National CFB writer asks "Is Cam Ward key to Mario Cristobal breakthrough season?"

Chip Patterson of CBS Sports asked "Is Cam Ward the key to a Mario Cristobal breakthrough season?" in his article "Questions for each ACC team in spring..."

Nov 11, 2023; Berkeley, California, USA; Washington State Cougars quarterback Cameron Ward (1)
Nov 11, 2023; Berkeley, California, USA; Washington State Cougars quarterback Cameron Ward (1) / Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports
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The addition of Cam Ward at quarterback has elevated the projections for the Miami football team in 2024. Chip Patterson of CBS Sports asked, "Is Cam Ward the key to a Mario Cristobal breakthrough season? as part of his Questions for each ACC team in spring: Florida State WRs emerging, Clemson QB developing among storylines."

Ward is the third-highest-rated 2024 transfer quarterback behind Julian Sayin of Ohio State and Adrian Chiles of Michigan State. Ward leads all returnees in college football with an average of 311.3 passing yards per game in 2023. Miami was 43rd nationally averaging 258.0 passing yards per game in 2023.

Ward provides more stability and versatility for Miami at QB in 2024. Ward ran for 431 net yards in 2023. Washington State had one of the worst offensive lines in the country in 2023. The Cougars were 113th nationally in 2023, allowing 38.0 sacks for a loss of 249 yards. Miami was 17th, allowing 17 sacks in 2023.

Eight of the 11 Miami offensive starters from the Pinstripe Bowl loss to Rutgers are projected to be in the lineup when Miami opens the season at Florida on August 31. That includes Miami's top two receivers and three OL. Ward will have more threats on offense and a better line protecting him with Miami.

"Miami
Is Cam Ward the key to a Mario Cristobal breakthrough season? Quarterback Cam Ward chose Miami after initially declaring for the NFL Draft, and the best of his performance at Washington State suggests that he's the kind of electric playmaker needed to wind up on the winning side of close games. Miami is loaded up along both lines of scrimmage and has a pair of high-end wide receivers with Xavier Restrepo and Jacolby George, so the table is set for Ward to have a good season. If so, Miami could be a dark horse to reach the levels Cristobal spoke of and contend for an ACC title in 2024. "

Chip Patterson

Restrepo set the Miami single-season reception record in 2023. George had a breakout 2023 season. If Restrepo has similar numbers in 2024 to what he had in 2023, he will set the Miami career records for receptions and receiving yards. Ward's presence at QB should help be more balanced offensively.

dark. Next. ESPN names Cam Ward as 2024 transfer with most to prove. ESPN names Cam Ward as 2024 transfer with most to prove

Ward threw for over 400 yards twice in 2023 and topped 300 yards seven times. With Ward at QB in 2024, Miami has a high offensive ceiling. George and Restrepo should continue developing and the Miami rushing offense should benefit from having Ward at QB. Miami will be more dynamic offensively in 2024.