Building A Dynasty: The 2019 Miami Hurricanes

RECAPPING 2018

  • The Miami Hurricanes finished the 2018 season with a 14-0 record.
  • Miami beat Clemson in the ACC championship game.
  • Charles Cohen from the University of Miami won his second Heisman Trophy.
  • Miami defeated South Carolina 27-24 in the BCS title game.
Glendale, AZ – Jay Wheatley and the Miami Hurricanes celebrate their second consecutive National Championship. January 2019.

Follow the links to catch up on previous seasons:

  • 2013 (7-6, Music City Bowl)
  • 2014 (10-3, Russel Athletic Bowl)
  • 2015 (13-1, ACC Title, Orange Bowl)
  • 2016 (12-2, Chick-fil-A Bowl)
  • 2017 (12-1, BCS Title)
  • 2018 (14-0, ACC Title, BCS Title)

RECENT HISTORY

The Miami Hurricanes have won ten or more games five years in a row. Last season was our best year so far – an undefeated season capped off with our second consecutive BCS National Championship.

RING OF HONOR

Mike Collins

Mike Collins arrived on campus from the state of Nebraska with much fanfare. The #1 ranked recruit in the Class of 2015 initially had no interest in becoming a Hurricane. Throughout the recruiting process he developed a relationship with the coaches at Miami. The 5-star athlete came in with an impressive skillset but no clear position – he was convinced to come to Miami when he was given the opportunity to play QB.

Off the field issues led to an opening at QB1 in the fall of 2015, Collins won the battle for that job as a true freshman and never looked back. Mike Collins led the Miami Hurricanes to a 45-3 record as a starter over his four year career – including BCS Championship wins in 2017 and 2018.

Collins finished his career with his name at the top of the Miami record books. His 3,931 yards and 34 TD were the most in a single season at the U. He also holds the career records for passing yards (11,217) and TD (96).

Chris Ford

Chris Ford came in from the state of Georgia as the #16 ranked player in the class of 2015. The 5-star athlete became a center for the Canes, beating out a senior for the starting job as a true freshman. Ford went on to start 55 straight games at Center for the Miami Hurricanes. He finished his career as a 2x First Team All-ACC player – and a First Team All-American following his senior year. Ford left Miami with two National Championships – along with the Outland Award and Rimington Trophy.

CUT PLAYERS

Heading into this season our roster was at 76 players – forcing us to cut six from our squad.

No huge talent loss in this crop of roster cuts – we mostly let go of walk ons and roster fillers.

PRE SEASON

Conference Prestige

FBS conferences are ranked based on the preseason rankings of all schools in each given conference. The average ranking for teams in each conference can be found in parenthesis.

  • #1 SEC (12.5)
  • #2 PAC 12 (14.7)
  • #3 ACC (21.2)
  • #4 BIG 10 (21.5)
  • #5 Big 12 (36.0)
  • #6 American (54.7)
  • #7 MWC (55.8)
  • #8 MAC (63.0)
  • #9 C-USA (65.8)
  • #10 Sun Belt (86.8)

Preseason Polls

  • #1 Miami (40)
  • #2 Georgia (21)
  • #3 Ohio State
  • #4 Notre Dame
  • #5 South Carolina
  • #6 Oregon
  • #7 Alabama
  • #8 Texas
  • #9 Clemson
  • #10 Penn State

Preseason All-Americans

Charles Cohen – two time Heisman trophy winner – leads the canes on the pre-season All-American list. He is joined by LE Jonas Robinson, CB Brandon Payne, FS Greg Rosario, SS Nick Givens, and RET Gavin Wise. We also have a few players on the second team – LT John Williams, RG Scott Washington, and ROLB Anotinio Mitchell. We have 11 players making an appearance on the preseason All-ACC team, including LOLB Jamal Reid and K Vince Davis.

Heisman Watch List

Charles Cohen is the favorite to win the Heisman – he is hoping to win third of his career – which would match Johnny Manziel for the all time record. Cohen has rushed for 1,500 yards three years in a row. Omar Grant, a senior from West Point, ran for 1,755 yards and 18 TDS in 2018. Alex Jacques threw for 2987 yards and 31 TD in 2018 for the Crimson Tide. Fred Douglas, a junior from Mississippi State threw for 2500+ yards and ran for 1000+ yards last year. Under center for the Nittany lions is junior Adam Thompson, who threw for 3,132 yards and 30 TDS last year.

