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Miami Hurricanes Film Study: Some Good, Lots of Bad Vs Nebraska

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In the 1st half the 'Canes did the little things well, in the second half they completely neglected them.

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

It's hard to imagine the hangover I bet some 'Canes fans feel this morning.

The second half of yesterday's thrilling, not so thrilling, exhilarating, and yet disappointing 36-33 win over the Cornhuskers felt like a nightmare we couldn't wake up from.

Nonetheless Miami got the win.

I'm not sure it inspired a fan base that was looking for excellence, but there were some good things.

Let's start there.

On UM's opening drive after forcing a three and out, they immediately moved the ball behind the golden right arm of Brad Kaaya.

But it was a sensational block by Joe Yearby (who also had 17 carries for 125 yards) that saved his QB and set the tone for the first half.

At the onset of the play RG Danny Isidora misses badly on his man.  Yearby, who was involved in a play action fake with Kaaya, notices immediately.  Great awareness.

Yearby1

Displaying the same lateral movement that makes him so superior as a runner, Yearby plants his foot in the ground and prepares himself to throw a block.  And that's not just anyone coming at him. It's arguably the Huskers best player, # 7 300 pound defensive tackle Maliek Collins.

Yearby2

Yearby throws such a good block, it knocks Collins off balance and into a funky stride.

Yearby3

Here's the play from start to finish.   It's the little things,that separate a very good back from a great one.

Yearby is becoming great before our eyes.

Now the not so good.

I literally could have chose a dozen (conservatively) screenshots displaying the same thing in the final quarter and a half.

UM repeatedly got pressure on Nebraska QB Tommy Armstrong via the front 4 and blitzes.  And with the exception of one Trent Harris sack, they could not get him on the ground.

Tyriq McCord easily could have/should have had 3 sacks yesterday.  And numerous other players whiffed badly on Armstrong as well.

And in their haste to get to the QB they quite often displayed terrible  containment.

See below:

Contain1

Look at all of the green in front of the Cornhuskers QB.

I'll spare you all the screen shots and video available to display the issue.

In a nutshell the 'Canes defense lost all of its fundamentals in the second half.

Besides the D line not breaking down and tackling well on the pass rush and displaying zero lane integrity, the DBs compounded things down field  by face guarding and making no attempt to play on the ball (something they did so well in the 1st Q).

Poor tackles and lack of plays on the ball were also joined by knock out shot attempts via Deon Bush and Jamal Carter that cost UM two of their best defensive players for the conclusion of this one and the first half Vs Cincinnati next week.

In a nutshell the all around play of the D was abysmal......

You get the drift.

But let me leave you on a high note.

Evidence of an adjustment?

On the first play of OT Armstrong drops back to pass.  This time instead of rushing recklessly, watch closely what McCord does.

McCord1

Clearly his intention is to keep Armstrong in the pocket.  He starts to drop back and veer to the outside, preventing the Huskers QB from scrambling and breaking contain.

McCord2.0

Now it is hard to say for sure that the UM senior LB got in Armstrong's sight line, but the Nebraska QB makes an awful decision and the result is an easy INT for Corn Elder.  If McCord comes barreling at him like so many plays earlier in the game, the result is likely bad for the 'Canes.

McCord3

Here's the play start to finish.  Again, keep an eye on McCord.

A solid argument can be made that an adjustment took place here, and give credit to McCord and the coaches for that one.

If the Hurricanes are to survive games against Clemson, FSU, and Georgia Tech, they'll need a lot more of that and a lot sooner in the game.

Make no mistake about it, there are plenty of reasons to be concerned based about what happened yesterday.

But there were still also some positives.

UM needs to continue excelling in the little things, and making adjustments for this season to be a success.

Enjoy your Sunday 'Canes fans!