The first five games of Miami’s season offer tests of all levels ranging from the best team in college football – No. 1 Clemson on Oct. 10 -- to a respected FCS team in Alabama-Birmingham. In between are/were two Top 25 teams in then-No. 18 Louisville and current No. 25 Pitt, and a rival game with Florida State.
Here’s a new look at how UM, ranked 14th in this week's Coaches poll, might fare in these next three games now that the Hurricanes are off to a 2-0 start and each of their next three opponents have played at least once.
FSU (0-1): Coach Mike Norvell was out last week, a bye week, after testing positive for COVID-19. He’s expected back for Saturday’s 7:30 p.m. primetime game at UM on ABC. But the Seminoles looked horrific in their opening 16-13 loss to Georgia Tech. They need a lot of improvement in a lot of areas.
Let’s remember this is a huge rivalry game and although Miami has won three consecutive over FSU emotions can carry teams to impressive feats. The Canes can’t take the Noles lightly. However, the Canes better win this one if they want to be taken seriously as an improved team.
Outcome: UM victory
Clemson (2-0): Sorry, this remains a UM loss, and possibly an ugly loss. It’s up to the Canes to make it appear respectable in what will likely be Miami’s third consecutive nationally-televised game. We all know Clemson is much better than UM. Of course, the Canes could pull the upset. That’s not out of the question. But one step at a time, and this year the goal is making this a respectable loss.
Outcome: UM loss
Pitt (2-0): This is an interesting matchup because Pitt quarterback Kenny Pickett beat No. 2 UM, 24-14, in 2017 when the Canes were two weeks removed from that dramatic Notre Dame victory. Miami is at home, which should help, especially if maximum attendance numbers at Hard Rock Stadium increase from the current 13,000. Injuries could be a factor for both teams by this point, and surely one will have come down to earth from its lofty start by now. Give UM a narrow win due to homefield advantage, small as it is this season.
Outcome: UM victory