Miami football returning defensive production ACC rankings

Oct 22, 2022; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 22, 2022; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports /

The Miami football team is third in returning defensive production in the ACC per ACC PM on the ACC Network. Miami returns 77 percent of its 2022 defensive production. That is third in the ACC behind Florida State which returns 94 percent of its defensive production and Boston College with 79 percent of its defensive production returning.

Miami returns eight primary starters on defense. The Miami defense is led by the return of All-American safety Kamren Kinchens. Kinchens led Miami with 59 tackles, six interceptions and his six pass breakups in 2022 are the most among Hurricanes returnees for 2023. Miami is still looking for a run-stuffing defensive tackle.

The Miami football program added DTs Branson Deen and Thomas Gore during the offseason as transfers. Deen and Gore project more as interior pass rushers than run stoppers. Leonard Taylor returns at DT after starting 10 games last season. Jared Harrison-Hunte who projects as the other DT has 11 career starts.

Wesley Bissainthe became a starter at linebacker late in the 2022 season. Bissainthe is projected as a starting LB in 2023 with Washington State transfer Francisco Mauigoa. Jahfari Harvey and Akheem Mesidor are the projected starting edge rushers. Cornerback will be determined in training camp.

ACC Returning production

  1. Florida State 94 percent returning production
  2. Boston College 79
  3. Miami 77
  4. Clemson 75
  5. Syracuse 72
  6. North Carolina State 68
  7. Georgia Tech 66
  8. Virginia Tech 65
  9. Virginia 64
  10. Duke 60
  11. Wake Forest 59
  12. Louisville 50
  13. North Carolina State 49
  14. Pittsburgh 49

James Williams will be the starting safety next to Kinchens. Miami needs far greater defensive efficiency in 2023. Miami was 67th last season allowing 26.8 points per game and 65th allowing 375.1 yards per game. Big plays are what cost Miami too frequently in 2022. Miami was 97th allowing 16 plays of 30 or more yards in 2022.

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The hope is that the experience that returns for Miami on defense and new coordinator Lance Guidry will foster improvement. Guidry schemes multiple looks on defense. Miami players have spoken throughout the spring that they expect the system Guidry runs to help Miami improve defensively in 2023.