Schedule

The Hurricanes will once again use their non-conference games to go barnstorming. Here are the marquee matchups the fans in Coral Gables can look forward to in 2019:

THE COWBOYS KICKOFF CLASSIC – AT&T STADIUM
#1 Miami vs #7 Alabama

Cotton Bowl cLassic
#1 Miami vs #8 Texas

Salute to Service at Soldier Field
#1 Miami vs #4 Notre Dame

DUvAAL
#1 Miami vs #2 Georgia

The rest of the 2019 schedule can be seen below:

The Miami Hurricanes have once again pieced together the toughest non-conference schedule in the nation. If the Canes can navigate through this schedule unscathed they will be able to claim the start of a true dynasty.

Depth Chart

OFFENSE – 99 OVR

BOLD = Captain

Jay Wheatley replaces former four-year starter Mike Collins at QB. The redshirt junior has been waiting for three years for his shot to lead the Canes on offense. Charles Cohen – the two time Heisman Trophy winner, leads the Canes in the backfield. Alfred Brown and Walter Mathis will be waiting in the wings should anything happen to Cohen. Tommy Hawthorne, Justin Fontaine and Gavin Wise provide Wheatley with a trio of talented seniors at the WR position. John Williams and Scott Washington are the only returning starters on the offensive line – they will be joined by Vince Russell, Bruce Gibson, and David Jones.

DEFENSE – 99 OVR

BOLD = Captain

Jonas Robinson won multiple awards in 2018 – and he is back to lead a strong Hurricane defense in 2019. He is joined by Edgar Wright and Fred Tucker to form a formidable defensive line. Freddie Howard finally gets his shot to start at MLB after transferring from Oklahoma. He is flanked by seniors Jamal Reid and Antonio Mitchell. Our secondary will be one of the best in the nation – led by Nick Givens, winner of the Thorpe award in 2018.

SPECIAL TEAMS

Vince Davis is back for his fourth year as our kicker, and his second year taking on both kicking a punting duties. Gavin Wise is hoping to win his second consecutive returner of the year award in 2019.

REDSHIRT PLAYERS

The 2019 recruiting class was ranked 5th in the country – and all players joining the Canes will once again be redshirting this season. David Holly did not take a redshirt season in 2018 – for some reason – so he will take a redshirt year in 2019.

RESULTS

Week 1 – #1 Miami vs #7 Alabama
Cowboys Kickoff Classic
W 42-17
This was a relatively close game until Jonas Robinson forced a fumble with 3:02 left in the 4th quarter. Edgar Wright scooped it up and scored to put the Canes up 35-17. Charles Cohen started off his Heisman campaign with 128 rushing yards and 3 TD in this one.

Week 2 – #1 Miami @ #5 Texas
The Cotton Bowl
W 30-2
4
The Canes offense stalled throughout the first half – and the Longhorns jumped out to a 17-7 lead. Texas continued to lead – starting the 4th quarter up 24-14.

After a long drive, Jay Wheatley scrambled in with 3:14 left to bring the score to within just three points. After a clutch defensive stop the Canes got the ball at their own 20 with 2:09 left. Gavin Wise was the go-to target on this drive, running numerous slants. This set up a seam route to former-QB Nick Weber – who was able to score with just 19 seconds left. The Longhorns had a chance as time ran out – but Nick Givens knocked down the pass in the endzone to seal the 28-24 win.

Week 3 – BYE

Week 4 – #1 Miami vs NC State
W 59-34

This was an offensive showcase for the Miami Hurricanes. Jay Wheatley threw for 358 yards and 4 TD, Charles Cohen ran for 164 yards and 3 TD, and Gavin Wise had 106 yards and a score from the slot.

Week 5 – #2 Miami @ Duke
W 52-28
This was another butt-whooping from the Miami offense. Wheatley threw for 387 yards and 4 TD, while Cohen ran for 140 yards 3 TD. Larry Jones looks to be the next in a long line of great Miami TE’s – he had 150 yards and TD on the day.

