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Canes defense dominant vs Bethune. Sign of things to come?

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The Miami Hurricanes Defense had their most suffocating, dominating performance in recent years. Is it a sign of things to come?

Michael Seay/State of the U

Let me begin by saying the obvious: the following stats came against a FCS/1-AA opponent. Miami had a clear advantage in size and skill at nearly every position on the field. I know that and agree with that.

That being said, the Canes defense was flat out dominant in the season opener on Saturday night.

Some quick stats for you:

  • 10 Tackles for loss by 8 players
  • 5 sacks by 6 players
  • 1.51 yards allowed per rushing attempt
  • 26 yards allowed passing (BEST in the country)
  • 79 yards total offense allowed (3rd best in the country)
  • 1.72 yards per play (total) allowed (3rd best in the country)

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Only seven FBS teams (Temple, Texas A&amp;M, Colorado St., Michigan St., New Mexico, Pitt, Iowa St.) had more sacks thru Sat. than Miami (five).</p>&mdash; Matt Porter (@mattyports) <a href="https://twitter.com/mattyports/status/640603361067274240">September 6, 2015</a></blockquote>
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<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Miami was one of four power 5 teams (thru Sat. games) to pitch shutouts; Syracuse, K-State and West Virginia were the others.</p>&mdash; Matt Porter (@mattyports) <a href="https://twitter.com/mattyports/status/640604535728271360">September 6, 2015</a></blockquote>
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<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">No FBS team allowed fewer passing yards (thru Sat.) than UM (26). Only two -- Syracuse (64) &amp; New Mexico (49) allowed fewer total tds (79).</p>&mdash; Matt Porter (@mattyports) <a href="https://twitter.com/mattyports/status/640608205777846273">September 6, 2015</a></blockquote>
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Like I said, I  know it was "only Bethune Cookman", but you can't help but look at those stats and be impressed/pleased with the Defense's performance.

Gans and analysts alike have bemoaned the lack of pressure from the Hurricanes defense. In this game, you could tell just by looking that the team was TRYING to get upfield more. They were playing games (twists and stunts) on the D-Line. The Linebackers and Defensive Backs were blitzing (Corn Elder had a sack on a beautifully designed blitz from his nickel corner spot). Everybody who hit the field for the Canes defense played with an edge, an attitude, a....dare I say....SWAG!

More than the results (which were great), I am pleased with the apparent change to the PROCESS employed by the Canes. When you see guys continually working to get up the field, when you see man to man coverage by the DBs, when you see the NASCAR package on the field shooting gaps and creating havoc, it's clear that changes have been made.

Were there times where the defense (in base 3-4 personnel) was playing zone and had an OLB in space? Yes. But, even that was an improvement on years past when we would have Shayon Green in coverage, which, frankly, didn't end well for Miami.

The Canes defense flexed their muscles and dominated Bethune Cookman in a way that we haven't seen in years. We'll see if they can keep it up, if the new tweaks and changes carry over to FBS competition when the Canes travel to Boca Raton to face Florida Atlantic University on Friday Night.