2012 record: 7-5 overall, 5-3 ACC Spring practice opened: March 2 Spring game date: April 13
Year in review: Here’s yet another ACC team that posted odd results last season.
Miami got out of the gate at 4-1, lost three straight (Notre Dame, North Carolina, Florida State) and then finished with a flurry, taking three of the final four games. QB Stephen Morris passed for 782 yards and six scores in the last two games and did not throw an interception in the Hurricanes’ final four outings. As the season closed, Morris’s improvement may have been the most promising sign for what lies ahead.
Biggest hole to fill: Cornerback Brandon McGee was a terrific lock-down cover man for the Hurricanes and won’t be easy to replace. McGee registered 54 tackles (18 for yardage loss), one fumble recovery, two interceptions, seven breakups and nine pass deflections.
McGee’s departure leaves Miami without experienced depth, which could be an issue if injuries mount.
Sophomore Tracy Howard, who started once last season and had 17 tackles in 12 games, enters spring as the new starting corner. Freshmen Nate Dortch and Larry Gunter open the spring as backups.
Watch list: To date, senior defensive tackle Curtis Porter has dealt with injuries, precluding him from reaching his full potential. But as the starter going into spring workouts, Porter has a chance to experience a big season.
Porter (24 tackles, 4 1/2 for loss of yardage) has played in just 15 games at Miami, starting three, including the final two games of last season. At 6-foot-1 and 320 pounds, Porter could be one of the ACC’s biggest positive surprises of 2013.