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3 Main Objectives For The 2021 Miami Hurricanes

Go big or go home year for Manny Diaz and the Canes

NCAA Football: Cheez-It Bowl-Oklahoma State vs Miami Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

2021 is an extremely important season for Manny Diaz and his Miami Hurricanes. Coming off an 8-3 year, UM returns most of their players and starters from 2020, which adds even more pressure to perform even better than last season. Now entering his 3rd year as Miami’s head coach, Diaz knows that regressing at all won’t be tolerated.

So what are the 3 things that Miami and Diaz must accomplish in 2021?

  1. Beat FSU

Every season I say the same thing, just like Mike Rumph once said, “Coming in as a Hurricane, you know your number one objective is to beat the Florida State Seminoles.” To me, beating FSU will always be the number one goal of each and every season. They’re our biggest rival, and that’ll never change.

Heading into 2021, Miami is going for their 5th straight win over their rivals from Tallahassee, which would be their longest winning streak over the Seminoles since they captured 6 in a row from 2000-2004.

Even after a rough 2020 campaign, second year head coach Mike Norvell seems to be steering the program in the right direction. They brought in several talented players from the transfer portal, including QB McKenzie Milton. Norvell is also putting together a very good 2022 recruiting class.

A good season and a win against Miami in 2021, could potentially swing the momentum up towards Tallahassee. Manny Diaz and his team cannot let that happen, and when they go up north in November, they better be coming out of there with another win, reminding the Noles who owns this rivalry.

2. Beat UNC

FSU will always be the number one rival for Miami, but as of late, the team that has been the biggest thorn in their sides, is the Tar Heels of North Carolina. In the two years that Manny Diaz has been head coach at UM, he's gone 0-2 against UNC, and his former mentor Mack Brown. 2020 was one of the worst defeats in program history, as the Tar Heels embarrassed Miami at Hard Rock Stadium, 62-24, registering nearly 800 yards of total offense, and 554 yards on the ground.

This year, the game will be in Chapel Hill, a place that Miami always struggles in. North Carolina has lost some of their players from 2020, but they do return QB Sam Howell, one of the top quarterbacks in college football. If the Hurricanes want to become Coastal champions, this is the team they’ll have to beat.

3. Win The Coastal

And finally, win the Coastal Division. Since Miami joined the ACC in 2004, they’ve only won the Coastal just once, appearing in just one ACC Championship, which sounds more depressing every time you’re reminded of that sad fact. In 2021, the Canes have no excuses. Manny Diaz has no excuses. He’s returning more production from the year prior than nearly any team in college football. D’Eriq King is back, the entire offensive line is back, and your schedule is EXTREMELY tolerable.

Yes, Alabama is probably a loss. At UNC, Miami will most likely be underdogs. But besides those two games, who’s the other opponent that UM should struggle with? Va Tech is at home, NC State is at home, NO EXCUSES. If coach Diaz can’t win at least 9 games with this schedule and this roster, we may have to ask ourselves some difficult questions after the season.

And if you can’t win the Coastal, you better win the bowl game.