Hurricanes set to open their season at home against Miami University

Head coach Mario Cristobal watches on from the sidelines during the first quarter of Miami’s game versus the University of Pittsburgh at Hard Rock Stadium on Nov. 26, 2022. Photo credit: Jared Lennon

Ahead of a Friday night bout with the Hurricanes, Miami University quarterback Brett Gabbert offered a jab at the Hurricanes football team about where the “real Miami” is located. He responded with “Oxford, Ohio,” the location of Miami University’s campus.

Such will be a tall task come Friday evening when the Redhawks face the ‘Canes at Hard Rock Stadium. For the fourth time in their histories, the two similarly-named schools will face off in a contest for who will have the right to call themselves the proper Miami. At the moment, the Hurricanes currently lead the RedHawks 3-0 head-to-head historically. On Friday night, they will look to make it 4-0 and start the season on a high note at Hard Rock Stadium.

Going into a new season, the Miami Hurricanes are currently coming off a disappointing 5-7 season in the first year of Mario Cristobal’s tenure as head coach. The record yielded fifth place in the Atlantic Coast Conference’s Coastal division.

But with these lows often come better days, which is what this new-look team looks forward to as they begin the new season.

The newest edition of the Hurricanes football team includes the incoming group of highly-touted freshmen that Cristobal and his coaching staff helped bring in a historic 2023 recruiting class. The class consists of star offensive linemen Francis Mauigoa and Samson Okunlola, defensive ends Rueben Bain and Jayden Wayne, running back Mark Fletcher, and blue chip receivers Nathaniel “Ray Ray” Joseph and Robby Washington, among many other highly-touted recruits.

In addition, Cristobal’s brand new coaching staff under him are people with significant names. Former ‘Cane wideout Kevin Beard will be coaching his former position group after being hired away from the University of Tennessee in March. NFL Hall of Famer Jason Taylor was promoted to defensive ends coach after serving as an off-field analyst the previous season. Most importantly, new coordinators Shannon Dawson and Lance Guidry will handle the Hurricanes’ new offense and defense, respectively.

Miami’s roster will feature some significant returning players from previous seasons who are set to make a breakout as a new campaign begins. Among them are star safety Kamren Kinchens, a first-team All-American in 2022, and his opposite-side teammate James Williams. Quarterback Tyler Van Dyke returns for another season in which he seeks to prove himself as one of the premier quarterbacks in the nation after a 2022 season that saw injuries and a decline in form.

Miami of Ohio will also look to improve as their 2023 campaign begins after a 2022 that saw them finish 6-7 overall and 4-4 in the Mid-Atlantic Conference. Gabbert’s earlier comments were indeed not without merit, as Cristobal told the media this week that Gabbert “can do it all.”

Taking down their name-sharing school to the north should be considered challenging for the Hurricanes, as their struggles against mid-major schools were a significant sticking point in their previous season. With 2023 just around the corner, the Hurricanes look for a fresh start in what many can expect to be a step in the right direction toward a much-desired return to national prominence.