Miami football gets season grade from national media site

Oct 30, 2021; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 30, 2021; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports /

The Miami football team finished the 2021 season 7-5 after they had to withdraw from the Sun Bowl because of Covid protocol. Miami finished the season with five wins in its final six games after beginning 2021 2-4. The strong finish was not enough for former head coach Manny Diaz to avoid being fired.

Mario Cristobal was hired away from Oregon earlier this month to replace Diaz. Miami had some breakout performances this season. Tyler Van Dyke replaced D’Eriq King at quarterback after he was lost for the season with a shoulder injury against Michigan State. Charleston Rambo set multiple Miami single-season receiving records.

The opening week loss to Alabama was expected. Michigan State had a better season than they were projected to have. Miami also lost Virginia in September and after a bye week lost at North Carolina. The Hurricanes were expected to defeat the Cavaliers. The loss to the Tar Heels left the Hurricanes at 2-4.

There were high expectations for Miami at the beginning of the season. Miami suffered significant injuries in addition to King. Those losses hindered Miami early. The Hurricanes started playing multiple young players due to the injuries and lack of performance. Austin Nivison of 247 Sports graded the 2021 Miami football season.

"MIAMI | C+“The Hurricanes got off to a rough start in 2021, but losing to Alabama and Michigan State is somewhat understandable, given the seasons that those two programs had. In fact, all three of Miami’s conference losses came by three points or less.Considering the fact that D’Eriq King’s season was cut short due to injury, Miami did well by handing the reins of the offense over to Tyler Van Dyke and winning five of its last six games. That stretch included top-25 wins over NC State and Pittsburgh.This grade might have even been a little higher, but the Hurricanes were dinged for a loss to rival Florida State.”"

The Miami loss to Florida State was likely what ultimately cost Diaz his job. Miami rallied from a 17-0 first-quarter deficit to take a 28-20 lead.  The Hurricanes not only blew the lead, but they were also unable to stop Florida State on fourth and 14 deep in their own territory on the game-winning touchdown drive.

Miami rebounded from the loss to Florida State to defeat Virginia Tech and Duke. Van Dyke finished the season with six consecutive games of more than 300 yards passing and at least three TDs. The withdrawal from the Sun Bowl cost Van Dyke a chance at the Miami single-season TD pass record.

Steve Walsh threw for 29 TD passes in 1988. Van Dyke had 25 TD passes this season. Rambo set the Miami records with 79 receptions and 1,172 receiving yards. After producing the greatest season ever by a Miami WR, Rambo is entering the NFL Draft. Miami also loses all-time leading receiver, Mike Harley.

Next. Herbstreit talked to Cristobal about being Miami head coach. dark

The future of the Miami football program is bright led by Cristobal and Van Dyke. Miami returns a lot of talent in addition to Van Dyke throughout the roster. Cristobal will continue to upgrade the talent through more high school signees and the transfer portal. Miami should grade higher than a C+ in 2022.