The 2019 college football season kicks off with the Hurricanes battling the Florida Gators Saturday night.
Will fans see a newly designed turnover chain?
If the Miami Hurricanes are going to win fans will definitely need to see some turnovers.
The return of linebackers Shaquille Quarterman, Michael Pinckney, and Zach McCloud will provide leadership and experience on the defensive side of the ball.
Felipe Franks returns as the quarterback for the Gators following a 2,457 passing yard season along with 24 touchdowns. With many new players on the defensive side, it is important the Cane’s don’t allow Franks to feel comfortable in the pocket.
Defensive linemen Pat Bethel understands the difficulty of replacing starters with younger players but embraces the challenge.
“What we have to do is step up, next man up. That’s how football works. You have to be able to fill in and not have a dropoff, and I feel like that’s something we can do very well,” said Bethel.
Projected starting defensive tackle Nesta Silvera will not be playing due to a foot injury.
Safeties Jaquan Johnson and Sheldrick Redwine, along with corners Michael Jackson Sr. and Jhavonte Dean moved on to the NFL following last season. New Defensive coordinator Blake Baker will turn to corners Trajan Bandy and Al Blades to try and hold Franks to a quiet night.
With new offensive coordinator Dan Enos and quarterback Jarren Williams making his first career start, many people do not know what to expect from the offense just yet. The last time the Hurricanes took the field the offense was held to just 3 points in the Pinstripe Bowl against Wisconsin. Scoring 3 points on Saturday will not be enough to win.
Williams understands the magnitude of this game and hopes his summer training will pay off.
“I embrace opening with that type of game, my thing is to make sure I’m prepared,” said Williams.
The Hurricanes offense welcomes the return of speedy wide receiver Jeff Thomas, who rejoined the team following transfer rumors. Receiver K.J. Osborn will be making his debut in orange and green Saturday after transferring from the University of Buffalo. Osborn had 7 touchdowns last season.
Rushing leader Travis Homer left for the NFL, forcing the hurricanes to turn to DeeJay Dallas and Cam’Ron Harris at running back.
Saturday is a big stage, similar to a bowl game, where the Hurricanes will get a great opportunity to show the world what “The New Miami” really is all about.
“It’s going to be a highly emotional night, both teams will be supremely motivated to play against each other, both teams are going to land some blows, you gotta be able to fight your way out of it,” Manny Diaz, Head Coach of the UM Football team, said.
Hurricanes legend defensive tackle Vince Wilfork will be an honorary captain for the game.
Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m.