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2 Days Till Kickoff: It Takes Two to Tango - Manny’s Year Two, Two Important Transfers, and More Number Two Musings

How the Number Two Has and May Continue to Represent Good Things for the Canes 2020


The season is so close you can touch it with a first down stick. We are that much closer to seeing our new offense, our reloaded defense and that shiny new kicker.

As we continue our countdown to Game 1, we are going to take a look at some interesting facts that just so happen to orbit the number Two.

It’s not a list that is going to wax poetic about Canes that have worn that number, which would lead us to Quincy Roche or Donald Chaney this season. They come up in other organic ways. I’ll try not to force the issue and break down numbers JUST to get to 2, that would defeat the purpose right? Lets just see how kind the number has been to the Canes and will be this season.

Miami v Florida State Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images

First up: Season number Two for Manny Diaz as the Miami Hurricanes Head Coach. It’s a big year for the Canes leader, as fans expectations are at an all time high, following a season that reached all time lows. Much has been made about what we wanted to see changed after last season. Nearly all those things have come to pass. Now its up to Diaz to follow through, as excuses are now few and far in between.

For those that don’t know, Coach Rhett Lashlee LOVES to run the ball. In 2013, Lashlee’s Auburn Tigers ranked SECOND in rushing. That same year they had TWO thousand yard rushers (Tre Mason, Nick Marshall). In 2016, his offense had TWO running backs get to 1000 yards over scrimmage (Kerryon Johnson and Kamryn Pettway). So now Lashlee gets to unleash a pair of freshmen running backs in Jaylan Knighton and Don Chaney that should pair very well with starter Cam Harris in Lashlee’s offense.

After the COVID shake up in the college football scheduling landscape, most remaining conferences decided to adopt a conference only schedule. This includes the ACC. Out went the Temple Owls (“Miami’s scared” Temple fans rise), The Michigan State Spartans, who may not have a season AT ALL, and Wagner.

In come two replacements: the Louisville Cardinals and the NC State Wolfpack. The last time Miami saw either team, they doubled up the score on both. Louisville was our most exciting offensive showing last year, in a 52-28 bashing that saw Jarren Williams tie the in game passing Touchdown record with 6. NC State last saw Miami in Raleigh, North Carolina, for a 26-13 win for the Canes. While many see Louisville as a threat to start the season, NC State is a supposed afterthought, always a dangerous mindset for the Canes.

The Canes lost four defensive ends last year that started games. Scott Patchan, Trevon Hill, Jonathan Garvin, and most important, Gregory Rousseau. Two are now competing in the NFL, one transferred to Colorado State, while the fourth opted out in expectations of being a top pick in the upcoming 2021 NFL Draft.

Yet Miami is coming back stacked.

The two new starters? Number TWO Quinchy Roche, he of 19 tackles for loss and current first round grade, and Jaelan Phillips, the SECOND freak of nature to wear the number 15 in TWO years. The two have monsters behind them as well, with Jahfari Harvey, Chantz Williams and others, so 2020 should start much better at the position than 2019.

The aforementioned Roche came aboard the same day as new Quarterback D’Eriq King. Roche is expected to the Canes leader on the defensive line and lead sack master. King is the unquestioned offensive leader and looks to have a record breaking season in Coral Gables. The two play the two most important positions in football, Quarterback and defensive end. Expectations are sky high for the high impact transfers.

Yesterday, we used our third countdown day to recap three key statistics. The Hurricanes defense is already elite in one, ranking 18th in Opponents First Down per game.

The other two?

Turnover Margin and Points Per Play.

The additions of D’Eriq King and Rhett Lashlee with have massive impacts on both. The Canes need to increase PPP from .33 to at .5o and TOM from .2 to .4 to even be considered top 25.

The Miami Hurricanes are now on their SECOND Offensive Coordinator, Rhett Lashlee, in two years. After a season that saw the Canes suffer through a brutal regime under Dan Enos, the hope is a fresh approach will revitalize a sleeping offense.

Fun numbers with Lashlee:

2019 SMU:

  • Only Two games scoring less than 30 (both 28)
  • Two Rushers with over 100 carries
  • Two players with over 1000 yards from Scrimmage
  • Two Years at SMU - only two games under TWENTY points

2020 Should a Fun year with our new coach.

It has been TWO consecutive drafts without the Hurricanes making an appearance in the first round. It hasn’t seen the first round since David Njoku went to the Cleveland Browns in 2017, capping a three year streak seeing Artie Burns go to the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2016 and TWO Canes go in the 2015 first round with Phillip Dorsett to the Indianapolis Colts and Erick Flowers to the New York Giants.

This year it is WIDELY expected that Gregory Rousseau will restart that trend. Many outlets consistently have had TWO Canes going in the first round, either a pairing of Rousseau with Quincy Roche or Rousseau with Brevin Jordan. Regardless of who else goes in the first, it will be refreshing to rep Miami in the first once again.

THIS was surprising to me more than any stat. If D’eriq King can eclipse 30 touchdowns this season, as many are projecting, he would, you guessed it, become only the SECOND quarterback in CANES HISTORY, to account for over 30 scores.

Here we go - the other?

Dorsey? Nope (came close with 28)

Walsh? Nope (Came close with 29)

The only Cane, in the vaunted Miami Hurricanes quarterback history that also features Bernie Kosar, Gino Torretta and Brad Kaaya, is none other than:

Malik Rosier.

Let that burn for a while.

Extra Points

  • Since Andre Johnson in 2002, only two recievers have had thousand yard seasons - Leonard Hankerson (1156, 2010) and Allen Hurns (1175, 2013)
  • Miami Hurricanes football has had only two Heisman winners (Vinny Testaverde 1986, Gino Torretta 1992) - D’eriq King is seen this season as a legitimate contender for college footballs highest indivual award
  • If the Canes can meet expectations and have two skill positions get over 1000 yards from scrimmage, it would only be the second time in the Hurricanes history (Andre Johnson and Willis McGahee in 2002)

We are almost home Canes. Thursday is only two days away. TWO, too many.

Go Canes