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Mario Cristobal walked into the ACC Media Days in Charlotte, NC, like a man possessed.

He was flanked by three of the better athletes on the team, and he had to prove to the media that last season was a fluke and that the Canes are going to go from pretender to contender in 2023.

The Hurricanes are coming off a dismal, sub-par 5-7 season that was punctuated by an embarrassing loss at home to Middle Tennessee. It was a season that saw quarterback Tyler Van Dyke sitting on the bench most games with a shoulder injury and the Canes lacking depth at almost every position.

"Last year didn't go as planned. Yeah, it's a new year. I think everything happens for a reason. You go through times of adversity for a reason," Van Dyke told the media assembled at the ACC press conference.

"Yeah, we're just looking forward to this year, taking it one day at a time, staying focused in the present. Our goal is just to win. Just take it one day at a time, as I said, and just win."

This season will be different, as Cristobal is bringing in his first full recruiting class, ranked seventh in the nation. Miami will also be sprinkling in a few offseason transfer acquisitions. It is almost like the Canes are re-starting their program and General Cristobal is ready to take his troops to battle.

"So I think whenever you start up at a program again and it has a rebuilding aspect, you have to sometimes go through a season like that and not make any excuse or sugar-coat it," Cristobal said.

"But, you go directly at the things that need to be addressed, and it starts with people. People in the locker room, people on the coaching staff, people in a support staff role."

Gone are both of last season's coordinators. In comes offensive coordinator Shannon Dawson and defensive genius Lance Guidry, and the Canes have a new look and some new swagger. You can tell by watching the team practice, that they are a tad bit more confident in themselves and their teammates.

Van Dyke is a big fan of Dawson's, and he is licking his chops thinking about what Miami's speed can do in the open field with the new high-octane offense.

"The thing I love about Coach Dawson's offense, I mean, you guys saw what he did at Houston. Threw for almost -- did throw for 4,000 yards, over 2,500 yards rushing," Van Dyke gushed.

"The thing I love about it is the freedom he gives the quarterback. Change a run play to a pass play, pass to a run. Giving receivers routes based on what the defense gives you."

Van Dyke was not done yet. He sounded like he had a new fast sports car and wanted to show it off to his friends.

"So, just gives the quarterback a lot of freedom. It allows you to put the ball in the hands of the playmakers. That's my job to do," Van Dyke stated.

"So yeah, I'm very grateful that Coach Cristobal brought Coach Dawson in, and I'm excited for this year."

All Cristobal did was bring in two five-star offensive tackles - a former SEC guard from Alabama and the best center in the portal. It all starts in the trenches.

Miami's offensive line was like a revolving door last season. Opposing defensive linemen were in the offensive backfield faster than the snap could get to the quarterback.

In comes former Alabama guard Javion Cohen, former USF center Matt Lee, and two of the top high school tackles in the country. It appears that Van Dyke just might have time to throw the ball this season without ending up on his back. He just might be standing erect when his receivers cross the goal line.

"What we feel that we have done is that we have added some elite components in the personnel department, some unique additions at the line of scrimmage, outside on the perimeter, in the secondary at linebacker," Cristobal boasted.

"I feel like our culture led and driven by our team leaders has created ownership in our program."

Lee is excited to be a part of this group, and the new "Fab Five" might be as good down the road as the 2001 line that featured Rimington Trophy Award winner Brett Romberg and first-round pick Bryant McKinney.

"I think me and Javion coming through the portal and also guys like Jalen Rivers and Anez Cooper and the new freshman Francis Mauigoa and Samson Okunlola and a couple of other guys as well. We're tough. We're going to get after it," Lee said.

"We're going to work as hard as Coach Cristobal and Coach Mirabal push us on any given day. We just have to hang our hats on being the toughest, meanest guys on the field every single snap, every single game."

Cristobal changed everything from the top down, and failure is not an option for this group. The attitude in the locker room is to win now.

"In other words, the steps that you cannot skip, those things have been in full force since the end of last season, and it's led to a great offseason, a great signing day, class of best in our school's history, a top-ten portal class," Cristobal said. "Most importantly, the retainment of our top players and top leaders led to a great spring and now has had a great summer."

Scott Salomon previously touched on the Hurricanes' offense and What Miami fans should expect from Van Dyke and company in 2023. Check out the full article HERE.



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