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Miami Football: Hurricanes' 2019 Schedule Analysis

Miami Football: Hurricanes' 2019 Schedule Analysis

Miami Football: Hurricanes' 2019 Schedule Analysis

Things quickly change in the world of college football, and that wasn't any different for the Miami Hurricanes last season. A year after finishing 10-3 and winning the ACC Coastal Division in 2017, the Hurricanes went a disappointing 7-6, including an embarrassing season-ending loss in the Pinstripe Bowl to the Wisconsin Badgers.

Shortly after the season, Mark Richt surprised many by announcing he was retiring, and his former defensive coordinator, Manny Diaz, was named his replacement. While there have been changes to the coaching staff, the goals of winning the Coastal and returning to national prominence haven't changed.

Miami has a favorable schedule to begin the 2019 campaign with five consecutive home games from Sept. 14 through Oct. 19. However, the Canes will end the season with four out of five on the road, including dates with Pittsburgh, Florida State, and Duke.

Miami Hurricanes 2019 Schedule

Byes: Week 1, Week 5, Week 11

Week 0 — Aug. 24 vs. Florida (Orlando, Fla.)

Miami's first of two neutral site games this season will be against the hated Florida Gators. This will mark the first time the Hurricanes and Gators have played each other since 2013 when Miami defeated Florida at home. This game could set the trend for the Hurricanes' entire 2019 season.

Week 2 — Sept. 7 at North Carolina (Chapel Hill, N.C.)

Miami will kick off their ACC schedule early in September on the road against the Tar Heels. The Mack is back in Chapel Hill as Mack Brown is once again the head coach at North Carolina. Although the Tar Heels are rebuilding, this is a game Miami cannot take lightly. Three out of the last four games in Chapel Hill between these two teams have been decided by no more than a touchdown.

Week 3 — Sept. 14 vs. Bethune-Cookman (Miami Gardens, Fla.)

After having two tough games to begin the 2019 season, the Hurricanes will finally have their home opener against FCS opponent Bethune-Cookman. This will be the start of five consecutive games at Hard Rock Stadium for Miami.

Week 4 — Sept. 21 vs. Central Michigan (Miami Gardens, Fla.)

Miami's fourth game of the season will be against a Chippewas team that had a rough 2018 season. After finishing 1-11, head John Bonamego was fired and was replaced by Jim McElwain, who went 22-12 in two-plus seasons at Florida.

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Week 6 — Oct. 5 vs. Virginia Tech (Miami Gardens, Fla.)

After playing a couple of games outside of the conference, the Hurricanes host the Hokies to open a critical stretch of ACC matchups. Last season, Miami rolled past Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, 38-14. This game could be critical in determining how the Coastal shakes out.

Week 7 — Oct. 11 vs. Virginia (Miami Gardens, Fla.)

Miami will play the two Virginia teams back-to-back with the Cavaliers also making the trip to South Florida this fall. Last year, Virginia defeated Miami 16-13, which began a stretch of four straight losses for the Hurricanes. The winner of this Friday night contest could have the edge in the Coastal race.

Week 8 — Oct. 19 vs. Georgia Tech (Miami Gardens, Fla.)

The Hurricanes will end their five-game homestand with a visit from the Yellow Jackets. Georgia Tech will look quite different this season with Geoff Collins replacing Paul Johnson as head coach and installing a pro-style offense instead of the triple option. Miami should be able to take advantage of a team in transition, especially at home.

Week 9 — Oct. 26 at Pittsburgh (Pittsburgh)

The Hurricanes' road-heavy closing stretch begins in Pittsburgh against the defending Coastal champs. Miami beat the Panthers 24-3 last season but still managed to finish atop the division standings and went to face Clemson in the ACC Championship Game in Charlotte. These two teams have faced each other every year since Pitt joined the ACC in 2013 with Miami holding a 4-2 edge.

Week 10 — Nov. 2 at Florida State (Tallahassee, Fla.)

After losing seven straight to the Seminoles from 2010-16, the Hurricanes have won the past two meetings. Last year's game was another classic as the Hurricanes came back from 20 points down to defeat the Seminoles 28-27. Throw the records out in this game as it will likely be another contest that will come down to the final minutes.

Week 11 — Nov. 9 vs. Louisville (Miami Gardens, Fla.)

Miami will have their Senior Day against a Cardinals team that has had a lot of changes since the end of the 2018 season. Gone is Bobby Petrino and his staff as Scott Satterfield is the new head man after the Cardinals went 2-10 last season.

Week 13 — Nov. 23 at FIU (Miami)

The Hurricanes will return to the grounds of their former home, the famous Orange Bowl, as they will face the Panthers from Conference USA at Marlins Park. This will be the second straight year the two Miami-based programs play each other. The Canes beat FIU 31-17 last season. On paper, this might seem like a mismatch but for former Miami head coach Butch Davis has done a nice job with the Panthers, who went 9-4 in 2018.

Week 14 — Nov. 30 at Duke (Durham, N.C.)

In a game that could determine the Coastal, the Hurricanes will end the regular season in Durham. Last season on a soggy field, the Blue Devils found a way to defeat the Hurricanes 20-12 at Hard Rock Stadium. Although Duke won't have Daniel Jones at quarterback, head coach David Cutcliffe has built the Blue Devils into a consistent winner so Miami better be ready.

— Written by Antwan Staley, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network and has extensive experience covering Florida sports teams. Staley has written for Bleacher Report, the Miami Herald and the Palm Beach Post and is a reporter for Pro Player Insiders. Follow him on Twitter @antwanstaley.