Legendary Miami Hurricanes QBs have improved as second year starters

Jan 2, 1989; Miami, FL, USA; FILE PHOTO; Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports
Jan 2, 1989; Miami, FL, USA; FILE PHOTO; Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports /

The legends who played quarterback for the Miami Hurricanes improved in their second year as starters. Vinny Testaverde and Gino Torretta won Heisman Trophies in their second year as starters. Ken Dorsey led Miami to a national championship in his second season as a starter.

Testaverde became the starting quarterback for the Miami Hurricanes in 1985 after Bernie Kosar left for the NFL. In his first season as a starter, Testaverde completed 61.4 percent of his passes for 3,238 yards averaged 9.2 yards per attempt and threw 21 touchdown passes with 15 interceptions as Miami finished 10-2.

Testaverde improved all of those numbers in his second season. During an 11-1 1986 season, Testaverde completed 63.4 percent of his passes for 2,557 yards, averaged 9.3 yards per attempt, threw 26 TD passes and had nine interceptions on his way to earning the first Heisman Trophy in Miami Hurricanes history.

Kosar improved his numbers in his second year as Miami shifted from Howard Schnellenberger as head coach to Jimmy Johnson. Gary Stevens was the offensive coordinator for both seasons Kosar was the starting QB. Kosar completed 61.5 percent of his passes for  2,329 yards, 7.1 YPA, 15 TDs and 13 Ints in 1983.

In 1984, Kosar completed 63.0 percent of his passes for 3,642 yards, 8.8 YPA, with 25 TDs and 16 interceptions. Despite the improvement from Kosar Miami fell from an 11-1 1983 national championship season to 8-5 in the first season under Johnson. Miami went 44-4 in the final four years under Johnson.

After frustrating bowl losses in the first two years under Johnson, Walsh led Miami to a 12-0 1987 season and the second national championship in five years. Walsh completed 59.1 percent of his passes for 2,249 yards, 7.5 YPAA, 19 TDs and seven interceptions. Walsh improved those numbers in his second season as a starter.

Leading Miami to an 11-1 record in 1988, Walsh completed 59.7 percent of his passes for 3,115 yards, 8.0 YPA, 29 TDs and 12 INTs. Walsh finished his Miami career with a 23-1 record as a starting QB. Only a controversial loss at Notre Dame in 1988 prevented Walsh from going 24-0 as the Miami starting QB.

Torretta became a full-time starter in 1991 after starting three games for an injured Craig Erickson during the 1989 national championship season. Torretta completed 55.3 percent of his passes for  3,095 yards, 8.3 YPA, 20 TDs and eight INTs leading Miami to the 1991 national championship in his first season as a starter.

In earning the Heisman Trophy in his second full season as a starter, Torretta completed 56.7 percent of his passes for 3,060 yards, 7.6 YPA, 19 TDs and seven INTs in 1992. The Miami Hurricanes finished the regular season 11-0 before losing to Alabama in the Sugar Bowl for the national championship.

Dorsey shared QB duties in 1999 with Kenny Kelly before becoming the full-time starter in 2000. Leading Miami to an 11-1 2000 season, Dorsey completed 58.4 percent of his passes for 2,737 yards, 8.5 YPA, 25 TDs and five interceptions. Dorsey completed 57.9 percent in 2001 for 2,652 yards, 8.3 YPA, 23 TDs and nine INTs.

In a rare third season as a Miami starting QB, Dorsey completed 56.5 percent of his pass attempts for 3,369 yards, 8.6 YPA, 28 and 12. Dorsey was the rare Miami QB whose numbers went down in years after becoming a starting QB. Miami improved as a team as Dorsey led the Hurricanes to 34 straight wins from 2000 through 2002.

Like Dorsey, Brad Kaaya started for three full seasons. Kaaya completed 58.5 percent of his attempts for 3,198 yards, 8.5 YPA, 26 TDs and 12 INTs as a true freshman in 2014. In 2015, Kaaya completed 61.2 percent for 3,238 yards, 8.3 YPA, 16 TDs and five INTs. In 2016 Kaaya completed 62.0 percent for 3,532, 8.4 YPA, 27 and seven.

Next. Miami became QB U during the 1980s NFL Drafts. dark

Kaaya finished his Miami career as the all-time leading passer in program history with 9,968 yards. Entering his second season as the Miami starting QB, Tyler Van Dyke should improve upon a breakout 2021 season. Van Dyke should have a special 2022 season and a chance to become a Heisman Trophy contender.