Well, here we are just a few days away from the kickoff of college football’s 150th season. The Miami Hurricanes are set to face off against the Florida Gators in Camping World Stadium in front of a sold out crowd, but before the ball is kicked let’s take a few moments to reflect back on our projections for the offensive and defensive starters for this game.
Now before I begin, if you would like to read the prior articles in their entirety, including my justifications for each projection, you can do so here:
Defensive Starter Projections and here: Offensive Starter Projections
If you haven’t seen the Miami depth chart for the UF game, take a look here:
Your opening Miami Hurricanes depth chart.— David Furones (@DavidFurones_) August 19, 2019
Lists backup QB as up for grabs. Cornerback opposite of Bandy an “OR” between Al Blades Jr. and DJ Ivey. John Campbell starting at RT with Kai-Leon Herbert behind Zion Nelson at LT. pic.twitter.com/dHmDi8Lh9Z
So how did I fare in comparison to the depth chart that was recently released? Let’s take a look.
My methodology will be 1 point awarded for each correct projection. Then, I will add up the total correct picks and divide the sum from the total positions to get my “winning” percentage.
Down. Set. Hike!
Back on May 20th I published the Defensive Starter Projections as follows:
My projected starters at DL: Jonathan Garvin, Nesta Jade Silvera, Pat Bethel, and Gregory Rousseau.
Depth chart at DL: Jonathan Garvin (1), Jonathan Ford, Pat Bethel (1), Scott Patchan
In my defense, Nesta Jade Silvera was injured in fall camp and required surgery on his foot. Many insiders expected him to start prior to the injury, but I’ll hold that L. Scott Patchan stepped up his level of effort and is a welcomed addition to the starting line up as a Redshirt Junior (equates to senior leadership on the line).
So far I’m at 2 points.
Moving along to the linebackers, here is what I projected:
My projected starters at LB: Michael Pinckney , Shaquille Quarterman, Zach McCloud, Romeo Finley (Striker)
Depth chart at LB: Michael Pinckney (1), Shaquille Quarterman (1), Romeo Finley (Striker) (1)
Due to injury to several linebackers (Steed, Jennings, Wilder, Joyner) during the spring/summer/fall timeframe and Avery Huff reporting late for camp, Miami had to get creative with its rotations at the LB position. Playing with this new rotation forced the defensive staff into using the Striker position and moving Zack McCleod from Striker over to the weakside LB to create depth behind Pinckney. I could certainly argue that Zack would have started at SAM linebacker or Striker as he did for the majority of last season, but again, I’ll take that L (#Accountability).
With 3 of the 4 right, I’m now at a cumulative 5 points.
Moving on to the defensive backfield, we were sure Trajan Bandy would return as a starter this season at corner, so that left a few guys in the mix for the remaining corner spot. Here is how I saw it at the time:
My projected starters at CB: Trajan Bandy, DJ Ivey, Al Blades, Jr. (Nickel)
Depth chart at CB: Trajan Bandy (1), DJ Ivey (1), Al Blades, Jr. (1)
I gave up the benefit of the doubt of my last two picks, but I am staking claim to my projection here as the staff listed both Ivey OR Blades as the starter TBD. Depending on the package used on the first series, it is entirely possible to see all three of these DBAs on the field together. For those reasons, I’m claiming what is rightfully mine.
With 100% at this position I am now cumulatively at 8 points.
The final piece of the defensive puzzle lies at the Safety positions. There was much discussion on who should have started here, but to be honest starting has limited importance as all of the Safeties were likely to play a lot of snaps. Unfortunately, after my projections were published we lost a coupe of DB’s to the portal. They would have both contributed, but neither was projected to start by my account.
My projected starters at S: Gurvan Hall, Jr., Amari Carter
Depth chart at S: Gurvan Hall, Jr. (1), Amari Carter (1)
With 100% at this position I am now cumulatively at 10 points for 91%
So with the defense wrapped up I ended with a respectable total of 91% of my projections being correct (even though it was published more than 3 months prior to the depth chart).
On the offensive side of the ball, I gave it a go with my Offensive Starter Projections on June 3rd, more than 2 ½ months prior to kickoff. Here is how I fared on this side of the ball:
My projected starters at OL: LT - Zion Nelson, LG - Cleveland Reed, C - Corey Gaynor, RG - Navaughn Donaldson, RT - DJ Scaife
Depth chart at OL: Zion Nelson (1), Corey Gaynor (1), Navaughn Donaldson (1), DJ Scaife (1), John Campbell, Jr.
As I wrote back in June, Butch Barry needed to field the best 5 lineman regardless of their position. I was adamant about him rotating players across the line to find the best fit for each position. Thankfully, he read my article and did exactly what I told him to do (It isn’t true, but it could be :P).
I’ll take the 4/5 and keep it moving here. Starting off at 80% isn’t bad IMO.
At the running back position Miami had a stable of running backs to choose from. Not completely a lock with the way Cam Harris has been running, and with Lorenzo Lingard returning to the fray, but I went with my gut here:
My projected starter at RB: DeeJay Dallas
Depth chart at RB: DeeJay Dallas (1)
Yay, I was right again!
I’m now 5/6 and sporting a shiny 83%.
My projected starter at FB: Realus George, Jr.
Depth chart: No Fullback listed
This is a push in my opinion as there is no Fullback listed on the depth chart, but trust me Realus is THAT guy for this team.
My projected starters at WR: Z - Jeff Thomas, X - K.J. Osborn, Slot - Mike Harley
Depth chart at WR: Z - Jeff Thomas (1), X - K.J. Osborn (1), F - Mike Harley (1)
Aww yeah, ya boy went 3/3 here and I’m 8/9 overall which boosted my ranking to 89%. I saw this a mile away, but many people had heartburn with the decision as they felt Pope or Hightower should have started over Harley. Relax my friends; they will each get a chance to make their impact known.
My projected starter at TE: Brevin Jordan
Depth chart at TE: Brevin Jordan (1)
My pick here wasn’t as much of a lock as you may have expected with the improvements Will Mallory has shown over the offseason he is a close second and will play. A LOT. Michael Irvin II has also made the most of his return and will see action at some point this season, if not in week 0.
This jumps me up to a blistering 9/10 and a 90% rank. Me likey.
My projected starter at QB: N’Kosi Perry
Depth chart at QB: Jarren Williams
With the much anticipated starting quarterback finally named, I was pleasantly surprised with the choice Manny Diaz and Dan Enos chose for their inaugural season with Miami. However; It dropped my offensive record to 9 for 11 and a ranking of 82%.
Combining the defensive and offensive numbers ([91+82]/200) my overall grade was an 87%. Not too bad for predictions that were 10-12 weeks ahead of the depth chart.
How do you think I did?
How did you fare in your predictions?
Let me know in the comments below.