The U.......

>> Saturday, June 27, 2009



At the beginning of the decade, Miami was blasting a path of destruction through college football. They had become an NFL breeding ground with players like Clinton Portis and Ed Reed leaving Miami to become NFL superstars. Then Butch Davis left town and the wheels began to fall off the wagon. The end of the Larry Coker era could be described as a disaster and Larry Shannon is the man trying to return the U to their glory days. Mediocrity has reigned supreme in Shannon's first two years, but they returned to a bowl game last year (loss to Cal 24-17) and hope to continue to improve this season. The improvement begins with new offensive coordinator Mark Whipple.

Jacoy Harris is the undisputed quarterback this year after Robert Marve chose to transfer and he hopes to help establish an offense that can actually put points on the board. Offensive efficiency was a major struggle for the Canes last season and they hope a more mature Harris can help change that fate. Harris is a 6'4" quarterback with shiftiness in the pocket. He has the ability to become a bit time playmaker in this offense and help the Canes put points on the board against a mediocre ACC. Graig Cooper provides a solid rushing threat in the backfield (841 yards last season) and when he needs a blow, Javarris James will not cause any worry. Aldarius Johnson is a big time wide receiver on the outside and provides Harris with a solid target. Combine the skill position talent with a veteran offensive line and Miami has the pieces in place to develop a nice offense. Shannon has a new general on defense, as well.

John Lovett inherits a defense that was schizophrenic all season long in 2008. Lovett's defensive unit returns several talented players, including linebackers Sean Spence, Darryl Sharpton and Arthur Brown. The defensive line is stacked with talent and is lead by Marcus Robinson and Eric Moncour. The front seven shouldn't be a problem but the secondary has to improve and the improvement will be lead by the return of free safety Ryan Phillips. Phillips is an NFL prospect and should help relieve the shakiness in the defensive backfield. Expect a more explosive and improved unit under Lovett.

Although Miami's talent level has been considerably lower than usual, Larry Shannon is bringing the swagger back to Coral Gables. Shannon landed the 15th ranked recruiting class in the country (rivals.com) , including stud RBs Mike James and Lamar Miller. Both tailbacks are highly skilled and may be too talented to keep off the field. Shannon also landed one of the top athletes in the nation in Ray Ray Armstrong, A 6'4", 218 pound athlete that will have the ability to play several positions.

Schedule
September 7th-@Florida State-Loss
September 17th-Georgia Tech-Loss
September 26th-@Virginia Tech-Loss
October 3rd-Oklahoma-Loss
October 10th-Florida A&M-Win
October 17th-@UCF-Win
October 24th-Clemson-Win
October 31st-@Wake Forest-Loss
November 7th-Virginia-Win
November 14th-@North Carolina-Loss
November 21st-Duke-Win
November 28th-@South Florida-Win

Season Projection: 6-6 (3-5)

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The Terrible Terrapins...





Ralph Friedgen has attempted to keep the Maryland Terrapins out of mediocrity and develop them into a successful ACC program, but it is a long haul to the top. Friedgen led the Terps to an 8 win season and a victory over Nevada in the Humanitarian Bowl, but much of the team that experienced that success has left College Park, including Darrius Hayward-Bey (7th pick in NFL Draft).

The Terps lost seven starters on defense and another five on offense and have the most defections in the ACC. However, they still have plenty of talent on the offensive side of the ball to help them recover from the losses.

Quarterback Chris Turner will provide plenty of leadership and is capable of putting up big numbers (193.5 yards a game). Turner will have the luxury of handing the ball off to a first team All-ACC running back, Da'Rel Scott. Scott rushed for 1333 yards last season and is one of the most talented lead backs in the conference. The loss of Heyward-Bey will be tough to replace, but Torrey Smith will attempt to do just that. Smith is a return specialist, but expect some big numbers from him on the outside. The only worry for Turner should be whether or not he can stay off his backside. Maryland lost three starters on their offensive line. While the offense appears to have potential, defense is a completely different story.

Defensive coordinator Don Brown certainly has his work cut out for him. The Terp's defense lost seven starters and only return one quality player, linebacker Alex Wujciak. Wujciak will most likely be surrounded by Adrien Moten and Demetrius Hartsfield in the linebacking corps. The defensive line lost its most talented player, Jeremy Nevarre and starting defensive end Mack Frost. Brown's defensive backfield was also depleted, but Noland Caroll and company will attempt to dissipate the losses.

The coming year may prove to be a bumpy ride for Friedgen and company, but help is on the way. Maryland landed the 26th best recruiting class in the country (rivals.com). The class is headlined by a monster of a man, Peter White. White is a 6'4", 340 pound guard who has the feet of a 270 pound man. White is already an NFL prospect with that kind of size and may see action immediately on the line. White is joined by RB D.J. Adams and defensive end DeOnte Arnett. Both players could provide immediate help to their respective positions.

Schedule
September 5th-@California-Loss
September 12th-James Madison-Win
September 19th-Middle Tennessee-Win
September 26th-Rutgers-Loss
October 3rd-Clemson-Loss
October 10th-@Wake Forest-Loss
October 17th-Virginia-Win
October 24th-@Duke-Win
November 7th-@N.C. State-Loss
November 14th-Virginia Tech-Loss
November 21st-@Florida State-Loss
November 28th-Boston College-Win

Season Projection: 5-7 (3-5 ACC)

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Lots to Come Today...

What's going on, guys? We hope to get you four or five college football previews up today, barring any unforeseen circumstances. So, expect the ACC to be finished up this weekend sometime...

Also, just wanted to talk about the new PMB store once again...

We're now doing team oriented shirts and if you don't find what you like, we will do whatever college you want per request. So just shoot us an email.

Here are a few of our new examples...







Plenty more to come everyday!

Thanks,
Derrick

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