Athlon Sports makes 2023 Miami football ACC projection

CLEMSON, SOUTH CAROLINA - NOVEMBER 19:(Photo by Eakin Howard/Getty Images)
CLEMSON, SOUTH CAROLINA - NOVEMBER 19:(Photo by Eakin Howard/Getty Images) /

Athlon Sports projects the Miami football team to finish fourth in the revamped ACC in 2023. After using a two-division structure since 2005, the top two teams in the standings at the end of the season will qualify for the ACC Championship Game. Since joining the ACC in 2005 Miami has only played in one ACC Championship Game.

Athlon Sports states the balance of power in the ACC rests with Clemson and Florida State. North Carolina, Miami, Duke, Louisville, Pitt, and Wake Forest are all capable of pushing for a spot in the ACC title game per Athlon Sports. The only ACC title game appearance for Miami came after winning the Coastal Division in 2017.

Mario Cristobal set the reset button by hiring Shannon Dawson as the new offensive coordinator and Lance Guidry as the new defensive coordinator for 2023. Expect the Miami football team to be aggressive defensively and offensively in 2023. Dawson will run a modified Air Raid. Guidry often utilizes multiple fronts.

Miami has 30 new players on its 2023 roster. The Hurricanes signed 15 freshmen, 14 transfers and one junior college player. Several of the newcomers will start and others should be key contributors. Steven Lassan of Athlon Sports summarized what to expect from the Miami football team in 2023.

"4. Miami“The ‘Canes should show improvement in coach Mario Cristobal’s second season. However, how big of a jump in wins is going to hinge largely on how well the pairing of new play-caller Shannon Dawson meshes with quarterback Tyler Van Dyke.After a breakout ’21 season, Van Dyke struggled with injuries and never seemed comfortable under previous offensive coordinator Josh Gattis. The arrival of two five-star freshmen at offensive tackle, along with Alabama transfer Javion Cohen, should provide a needed boost to the offensive line.The defense is also under new leadership, as Lance Guidry arrives from Tulane to call the signals in ’23. In addition to overall improvement after an up-and-down ’22 campaign, Guidry has to get this group to cut down on the big plays allowed (16 of 40-plus yards last year).”"

In addition to Cohen, freshmen Francis Mauigoa and Samson Okunlola, Central Florida transfer Matthew Lee arrives as the expected starting center. Van Dyke suffered an injured shoulder in 2022. Miami was decimated by injuries on the offensive line in 2022 and that led to Van Dyke’s injury.

Next. Mario Cristobal learned from coordinator hiring mistakes. dark

Dawson and Guidry are expected to better utilize the talent on the Miami roster. Too often in 2022 Gattis and previous defensive coordinator Kevin Steele tried to have the players fit the system. Miami begins the season versus Miami (Ohio) before hosting Texas A&M in an early season test in week two.