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Clinic Talk: Hurricanes outscore Panthers

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Breaking down Miami’s sudden burst of offense

NCAA Football: Pittsburgh at Miami
Njoku goes airborn
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

The key to overcome a four game losing stretch and regaining confidence is a great opening drive. We’re going to breakdown that opening 6 play, 75 yard scoring drive against the Pitt Panthers. Coach Richt and the ‘Canes staff had Pitt well scouted. Pitt is known for a tenacious pass rush, leaving their DB’s stuck in a 1on1 (as I previewed for the game), and stacking the box to play the run. Miami had to come out against their tendencies.

Miami opens the game with a running back delayed screen. Great way to slow down Pitt off the bat and take advantage of the opening drive deep spot they had been taking.

On play 2, the #Canes run the much debated inside zone RPO. They block up the backside defensive end unlike most teams, with Kaaya’s propensity to give it makes sense. the flat defender is 7-8 yards off and inside leverage.

Pitt runs a nice coverage trap with the safety running the bubble/alley which wouldn’t be Kaaya’s normal key. But Coley makes a nice move and picks up some yardage.

Florida Tech also likes this bubble combination. At Tech they number their screens 81 (#1 threat or most outside receiver) inside to 83. This would be their IZ 83. As the flat player jumps #2, who is stalk blocking, the #3 running bubble is open. However, the RPO is pre-snap only as Kaaya’s eyes are facing away from the screen. He counted 3over3 and gave the ball for a short gain.

Post-snap look is below:

As we previewed for the Miami/Pitt game, Pitt was susceptible to the deep ball against the Hokies and with Richards’ and Coley’s speed they should be here as well. Kaaya throws a spot on deep ball and Miami has the protection- by keeping 7 in to block for Brad.

I’m not a huge fan of this tackle-wrap play, and St. Louis doesn’t look comfortable blocking out in space. He actually misses the most dangerous man- who makes the tackle. If he blocks that safety this is a touchdown.

This is a beautiful set-up. Your tendancies have been showing you’ll run into loaded boxes, you’ll run inside zone on back-to-back plays with no rhyme or reason. Miami instead runs play action, Njoku sells his block hard, peels off and his athleticism and a bad ass block from Harris tell you the rest.

On defense, Miami sold the farm to shut down Conner and it worked, holding the star running back to 3.3 yards per carry and only 40 yards rushing for the game with no receptions. Miami did give up some yardage in the flat and on the shovel pass to the H-Back Aston, and to Peterman on the ground. While the shovel pass was a little concerning, the bigger issue was the lack of switch calls on the big throws to Weah on the slant/wheel which should be an easy switch call in the 4-2-5. However, Pitt is the #18 scoring offense in Division 1 and Miami held them to ten less points than they have been averaging per game.

If you have any questions, comments or concerns, find me on Twitter @IMFB_Blog