Week 6 – #1 Miami vs #18 Georgia Tech
W 28-24

Georgia Tech is always a scary opponent for Miami, and this proved to be a close one. The difference in this game was a play right before halftime. Jay Wheatley found Justin Fontaine on a 60 yard bomb to put the canes up 21-14.

Week 7 – #1 Miami vs Notre Dame
L 27-17
This was a messy game – Miami came into this one underestimating the Fighting Irish – and it proved to be a huge mistake. The Irish were ranked #4 to start the year, and came into this game unranked following a 3-3 start to their season.

The first half was quite sloppy, Notre Dame took a 10-3 lead into the locker room. The second half is where things changed. Notre Dame came out running the Zone Read to perfection. Kevin Davidson led the Irish down the field multiple times. He finished the day with 139 passing yards and 152 rushing yards with 3 total TD.

Jay Wheatley had his worst game yet for the Hurricanes – turning the ball over four times in this game.

Week 8 – #9 Miami vs North Carolina
W 21-20

On the very first drive of the game – Jay Wheatley threw an interception. His play as of late had been uncharacteristic – he found his way to the bench. Derek Smith came in to replace him for a couple of quarters.

This was a sloppy game all around – the Canes turned the ball over six times due to sloppy O-Line play. North Carolina was up 20-14 with 50 seconds left. They went to attempt a field goal to seal their victory. Fred Tucker stretched his arm out for a block – giving Miami a chance. Wheatley helped lead the Canes down the field, and with 7 seconds left he found Gavin Wise in the endzone.

Week 9 – #11 Miami vs #24 Georgia
L 24-21
The first set of BCS rankings came out this week:

  • #1 Ohio State (6-0)
  • #2 Army (7-0)
  • #3 Navy (7-0)
  • #4 Oregon (6-1)
  • #5 Texas (5-1)
  • #6 South Carolina (5-1)
  • #7 Texas A&M (7-0)
  • #8 Virginia Tech (6-0)
  • #9 Clemson (5-1)
  • #10 Stanford (5-1)

This is the first time in years that the Hurricanes have found themselves outside of the initial BCS top 10 – unfortunately they did not do themselves any favors against the Georgia Bulldogs.

Georgia took at early 24-6 lead and it was too much for Miami to overcome. This was a tough loss – and all but sealed our fate that we would not be able to defend our National Championship.

Week 10 – #15 Miami @ Florida State
W 31-24
This was a close game throughout – and it was another one that came down to the final moments. With the score tied at 24 – Charles Cohen was able to punch it in with 10 seconds remaining to put the canes ahead for good.

Week 11 – BYE

Week 12 – #9 Miami @ #15 Virginia Tech
W 59-21
The Canes have clawed their way to #8 in the latest BCS ranking. The U will need some help to make it back into the national championship picture.

This was a statement game for Miami against one of their rivals, and the offense finally started to click again. Jay Wheatley finally looked like himself again, throwing for 300+ yards and 4 TD. Charles Cohen ran the ball 18 times for 146 yards and 4 TD.

Week 13 – #9 Miami vs Virginia
W 42-10

After his 4 TD performance last week, Cohen has creeped his way back onto the Heisman watch list.

Miami remains #8 on the BCS poll – here is the latest:

  • #1 Ohio State (10-0)
  • #2 Texas (8-1)
  • #3 Oregon State (9-1)
  • #4 Washington (8-2)
  • #5 Navy (9-1)
  • #6 Notre Dame (8-3)
  • #7 Army (8-1)
  • #8 Miami (8-2)

The Canes will need to get some help if they hope to play for another title. As it stands – we are projected to play Army in the Orange Bowl.

Jay Wheatley had a career day against Virginia. He threw for 488 yards and set the school record for passing school record for passing TD with 7. Wheatley connected with Gavin Wise for 143 yards and 2 TD.

The Canes defense was also dominant. Due to injuries – Virginia started FB Thad Fitch at RT. Jonas Robinson took advantage of that – the LE had 4 sacks on the day.

