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Marsh’s Mailbag: Braxton Berrios, More QB Questions, UF Weakness, Loudest Miami Game I’ve Ever Attended

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Who’s the most undervalued Hurricane going into 2019, and what’s UF’s biggest weakness? That and more.

Virginia v Miami Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

What will be UF’s greatest weakness when Miami plays them?

I think the greatest weakness UF will have is their offensive line. The Gators are replacing four starters from 2018 with a combined 141 career starts, and we all know the terror that Miami’s front four can create. Plus, two of those new starters for Florida will be at the tackle position, so you better believe that the Canes are going to utilize Jonathan Garvin and Trevon Hill all night long.

Why are you such a big Braxton Berrios fan? And do you miss him?

I’m such a big Braxton fan for several reasons. First, his breakout year in 2017 came during a season when Miami football flourished again and we were back in the national spotlight. That year, Berrios was making play after play. Also, the guy was just a standout kid all-around, great player, he got good grades, how could you not be a big fan? And yes, I do miss him, and I think he’s going to breakout for the Patriots this year.

Who do you personally want to win the quarterback battle?

I’ve been asked this so many times, and I hope this is the last time. Personally, I don't care who wins the quarterback battle, it could be N’Kosi Perry, Tate Martell or Jarren Williams, it doesn't matter to me who actually starts. What I care about, and what I personally want, is the quarterback who will win games, be a leader and make Miami the team it should be.

Do you think the incoming freshman at linebacker get any playing time?

I’m a big fan of both incoming LB’s Avery Huff and Sam Brooks. At this point, I think Huff has a better chance of playing his first year than Brooks. Huff brings a coverage aspect with his game that I believe is lacking somewhat in that position group already for the Hurricanes, and his athletic ability is just off the charts. Brooks still can play absolutely, but still has some room to grow physically over the summer. Especially with Miami having trouble with depth at linebacker, don’t be surprised to see these guys in the fall.

Which conference games could you possibly see Miami losing in 2019?

I posted this on my Instagram story the other day, and got some negative feedback. Let me again say, I'm not being negative, nor do I think Miami will actually lose these games, so back off. There’s a difference between being realistic and being negative.

That being said, first, I’ve said from the beginning that UNC is a game that scares me. If you’re a Hurricane fan, you know that we struggle with the Tar Heels almost every year, and we especially don’t play well in Chapel Hill. That game is a primetime kickoff at their place, and that just frightens the absolute hell out of me.

Next, I believe Virginia at home is daunting as well. The Cavaliers are another team that has given us problems in the past, and this game is going to be on short rest. UVA has their quarterback Bryce Perkins who is going to be dangerous. Let’s hope the Canes have revenge on their minds from last years defeat.

Finally, Florida State is always a close game, I don’t care if they’re rebuilding, you can never count out the Seminoles. Plus, playing at Tallahassee is never an easy task.

Who are your breakout players on offense and defense?

On offense, my breakout player is either Brian Hightower at receiver or Lorenzo Lingard at running back. Hightower is a guy who has huge upside, and flashed some of that potential in 2018. I think with his combination of size and aggressiveness in getting the football, he can be Miami’s third receiver. Lingard is so talented out of the backfield, and he’ll for sure have something to prove in 2019 after being injured for most of last season. He can be absolutely lethal for the Hurricanes offense.

On defense, I have two again. First, I believe Amari Carter at safety is going to thrive taking over as a starter. He’s dangerous off the edge as a blitzer, he’s great in tackling, and if he can nail-down his coverage skills we’re looking at the next great Miami safety. The other is cornerback D.J. Ivey, who I think will beat out Al Blades Jr. to start opposite Trajan Bandy.

What are your offensive expectations for 2019?

On offense, I'm expecting that Miami averages at least 30 points per game, and I don't think that's asking for much. The Hurricanes averaged 28.8 ppg in 2018, and boy it sure didn’t feel like it. The Canes have so much talent on offense, and also, our coordinator, Dan Enos, is someone who Nick Saban wanted for Alabama’s OC. I mean yes, we do have concerns at the offensive line and also inexperienced quarterbacks, but 30 points a game isn’t too much to ask, especially against our schedule. Just please, get the ball to Jeff Thomas.

Most undervalued Cane going into 2019?

Oh wow, this is a really good question. On offense, I really do think it’s DeeJay Dallas! Everyone is talking about Cam’Ron Davis at running back because of the spring he had, and rightfully so. Let’s not forget though that Dallas is a player who rushed for over 600 yards last year while splitting time with Travis Homer. I think #13 is going to have a huge 2019. On defense, not enough people are talking about Trevon Hill. He was hyped when he announced his transferring to Miami, but since then it’s been pretty quiet, and obviously that’s mainly because he wasn’t there in the spring. Him and Garvin are going to be a nightmare at defensive end. I believe Hill is going to dominate this upcoming season.

Loudest Miami game you ever attended?

I’m not old enough to be able to say I was at games like 1989 against Notre Dame or 1994 versus Florida State. And because I moved away from Florida I wasn’t at 2017 Notre Dame or anything like that. However, I was at 2018 against FSU and let me tell you, that game was absolutely bananas. That whole second half I couldn't hear my friend next to me, especially when Michael Pinckney snagged that interception.