Just a few days after finding out that the Florida Gators had dropped two of the three games of their future football series, USF has rebounded with another state school agreeing to play them later in the 2020s.
The Miami Herald’s Barry Jackson was the first to report that USF and the Hurricanes will be playing beginning in 2025 at Hard Rock Stadium in South Florida. USF will get the second of the three-game series at home in 2027 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa and then, Miami follows the next year with the final game of the series against the Bulls back back in Miami Gardens.
Per source, UM has agreed to non-conference football series with USF. Teams will play in Miami in 2025 and 2028 and in Tampa in 2027. Announcement expected today.
— Barry Jackson (@flasportsbuzz) May 14, 2019
If you are wondering, USF and Miami have had a series in the past and that included the Bulls, under then- Coach Skip Holtz upsetting Miami in South Florida in the 2010 season and basically, paving the way for the firing of coach Randy Shannon. The Canes subsequently blasted USF in the return game at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa under new coach Al Golden two years later.
Clearly for USF coach Charlie Strong, the scheduling announcement is a bit of damage control after Florida elected to drop two of their three games that will be before this Miami series ever is slated to take place. Most damaging is the loss of the game that would have been the first time the Gators ever played the Bulls in Tampa.
However, you cannot read too much into what coach will be where, even three years from now, much less, almost a decade from now, when this USF-Miami series will start.
Miami coach Mark Richt abruptly “retired” or resigned, or however you view it, last December, and Strong is on shaky ground after his Bulls lost their final six games a year ago, including their bowl game.
Part of the motivation for Miami in scheduling the Bulls is that the ACC and its Commissioner, John Swofford have made it clear to its schools that they want to begin to eliminate FCS teams off of conference schools schedules. Here he was talking about the importance of strength of schedule two years ago:
And for new coach Manny Diaz and the Cannes program, they do get the first game of the series and two of the three against USF at home in this deal.
Will Canes turn things around in home opener?
The excitement behind first year Miami Hurricanes head coach Manny Diaz is quickly losing steam as the once ACC powerhouse has now found themselves as an unranked, middle of the pack team in their conference with an 0-2 record. Granted, they have had some bigger tests than most teams in the first two weeks of play, but still, there is too much talent on this team to have had such a lackluster start.
So, today has to be the day for Diaz to see some success as he heads into his first home game as the Canes head coach. Even if it’s against an FCS team, it will give the Canes the boost they need to turn the season around. They have a lot of young talent who can certainly bring Miami back to its state of prominence and there is still a lot to be hopeful for as they head into their first kickoff in Hard Rock Stadium this season.
History is certainly on Miami’s side. In their all time series with Bethune-Cookman University, Miami has a perfect 4-0 mark against the Wildcats, winning all four games by 3o points or more. Also, Miami has not lost a home opener since 2006, and have emerged victorious in its last 12 home openers, most recently, a shoutout 77-0 victory vs. Savannah State last season.
Amidst the two early losses, RS Freshman QB Jarren Williams has looked strong. In his first ever collegiate start against Top 10 ranked Florida, Williams finished 19-for-30 for 214 yards and 1 TD. He looked even better in week two against ACC opponent North Carolina, throwing for 309 yards on 30-for-39 passing with two touchdowns and no picks. He’ll likely put up even bigger numbers today against a significantly weaker defense. He’s now the ranked fourth among ACC Quarterbacks.
Williams also has strong targets in RB DeeJay Dallas who rushed for 107 yards on 14 carries, averaging 7.6 yards per rush vs. UNC, as well as TE Brevin Jordan who leads the team with 161 receiving yards (80.5 per game).
On the defensive end, Miami has one the best linebacker trios in college football right now with Zach McCloud, Michael Pinckney & Shaq Quarterman. These three have started nearly every game together since arriving to University of Miami as early enrollees in 2016.
UM’s starting offensive line now has three freshman. True freshman LT Zion Nelson, redshirt freshman RT John Campbell, Jr. and true freshman Jakai Clark who made his first start against the Tar Heels. The young UM offensive line looked much improved in week two, but they still allowed four sacks and aren’t up to the caliber they need to be to be considered a solid offensive line. However, facing a FCS level opponent like Bethune-Cookman, the starting five on the offensive line should be able to grow confident together this week.
Should Miami be upset with the way they’ve started this season, for sure. But, the 0-2 start does not have to reflect what the rest of the year will look like. This week is the perfect opportunity for the teams nine new starters so far this season to get more comfortable and build some confidence, and get the second string guys playing time to give the team more depth all around.
Even with defeat Canes legend Irvin passionate about future
MIAMI IS BACK!!!! Well, at least they are, according to Hurricanes legendary WR Michael Irvin and a social media post Monday morning.
First, Irvin was seen getting Canes fans hyped at a rally Friday night prior to Miami’s opening loss to rival Florida in Orlando Saturday night:
MICHAEL IRVIN IS READY FOR MIAMI VS. FLORIDA
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) August 24, 2019
Irvin was also a guest on ESPN’s “College Gameday” show at Disney World and got very animated on Saturday morning with Gators legend/Heisman winner, Tim Tebow:
— ESPN (@espn) August 24, 2019
Well, despite the hype, the Hurricanes played a sloppy game with lots of penalties and turnovers. Some of this was to be expected with a first year head coach in Manny Diaz and a redshirt freshman QB making his first start in Jarren Williams. As we wrote though, Williams showed promise at times despite sacks and misfires, at times for the offense.
Well, Irvin was back on social media Monday (apparently after a morning workout) and wanted Canes fans to know he is encouraged and to keep that same energy even after the loss:
— Michael Irvin (@michaelirvin88) August 26, 2019
In the :60 post, Irvin made it very clear that the Canes “gave it to the Gators,” and he was so adamant about that, he even said it twice. He was also very encouraged about the way his team played, especially with multiple freshmen on the O-line and a young QB.
“If it weren’t for a few mistakes, the Canes would have walked away with the win!,” Irvin emphasized.
Irvin, who was a two time All American receiver for the Gators in the 80s, part of the 1987 National Championship team and later a Pro Football Hall of Famer with the Cowboys, was a good sport and congratulated the Gators. But, he did leave us with a great quote to end his speech,
“I don’t care what ya’ll say, we will never die. We will never quit, and we will never go anywhere. So, eat that on your breakfast, lunch, and dinner plate.”
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