One flag too many. While the Miami Hurricanes’ 2002 football campaign will always be remembered for what could have been, it’s worth revisiting what was. The Canes offense that season was unstoppable, led by the consistent arm of Ken Dorsey, the all-around excellence of Willis McGahee and the playmaking of Andre Johnson. That offense set records and, under the direction of Rob Chudzinski, was one of the greatest in CFB history and certainly Miami history.
Chudzinski’s 2003 season wasn’t quite as successful, the offense clearly suffered with the loss of it’s sensational triplets at QB-RB-WR, but Chudz had already established himself as one of the great offensive minds in football. Miami was a historic force from 2001-02, the first two years of Chudzinski’s tenure, and still found enough success to get to 11 wins and put up points in a frustrating season of turnover in ‘03. But Chudz would leave The U following that campaign, moving on to the greener pastures of professional football, never to return to college ball again.
In that time, the 15 seasons that followed Chudzinski leaving, Miami has never come close to seeing an offense as explosive and dominant as the one that Chudz orchestrated. The only man who seemed to come close was James Coley, helping the Canes O look competent during seasons with Stephen Morris, Duke Johnson and Phillip Dorsett.
But finally, after a drought of offensive excellence at a school that fielded the greatest scoring attack of all time, it seems an ocean has been found during that drought. Manny Diaz’s hiring of Dan Enos can make all the difference for an offense that has been stuck in the mud during the better part of Mark Richt’s tenure. Richt used principles too ancient for today’s up-tempo, spread-focused game and clearly lacked the desire to bring someone aboard to help him with an offense that failed to flow, especially once Brad Kaaya left.
In Enos, Diaz has found someone who can do the heavy lifting on offense while CMD ensures the entire team is ready to go week in and week out. Enos will have full control over an offense that, as he has proven in his time at Central Michigan, Arkansas and Alabama, he should be able to adapt his scheme around. Miami’s strength will certainly be on the backs of three starting caliber RBs, so Enos will likely tailor the Hurricanes offense to their strengths, rather than trying to fit square pegs in round holes.
Enos will be basically starting over at QB with a lot of questions and not many answers. How will N’Kosi Perry look with someone other than the Richt duo coaching him up? Will Tate Martell (if his waiver is granted) be able to grab the job? Is Jarren Williams ready? But the confidence that the 50-year old OC will be able to make the right decisions is there.
There is still a lot to be seen and even more to be put into action. Enos will have a lot of exciting pieces but decisions and talent at QB and offensive line will likely dictate just how successful Miami’s offense in 2019 is. But, if the last three season have taught us anything, it’s that Miami will have an offensive conductor who is more concerned about the future than the past.