~ The following article was contributed by beloved Eye of the Hurricane blogger, Delray ~
This week the Miami Hurricanes continue the 2012 season with their second game of the year against the Wildcats from Kansas State. Kansas State comes in with a strong team that returns 8 starters on offense and 6 on defense. Kansas State opened with a convincing 51-9 victory last week vs. Missouri State in which the Wildcats racked up 493 total yards. They also gave up 418. This could be another barn-burner like we saw in Chestnut Hill this past weekend as the Canes open against their first ranked team this season.
7 Collin Klein | 6-5, 226, SR
Most of us recall Colin Klein from last year’s game as he sliced and diced our defense with precision passing and his ability to run the ball. The senior Heisman candidate is the heart and soul of the team. As he goes, so goes the Wildcats offense. He finished with 1,161 yards rushing last year and 1,918 passing. If the Canes can stop him, they will win the game.
33 John Hubert | 5-7, 185, JR
John comes in after having a very promising sophomore season, rushing for 970 yards on 200 carries. That’s an impressive 4.8 yards per carry. Look for the Wildcats to try to confuse the Canes defense with plenty of option plays involving John and QB Klein.
16 Tyler Lockett | 5-11, 170, SO
3 Chris Harper | 6-1, 225, SR
86 Tramaine Thompson | 5-7, 165, JR
Harper is the returning leader of the bunch with 40 catches for 547 yards and 5 touchdowns last year. But Lockett may be the the gem of the group. After winning the Big 12 offensive Freshman of the Year Award last year, he should explode onto the scene. Thompson looks to improve on his 21 receptions and 338 receiving yards in 2011.
80 Travis Tannahill | 6-3, 245, SR
Tannahill may be the best blocking tight end in the country and when Klein gets in a bind, he is a more than apt security blanket. He is underutilized in the current system having only caught 10 balls last year. However, he cannot be ignored as a receiver.
66 B.J. Finney | 6-4, 297, SO
79 Keenan Taylor | 6-4, 278, JR
50 Nick Puetz | 6-4, 306, SR
55 Cody Whitehair | 6-5, 300, FR
78 Cornelius Lucas | 6-8, 331, JR
In 2011, the offensive line allowed the Wildcat offense to gain 2,411 yards rushing. They yielded 42 sacks for a loss of 246 yards.
96 John Sua | 6-0, 290, SR
92 Vai Lutui | 6-2, 280, SR
Vai played in all 13 games last season and recorded a sack along with 2.5 tackles-for-loss. Sua played sparingly in 4 games last year and will get his chance to play as a senior this year.
55 Adam Davis | 6-0, 254, SR
42 Meshak Williams | 6-3, 245, SR
The two returning starting defensive ends combined in 2011 for 11 sacks with 18 tackles-for-loss. They will definitely test our offensive line come Saturday.
4 Arthur Brown | 6-1, 223, RS
50 Tre Walker | 6-3, 222, JR
2 Justin Tuggle | 6-3, 227, SR
We all know the Arthur Brown story so I’ll spare the details. Arthur recorded 101 tackles last year, 9.5 tackles-for-loss and 2 sacks and will be all over the field. Walker was next with 52 tackles including 3 for a loss. This will be Tuggle’s first opportunity to get some significant playing time as he played in 4 games last season recording 1 tackle.
3 Allen Chapman | 5-11, 180, SR
24 Nigel Malone | 5-10, 176, SR
Both corners are returning starters from last season combining for 23 passes defended. Malone was top on the team with 7 interceptions while Chapman had a solo.
23 Jarard Milo | 6-1, 188, SR
12 Ty Zimmerman | 6-1, 202, JR
Zimmerman is the returning starter from last year recording 58 tackles, 1 sack and 2 interceptions. Milo did see action in 12 games last season but with limited playing time.
10 Anthony Cantele | 5-10, 189, SR – Kicker
Anthony was 17 of 23 in field goals last year including 4 of 7 beyond 40. He has a long of 54 so he has a leg and experience.
38 Mark Krause | 6-1, 212, SO – Punter.
This will be Mark’s first year as the punter, however, he did beat out last years’ starter, Ryan Doerr, who averaged 41 yards per punt in 2011.
16 Tyler Lockett | 5-11, 170, SO
Tyler will handle both the kickoff and punt returns. As mentioned earlier, he was the 2011 Big 12 Offensive Freshman of the Year, an award he received more so for his return ability than his play at wide receiver. He is most dangerous in returning kickoffs. Last year he average 35.2 yards per return while housing 2 of them, including a 100 yard return. This will be a great test for our special teams who looked good in this area last week.
In sizing up the Hurricanes’ opponent this coming week, the one thing that stands out is the amount of seniors the Wildcats have starting. They are experienced and, as most teams coached by Bill Snyder, they are disciplined. The Hurricanes could really learn a lot from looking at last year’s Kansas State team. They were a little more disciplined, a little more conditioned and had a little more desire. As a result, the Wildcats won 10 games. What was interesting was how they won 10 games. 8 of those wins came by a total of 33 points. Any of those games could have gone either way.