rambo ranked third in the Big 12 in percentage of targets to result in a 15-plus-yard gain (28.6%). As for Harley, something clicked in the middle of his senior year.From 2017 through Week 7 of last year, Harley had produced a 56.5 receiving grade, 1.14 yards per route and 19 catches of 15-plus yards. From Week 8 on in 2020, he produced an 83.6 receiving grade, 3.08 yards per route and 16 catches of 15-plus yards.There’s a lot of potential with the quartet of offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee, King, Rambo and Harley."

PFF is very high on the ACC in 2021. Clemson is ranked third behind Oklahoma and Alabama. Miami’s ACC Coastal Division rival North Carolina is ranked sixth by PFF. Alabama is the highest-ranked team in the PFF rankings Miami will play in 2021. The Hurricanes will also play UNC and 25th ranked North Carolina State.

Miami is the highest-ranked team in Florida with the Gators 13th and Central Florida 22nd. The hiring of Lashlee and the signing of King as a transfer from Houston during the 2020 offseason could be the biggest moves Miami makes for the future. Rambo provides Miami a deep threat in the passing game they did not have last season.

The Miami offense will extend beyond the duel threat King provides and the passing game. Nearly all of the Hurricanes’ production on the ground returns this season. Cam’Ron Harris, Don Chaney Jr. and Jaylan Knighton provide Miami with depth and talent running the football. Miami should be deep at WR behind Harley and Rambo.

Next. Miami 14th in AP Media Poll tops 16th in Coaches Poll. dark

Defensively, Miami returns nine starters. Cornerback Tyrique Stevenson and defensive end DeAndre Johnson joined the Hurricanes as transfers during the offseason. Manny Diaz returning to calling the defense should help Miami improve after a down season. Stevenson and Johnson help improve the talent defensively.