Week 14 – #7 Miami vs #21 Pitt
W 37-34 OT
We still need lots of help to find our way into the BCS championship. Miami continues to creep up in the rankings, and is not #7 thanks to an Ohio State loss last week.

One week we blow a team out, the next week we battle until the end. Consistency continues to be an issue for Miami in 2019. One of the bright spots in this one was the play of Jonas Robinson. The defensive end set the single season school record for sacks. It took two overtimes in this one, but Miami came away with another victory.

Week 15 – BYE
We have moved up ever so slightly again in the BCS rankings.

  • #1 – Texas (10-1)
  • #2 – Navy (10-1)
  • #3 Notre Dame (9-3)
  • #4 Army (10-1)
  • #5 Miami (10-2)

Despite being ranked #5 in the latest BCS poll, it is just about impossible for the Miami Hurricanes to find their way into the National Championship this year. Charles Cohen is once again the favorite to win the Heisman – a strong performance in the ACC championship should guarantee his third Heisman trophy.

Conference Championship Week
The BCS standings prior to conference championship games are below – teams are listed next to their conference championship opponent.

  • #1 Army (11-1)
  • #2 Texas (11-1)
  • #3 Notre Dame (9-3)
  • #4 Miami (10-2)

With the way things are set up – we are the only team to play for a conference championship. There was no Big 12 Championship when this thing was created in 2013. I do not see a path for the Hurricanes to make it to the National Championship. Our early win over now #2 Texas was all but erased with our losses to #3 Notre Dame and Georgia. We are looking at an Army vs Texas National Championship.


ACC Championship
#4 Miami vs #21 Boston College
W 56-14


The Canes got off to a hot start in the ACC Championship. The offense scored a quick TD at the hands of Charles Cohen. That was followed by a pick 6 from Clint Taylor – giving Miami a quick 14-0 lead. By the time halftime came around the score was 42-7. Charles Cohen finished his day with 5 rushing TD.

BCS Bowls
At the end of the regular season – the BCS rankings are:

  • #1 Army
  • #2 Texas
  • #3 Notre Dame
  • #4 Miami
  • #5 Texas A&M
  • #6 Navy
  • #7 Oregon State
  • #8 Virginia Tech
  • #9 Ohio State
  • #10 South Carolina
  • Rose Bowl – #9 Ohio State vs #12 Washington
  • Fiesta Bowl – #3 Notre Dame vs #5 Texas A&M
  • Sugar Bowl – #10 South Carolina vs Louisville
  • Orange Bowl – #4 Miami vs #6 Navy
  • BCS National Championship – #1 Army vs #2 Texas

Bowl Season
The Orange Bowl
#4 Miami (11-2) vs #6 Navy (10-2)

W 49-30

The Canes opened the Orange Bowl up by scoring on a pass from Jay Wheatley to Gavin Wise – his school record 13th receiving TD. At halftime the Hurricanes had a 21-14 lead.

In the end, Navy was unable to stop the rushing attack from Miami. Charles Cohen was the player of the game. He finished his day with 227 yards and a TD. Alfred Brown also showed some flashes of brilliance out of the backfield – he ran for 77 yards and 2 TD on just three attempts.

CONFERENCE CHAMPIONS

ACC – Miami
American – Louisville
Big 12 – Texas
Big Ten – Ohio State
Conference USA – Tulsa
MAC – Miami (OH)
Mountain West – Air Force
PAC 12 – Washington
SEC – South Carolina
Sun Belt – South Alabama

HEISMAN

Garrett Browning from Ohio State University ran away with the Heisman Trophy in 2019. His passing was not the most impressive – but he swayed the voters with nearly 1,000 rushing yards and 11 rushing TD. Browning collected 2,196 total points on the 2019 ballot – including 640 first place votes. He surpassed the second place finisher by 1,325 points.

NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP

#1Point Total#2Point TotalScoreChampion
Army (11-1)1.000Texas (11-2)0.99534-30Army

END OF SEASON RANKINGS

TeamRecordCoachesMedia
Army12-1#1#1
Miami12-2#2#3
Texas A&M11-2#3#2
Texas11-2#4#4
Oregon State11-2#5#5
Virginia Tech11-2#6#8
Washington11-3#7#6
Georgia Tech10-3#8#9
South Carolina11-3#9#7
Navy10-3#10#10

MIAMI STATISTICS

Jay Wheatley set the school record of 3,998 yards – passing Mike Collins 2016 mark of 3,931. He also set the TD record for Miami of 38 TD – surpassing the 34 TD by Collins in 2016.

