They are not Ray Lewis, Warren Sapp and the boys again. Not yet. But the University of Miami’s defense has gotten closer.
The Hurricanes took huge strides defensively a year ago. This year, under head coach Al Golden, more steps are needed.
“There were dramatic improvements,” said defensive coordinator Mark D’Onfrio to the Miami Herald. “Now we have to take the next step.”
A year ago, UM went from 90th to 14th in total defensee and from 76th to fifth in allowing plays 20 yards or longer. Now, the Hurricanes want more tackles for loss, more sacks, better red zone defense and better third downs to compete better in the ACC.
Miami has 17 lettermen returning on defense, plus four players who played for the team in previous years. It puts the Hurricanes in position to be spoilers in the coming season. Linebackers Jermaine Grace and Raphael Kirby are expected to the lead the way for UM in the coming season.