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Are the Miami Hurricanes Legitimate National Title Contenders?

It appears as if Al Golden has his best team yet in Miami as the Hurricanes are 4-0 SU and 3-1 ATS this season, including an impressive 21-16 upset win over Florida as three-point underdogs. There is a legitimate chance that Miami will be a perfect 7-0 before facing Florida State on November 2, and I believe the Hurricanes have the talent to compete in that game.

Miami Offense:

Miami is averaging 45.2 points per game on 5.6 yards per rush play, 9.5 yards per pass attempt and 473 total yards (7.2 yards per play; 10.5 yards per point). Overall, the Hurricanes are 0.7 yards per rush play, 2.2 yards per pass attempt and 1.3 yards per play better than average offensively in 2013. “We’re trying to build and we have a lot of guys on our team that have been growing and building,” said Miami coach Al Golden, whose team went 7-5 in 2012. “To be honest with you, we went through that year last year and we were fortunate enough to scratch and claw and get to seven wins. … It was tough to look at a lot of times, but clearly a lot of those guys have grown up.”

As for Miami quarterback Stephen Morris, he has looked like a different player this season as evidenced by his 151.9 passer rating. “He’s playing with a lot of confidence and the team has a lot of confidence in him,” Golden said of Morris.

Miami Defense:

Miami is limiting opponents to a mere 12.7 points per game on 3.2 yards per rush play, 6.2 yards per pass attempt and 275 total yards (4.7 yards per play; 21.6 yards per point). Overall, the Hurricanes are 0.4 yards per rush play, 0.4 yards per pass play and 0.4 yards per play better than average defensively this season. Miami welcomes the Yellow Jackets on Saturday, and I believe the Hurricanes maintain a decisive edge in this matchup. Ever since Miami allowed 472 rushing yards to Georgia Tech in 2008, the Canes have posted that “472” on their locker room. The result? 4-0 SU and ATS in this series since, winning by 16 points per game!

From a technical standpoint, Miami is 10-2 ATS versus teams with a winning record, 8-0 ATS versus conference opponents and 8-1 ATS after the first month of the season, while coach Golden is an incredible 14-1-1 ATS at home versus conference opponents when not favored by 7.5 or more points. I like Miami minus 5.5 in this game.