The Miami Hurricanes Football team had a more than forgettable 2022 season. The offense was predictable and wasn’t fun to watch. The defense gave up too many big plays and wasn’t fun to watch. At least the special teams unit shined. The kick coverage was solid. The punt returning was okay. The kick returning was good. The kicking was very good. The punting was great.
Kickoff and punt coverage
Unlike their defense, and offense for that matter, Miami’s special teams didn’t allow one dumb and/or unnecessary touchdown in 2022. Kicker Andres Borregales and the guys allowed only 13 kickoff returns for an average of 18.2 yards per return. Stud punter Lou Hedley and his mates allowed a mere 15 punt returns for an average of 3.8 yards per return. More than solid. At least we won some field position this year. Woo! Just kidding. Kind of.
Kickoff and punt returning
Sophomore Key’Shawn Smith was exciting to watch on kickoff returns, especially towards the start of the season. He has since transferred to SMU as former Miami offensive coordinator and guy I miss dearly, Rhett Lashlee, is gladly accepting players who want out of Coral Gables. Anyway, Smith averaged 30.5 yards per kick return on 21 attempts. He had one kickoff return touchdown on the year, a 91-yard house call in Miami’s terrible loss against Middle Tennessee State.
The Canes’ punt returning in 2022 wasn’t bad by any means, but there weren’t any game-changing plays made either. The best returner of the bunch was wide receiver Jacolby George, with five returns for 71 yards, a 14.2 yards per return average. Yay.
The Andres Borregales show continued in his sophomore season for the Canes. He was really good yet again in 2022, going 17-20 on field goals and making all 32 of his extra point attempts. Borregales also had 37 touchbacks on 51 kickoffs. He was named All-ACC Honorable Mention at season’s end. Borregales won ACC Specialist of the week twice in 2022: week two for his 3-3 field goal and 3-3 extra point game vs Southern Miss and for his week nine 4-4 field goal performance against Virginia. That success aside, I think he could’ve made one of the three all-conference teams if Miami’s offense gave him more scoring opportunities. Canes fans should look forward to two more years of solid kicking with Andres Borregales. Let’s hope he is put in position to make some important field goals and extra points in 2023 and 2024!
Congratulations to Champagant Catholic High School’s Andres Borregales on being named the @ACCFootball Specialist of the Week after going 4 for 4 on field goal attempts in the ‘Canes win at Virginia! pic.twitter.com/sjDcGqiGAz— GO ‘CANES! (@83_87_89_91_01) October 31, 2022
Sixth-year senior Lou Hedley was awesome again for Miami this season. The 2022 First-Team All-ACC Aussie punter hit 46 balls for an average of 45.3 yards per punt. His long was a 61-yard boot against Clemson. Big Lou landed 50% of his punts inside the opponents’ 20-yard line. His best single-game performance was in the 14-12 overtime thriller against Virginia. Lou punted eight times, landing five inside the Cavalier’s 20-yard line. Anytime your punter is one of the best players and brightest spots on your team, you know you’re in a great place and success is right around the corner. (Sigh). This is about Lou though, and Hedley will definitely make an NFL roster next season. He has the leg, athleticism, and number of tattoos to succeed at the next level. Thank you Lou!