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Miami’s Special Teams Are Going To Need To Bounce Back In 2019

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If the Hurricanes are going to improve in 2019, their special teams are going to need to get better.

NCAA Football: Pinstripe Bowl-Wisconsin vs Miami Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

I'm not going to sit here and continue to pound into everyone’s heads that Miami needs to figure out their quarterback situation, offensive line situation, etc. At least I won't talk about it today. We know that, you know that. Something that isn’t being talked about enough however is the role that the Canes special teams are going to play this upcoming season.

You go down the line in football history, and championship teams have had spectacular special teams talent and execution. In the early 2000’s, Adam Vinatieri was a major reason why the Patriots won three Super Bowls in four years. In the 80’s, the Raiders had punter Ray Guy who gave Oakland a major advantage in the field possession game. Even with the Saints in 2009, it was an onside kick to start the second half of the Super Bowl that helped them defeat the Colts.

You look at the Seminoles, and FSU fans will tell you that they’d have one or two more national championships if it weren’t for missed kicks against Miami. Then you look at the Canes, Todd Sievers was a big part of Miami’s success in the early 2000’s, and Carlos Huerta in the 80’s. It matters people.

Last season, special teams became an issue for the Hurricanes right from the very start of the year. Against LSU, punting miscues and a missed field goal absolutely gave the Tigers an advantage. It’s a lot easier to score on offense when you’re starting drives near midfield.

Punter Zach Feagles had himself a rough day not just against LSU, but his entire two-year career at Miami before he decided to transfer from the program.

Kicker Bubba Baxa was decent his freshman year in 2018, hitting 9-out-of-12 field goals. Though, Baxa was just 1-of-3 in fields goals 40-plus yards. I’m still honestly trying to figure out why he was signed out of high school, going 4-for-10 as a senior.

It also didn’t make me any happier when I heard that Baxa was missing 20-yarders in the spring. Championship football teams just don't have that happen.

2018 was so rough for the Canes special teams, that FootballOutsiders.com had Miami ranked 75th in the nation when it came to efficiency on that side of the football.

However, help is on its way! Well, at least for the punters. It’s been well reported of UM’s signing Louis Hedley, the tattooed phenom from Australia. The three-star junior college transfer still has three years of eligibility remaining, and Miami is hoping that he can really turn the tides in the punting game.