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Miami Football: Game-by-Game Predictions for 2018

Miami Hurricanes QB Malik Rosier

Miami Hurricanes QB Malik Rosier

Most Miami fans would have been satisfied with a 10-3 record before the start of last season. But the 2017 season ended on a low note for the Hurricanes.

Miami Hurricanes head coach Mark Richt

After starting the year winning their first 10 games, the team lost its final three to close out the season. Yes, Miami did accomplish one of its goals by winning the ACC Coastal Division, but the 'Canes were outscored 96-41 in their three straight losses to Pittsburgh, Clemson (ACC Championship Game) and Wisconsin (Orange Bowl).

The good news is that Mark Richt's Hurricanes are once again the favorite in the Coastal. Their defense should be one of the most talented in the country with linebacker Shaq Quarterman, cornerback Michael Jackson and safety Jaquan Johnson leading the way.

So will Miami make a repeat trip to Charlotte in early December for the ACC Championship Game? Athlon asked a few editors and college football contributors to share their realistic win/loss projection for the Hurricanes in 2018.

Miami Football Game-by-Game Predictions for 2018

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Steven Lassan (@AthlonSteven)

Miami should be the clear favorite to win the ACC’s Coastal Division, but I think coach Mark Richt’s team falls just short of reaching the CFB Playoff. However, another 10-win season would be another step in the right direction for this program. Richt’s biggest concern is an offense that needs more consistency from quarterback Malik Rosier and has to restock the trenches. The Hurricanes have plenty of weapons at the skill positions, but the offense won’t get on track without steady play up front, especially with games against LSU, Florida State, Virginia Tech and potentially Clemson in the ACC Championship Game. Led by one of the nation’s top linebacker units and standout edge rusher Joe Jackson, Miami’s defense should be one of the best in the ACC. The opener against LSU will serve as an early barometer for this team, but road trips to Boston College, Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech also will test this team in the second half of 2018.

Mitch Light (@AthlonMitch)

Miami's schedule is very interesting. At this point, it's fair to say the Hurricanes should be favored in every regular-season game. Still, it's not likely that they will win every regular-season game. In fact, I it wouldn't surprise me if they lost any of their five road games. Do I think they will lose all of them? Of course not -- but none is a gimme. The best guess? The Canes go 3–2 on the road and win all of the rest to finish 10–2 heading into the ACC Championship Game rematch against Clemson.

Bryan Fischer (@BryanDFischer)

The U is... almost back. After last year's surprising run that ended a bit flat, it's going to be interesting to see how this year's group of Hurricanes can bring back that energy and keep it up through a pretty manageable slate. Another one-game improvement isn't out of the question and given Mark Richt's history with quarterbacks, a surprising jump as a passer for Malik Rosier shouldn't be ruled out. This is going to be another very good Miami team that will probably find itself back in the ACC title game again.

Antwan Staley (@antwanstaley)

Defense travels and the Hurricanes arguably have one of the most talented rosters in the country. They will get an early test against the LSU Tigers. If they can get past LSU, which I expect them to do, Miami will be undefeated entering the rivalry game against Florida State. This matchup with the Seminoles is always unpredictable. The 'Canes' toughest challenge will be heading to Blacksburg and playing the Hokies with the ACC Coastal Division title possibly on the line. Florida State and Virginia Tech will define Miami's season.