Miami Football: Mark Richt pedigree makes ‘Canes an ACC contender

Miami football head coach Mark Richt will make Miami into a solid program. Although he was fired from Georgia, he led the Bulldogs to 145-51 record in his 15-year tenure. Expect Miami to be back in the nation’s best soon.

Mark Richt is a premier college football coach at a once premier football program in the University of Miami. Miami football has struggled since the early-2000s and is looking for an answer. Now that they have their character problem under control it’s now time to get their on-field product straightened out.

If there’s anyone that can do the job it’s Mark Richt. He led the Bulldogs to eight ten-plus win seasons including three sugar bowl appearances. Miami’s biggest absence in the program was the ability to beat the ACC blue bloods. They had top recruiting classes, but they never developed into Florida State or Clemson.

Richt’s biggest contribution to the U is a winning pedigree and an efficient offense. His offense should be a well-oiled, veteran machine. He’s been handed the keys to a future first round quarterback in junior Brad Kaaya.

Kaaya is a two-year starter and has passed for over 3,000 yards in back-to-back seasons. Miami football used the pro style offense during Kaaya’s first few years and it is Richt’s offense from Georgia.

At Georgia, Richt coached every quarterback except one to an NFL job in his 15 years. His offenses were balanced and didn’t force the quarterback to make 35 or 40 throws a game. And that works for Miami because they carry a lot of depth at running back.

Starting running back and leading rusher Joseph Yearby leads the Miami football backfield. Yearby rushed for over 1,000 yards and nine touchdowns. He added 273 yards and two touchdowns through the air as well.

Sophomore Mark Walton had an impressive freshman year rushing for 461 yards and nine touchdowns. However, Walton isn’t going to be seeing the field for the first few weeks because of his DUI arrest.

But, junior Trayone Gray returns as well recording three career touchdowns and 5.8 yards per carry. Kaaya will also have one his top targets back in Stacy Coley who was second on Miami football in receptions (47) and receiving yards (689).

Richt will have to improve Miami’s defense as well. They allowed 28.2 points per game last season and lost top corner Artie Burns and safety Deon Bush. But, they return six of their top seven leading tacklers and are an experienced defense.

The ‘Canes aren’t too far off from success. They have the pieces in place they just need more consistency. Richt has the ability to make them a consistent winner.