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Self Scouting the Opponent: Clemson vs. Miami

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COLLEGE FOOTBALL: DEC 02 ACC Championship Game Photo by Brian Utesch/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

One of the new things the ACC SB Nation blogs are doing this year is a sort of self-scouting series. Each site was asked to provide a season preview-esque update on their team, the idea being that opposing teams could use it as an information dump. Next up is one of Clemson’s biggest tests this year, Miami. A big thanks to Cam Underwood for answering this.

Key Departures:

DeeJay Dallas RB | Shaquille Quarterman LB | Michael Pinckney LB | Gregory Rousseau DE — OPT OUT | Jarren Williams QB — TRANSFER

Key Returnees:

Cam’Ron Harris RB | Brevin Jordan TE | DJ Scaife OL | Zach McCloud LB

Al Blades Jr CB | Bubba Bolden S | Amari Carter S |Gurvan Hall S

Key Additions:

D’Eriq King QB |Quincy Roche DE | Jaelan Phillips DE (After RS/transfer year)

Jaylan Knighton RB | Donald Chaney Jr RB

Brief overview of 2020 team:

This season, Miami looks to bounce back after yet-another disappointing season in 2019. To that end, Head Coach Manny Diaz brought in veteran OC Rhett Lashlee to install a spread offense for the Canes. And the best transfer QB in the country is on the roster now: former Houston standout D’Eriq King. The updated scheme and improved QB play should have Miami’s offense operating at a level that hasn’t been seen in quite a while.

On Defense, Miami will look to continue their run of top 15 defenses since Diaz has been in Coral Gables, and that raises the floor for the season, and puts the ceiling very high…..if the offense can finally look even halfway decent. Miami’s defense is known for TFLs, disruption, and takeaways, the last of which lead to the iconic Turnover Chain making an appearance. Expect that to continue again in 2020.

Key players to know on offense:

QB D’Eriq King. He’s one of the 5 best QBs in the country, playing in an offense that perfectly suits his dynamic skill set, and brings experience and dynamism as a runner that Miami hasn’t ever had at the position. He’s *REALLY GOOD* and as he goes, Miami will go.

TE Brevin Jordan. He’s the best TE in America, and a mismatch for LBs (too fast) and DBs (too big). Jordan will remind everyone of that fact now that he’s fully healthy this season.

RB Cam’Ron Harris. A tough and versatile RB, Harris steps into the starting role with DeeJay Dallas now in the NFL. Harris scored TDs rushing and receiving in Miami’s scrimmages this fall, and he looks primed for a big season now that he’s RB1.

Key players to know on defense + special teams:

DEs Quincy Roche and Jaelan Phillips. The reigning AAC Defensive Player of the Year the former #1 OVERALL recruit in America, Roche and Phillips bring plenty of talent and production to the field for Miami. They’ll be tasked with replacing presumed top-10 pick Gregory Rousseau, but they have the ability and pedigree to do so.

Ss Bubba Bolden, Amari Carter, and Gurvan Hall Jr. All 3 of Miami’s top-line Safeties have the talent to start, and will all play heavy snaps this season. All 3 are surefire future NFL players, and there’s more blue chip talent behind them, as well. Some think Miami’s Defensive Ends are the best position on the roster; I think the Safeties are the right answer.

K Jose Borregales. Simply put, Miami’s kicking struggles cost the Canes multiple games in 2019. So adding a Groza Award semi-finalist from FIU is a major upgrade to a very bad position on the roster.

What is your team’s biggest strength?

Overall, the defense. It’s been championship-caliber since Manny Diaz came here as DC in 2016, and it continues to be among the most elite units in all of College Football.

Also, D’Eriq King. A singular talent, the presence of King on Miami’s roster is a major strength when compared to most teams in the country.

What is your team’s biggest weakness?

The Offensive Line. It was a porous mess in 2019, and they’ll have to be better in 2020 if Miami is to take the strides forward that they hope to take.

Who is your team MVP?

QB D’Eriq King. He’s a top 4-5 QB in the country, and that makes him the MVP of the team. He’s the leader of this team, and as King goes, Miami goes. There isn’t another possible answer to this question.