August 24 is here, and will be the most important game of the season for the Miami Hurricanes. This game will determine our potential with the recruiting class of 2019, and will be a huge leverage in landing top recruits like Justin Flowe, Darnell Washington, Issiah Walker, and plenty others. This game has a lot on the line which is something every fan and person apart of these programs are aware of.
Miami knows who their top playmakers are on both sides of the ball and will rely on the veterans to step up throughout the game. Coach Manny Diaz and the rest of the staff expect big things from Jeff Thomas, DeeJay Dallas, Shaquille Quarterman, Michael Pinckney, Trajan Bandy, K.J. Osborn, and Navaughn Donaldson. However, that is not enough to beat the Florida Gators.
It is clear Miami is desperate for a big time game from Jarren Williams, Zion Nelson, and John Campbell on the offensive side of the ball. There will be times when our best players will not be in positions to make plays, which would have our backups come in and must change the pace of the game.
Some of those players will need to be:
Brian Hightower - The unquestioned talented WR who could be the next great at Miami. When Jeff Thomas or KJ Osborn aren’t on the field, Hightower will be someone who needs to step in and make plays. He has created chemistry with Jarren Williams during their time of being lower on the depth chart, and could be forgotten throughout the game due to players like Mike Harley Jr. and Mark Pope being bigger names. Although those two receivers are more than capable to have an impact, I believe Hightower has an ability to make a play on the ball against these aggressive Florida DB’s. We saw part of that against LSU on his touchdown catch late in the game. I expect Brian Hightower to come in the game and be another reason as to why Jarren Williams showcases a pretty solid performance against the Florida Gators.
Cam’Ron Harris - The sophomore running back, who has shown serious potential throughout his limited time should have Miami fans excited. Come gameday, I wouldn't be surprised if Harris got around 12 carries if we allow our backs to reach the second level against Florida. If we are able to get DeeJay and Cam’Ron going early on, I expect the Canes to win this game. If the Canes get this run game rolling, this will allow our offense to be more comfortable, and will have a huge impact on the game.
DJ Ivey and Al Blades - Despite who wins the corner spot opposite of Trajan Bandy, both Ivey and Blades will be thrown in the fire and must be able to perform. Both will be placed on the boundaries in nickel formation, so they will be tested against the big body Florida WR’s. If both limit big plays, missed tackles, and are able to make stops on a Felipe Franks ball, we will be put in a situation to win this game.
Romeo Finley - The starting striker had an impressive season last year in the new role that proved to have a huge impact on the defense. Against the Gators, I wouldn't be surprised if he gets an interception and takes it to the house. He is a going to be in positions to make big time plays that can end drives and help get our defense get off the field.
Realous George - The fullback will be put in to do all of the dirty work. George is listed at 6-2 255 pounds, which should have our running backs feeling pretty excited when they are in i-formation, and other personal with the fullback. He will be able to clear the edge and take out the first defender in the path of the running back, which will be beneficial against Florida’s DL. It is exciting to see how Coach Dan Enos will implement George in this offense and the impact he has on the run game.
Why I think Miami will win
Other than my pure faith in Miami winning every week, this game has our reasons as to why we shouldn't be counted out. This game is going to be personal to so many players on this team, and the talent is very similar throughout the depth chart in my opinion. Heading into this matchup, the Gators have little knowledge on how our offense will be, which will help us against this talented Gators defense. If we are able to make big plays on short yardage throws, the pressure on Jarren Williams will be limited, which can open our run game even more. We have the athletes to keep up with almost every team in the country, and I truly do believe in our coaching staffs game plan come week 0!