Over the next few weeks, we'll be chatting with each ACC football coach to go over the highs and lows of 2017 and take a look at what's in store for spring practice and the season ahead.

Next up, Miami coach Mark Richt, whose Hurricanes won their first Coastal Division but face a 2018 season with questions about depth and quarterback play.

You opened the season with 10 straight wins. You lost three in a row to finish. What's the takeaway from last season: the great start or the struggles at the end?

Richt: If you look at it overall, we accomplished some things we set out to do. We won the Coastal. Of course, we wanted to win when we got there, and we realized we were a little ways off of that one. I'm not sure our roster was ready to go toe-to-toe with [Clemson] yet. But that's why we're recruiting. The bowl game, we certainly had our chances, but we didn't take advantage. We played a really good team. If we won, we'd have finished in the top 10. Are we progressing? Yes. Are we getting better? Yes. Are we getting closer to a championship-caliber team? Yes. Are we there yet? We proved we're not quite ready to be champions yet. But I think we got a chance to smell. We didn't get a chance to taste it.

Before last season started, I thought depth would be the biggest limitation for you. It certainly seemed to catch up with you by year's end. How much does a strong recruiting class and some valuable playing time for young guys last year help address that going into 2018?

Richt: It could be a huge boost. We know we're still going to need true freshmen to help us win. They're playing all over America, so it's not like you're ever in a position where true freshmen can't make an impact for you, but we were probably at 73 scholarships or something like that at the end of the year. And you have attrition for a lot of reasons: guys turning pro, guys, unfortunately, Malek Young gets hurt. We're not quite at our numbers that will give us the full 85, but we're getting closer. And you want guys that can play at a level that will help you win a championship. You want guys who can play at a high level, and that's what we're working on.

You mentioned Malek's injury, which is awful. Is the secondary a big area where those freshmen might step in right away?

Richt: They're going to get their chance to play, for sure. Malek played a lot for us and played well for us. When you lose a guy like that, it's just opportunity for someone.