The Miami Hurricanes were among several of the biggest sports stories in South Florida in 2021 according to the Miami Herald. Miami firing former head coach Manny Diaz and naming Mario Cristobal as his replacement for the football program was named the top sports story of the year in South Florida.
The Miami football team entered the 2021 season ranked 14th in the Associated Press Top 25 and 16th in the USA Today Coaches Poll. Miami began the season with a 44-13 loss to Alabama. The Hurricanes lost three of their next five to begin 2021 2-4 and plummet out of the national rankings.
The process Miami took hiring in pursuing Cristobal and firing Diaz received national attention. Diaz was not fired until a few hours before Cristobal was officially named the head coach on December 6. Cristobal made a splash throughout his first week on the job during the Early National Signing Period.
When Miami quarterback D’Eriq King suffered a season-ending shoulder injury against Michigan State in September, no Miami quarterback behind him had ever completed a pass in college. Tyler Van Dyke succeeded King and after needing a few games to get into a groove, Van Dyke was as hot as any QB in college football.
Miami’s eighth biggest sports story 2022 “Van Dyke becoming UM’s next star”
Van Dyke completed 62.3 percent of his passes for 2,931 yards, 25 touchdowns and six interceptions. In the final six games of the season, Van Dyke threw for at least 300 yards and three TDs in each game. Van Dyke leads an impressive young corps for Miami entering the 2022 inaugural season under Cristobal.
Miami firing former athletic director Blake James and replacing him with Dan Radakovich from Clemson was named the 11th biggest story of the year in South Florida by the Herald. The process of dismissing James in November and replacing him with Radakovich three days after Cristobal was introduced was much smoother.
Miami Hurricanes 2022 breakout performers
The Herald ranks Van Dyke as the biggest breakout performer in South Florida in 2021. Van Dyke earned the ACC Rookie and Offensive Rookie of the Year Awards. Van Dyke was referenced as looking like the best Miami Hurricanes QB since Ken Dorsey. Dorsey had 25 TDs and five interceptions in his best season in 2000.
Miami Hurricanes safety James Williams defensive tackle Leonard Taylor and wide receiver Key’Shawn Smith were ranked eighth among South Florida breakout performers and named “key pieces to start the Mario Cristobal era.” Safety Kamren Kinchens should also be included on the list of breakout performers.
Miami Hurricanes worst 2022 moments
The loss by the Miami football team at Florida State is likely ultimately what cost Diaz his job. The Hurricanes allowing and completion on fourth and 14 late in the fourth quarter kept alive what would become the Seminoles game-winning drive. The Herald named that the third-worst moment of South Florida sports in 2021.
In the words of the Herald “getting drubbed” by Alabama was named the fifth-worst moment of South Florida sports in 2021. The football team wasn’t the only one who was drubbed by Alabama. The Miami basketball team lost to Alabama 96-64 in Orlando in the ESPN Invitational in November.
The Miami baseball team not making the semifinal of the ACC Tournament and the subsequent elimination in three games in the NCAA Tournament Gainesville Regional could also have been mentioned among the worst moments in South Florida sports in 2021. Florida did not win one game in its own regional.
Miami baseball team had a chance to move on and qualify for the Super Regional for the first time since 2016. After a 1-0 victory over South Alabama, Miami lost 10-2 to South Florida and 7-2 to the Jaguars in their revenge win. It has been a tough few years for Hurricanes sports. The future should brighter.