Charles Cohen cemented himself in the NCAA record books this season. He set the all time career rushing yards mark set by Ron Dayne of Wisconsin (’99). Cohen also broke Montee Ball’s (Wisconsin – ’12) record for career rushing TD – setting the new mark at 96.

Gavin Wise broke Robert Swain’s (2016) school record for receptions – setting the new mark at 74. Wise was also able to set another single season record at Miami by scoring his 14th receiving TD – Leonard Hankerson (’10) had the previous record of 13 TD.

Jonas Robinson set a new single season record for sacks – set all the way back in 1986 by Danny Stubbs. Robinson was also able to surpass the career sacks record at Miami – also set by Stubbs. Antonio Mitchell led the country in tackles in 2019.

Vince Davis finished off a solid career at The U with a decent senior season – his 59 yard field goal was the longest of the year.

Gavin Wise took home the Returner of the Year Award – again!

ACCOLADES

Bronco Nagurski Award – Jonas Robinson
Rotary Lombardi Award – Jonas Robinson
Returner of the Year – Gavin Wise

1st Team All-American – Charles Cohen (HB), John Williams (LT), Scott Washington (RG), Jonas Robinson (LE), Edgar Wright (RE), Fred Tucker (DT), Freddie Howard (MLB), Greg Rosario (FS), Gavin Wise (RET)

2nd Team All-American – Marcus Wilson (LG)

Freshman All-American – David Jones (LT), Bruce Gibson (C), Joe Scott (CB)

1st Team All-ACC – Jay Wheatley (QB), Charles Cohen (HB), Gavin Wise (WR), Larry Jones (TE), John Williams (LT), Scott Washington (RG), Dan Williams (RT), Jonas Robinson (LE), Edgar Wright (RE), Fred Tucker (DT), Reggie Johnson (DT), Freddie Howard (MLB), Antonio Mitchell (ROLB), Brandon Payne (CB), Greg Rosario (FS), Nick Givens (SS)

2nd Team All-ACC – David Jones (LT), Mike Robinson (CB)

RECRUITING

The Hurricanes have their 6th straight top 10 recruiting class, although this is their worst recruiting class since 2014.

The coaches did pretty well with the top of this recruiting class – bringing in three of the top ten national prospects. Marcus Carrington was a huge get for the Canes – they battled other in-state powerhouses for the defensive end. Garret Murphy out of Missouri is a fantastic athlete across the board, the questions is – where will they play him in Coral Gables?

The Miami coaching staff was able to bring in nine student athletes from Florida. The rest of their recruiting plan was relatively spread out – it would be nice to see them focus on a specific region in with the 2021 class.

TRANSFERS

There were no transfers in or out following the 2019 season.

NFL DRAFT

PlayerPositionOverallYearRound
Charles CohenHB99SR (RS)1st
Mike RobinsonCB96SR (RS)1st
Tommy HawthorneWR94SR (RS)1st
Antonio MitchellROLB94SR (RS)2nd
Scott WashingtonRG94SR (RS)2nd
Jamal ReidLOLB93SR (RS)2nd
Justin FontaineWR93SR (RS)2nd
Gavin WiseWR92SR (RS)3rd
Vince DavisK98SR (RS)4th
Jarrett EatonDT88SR (RS)7th
Nick WadeDT88SR (RS)7th

Eleven Miami Hurricanes were taken in the 2020 NFL draft.

COACHING CHANGES

Only one coordinators from Miami was on the move this offseason – breaking the usual trend of both coaches finding head coaching roles. Jimbo Fisher accepted the HC position at Bowling Green. Mark Dantonio will return for another season as our DC. Les Koenning from Mississippi State will take over the OC duties.

NEXT YEAR

Although we were able to win 10 games for our sixth year in a row – we were unable to grab that third straight national championship. Finishing #2 is not good enough at Miami – their sights are set on a National Championship in 2020.

– Buzz

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