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Clinic Talk: Film Review of Georgia Tech at Miami

‘Canes held on for a 25-24 win over the Jackets

Georgia Tech v Miami Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

The Miami Hurricanes beat the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets 25-24 and there were many positives, like winning. However, there were some holes that Manny Diaz and Mark Richt will have to clean up before the Hurricanes can beat well coached programs like the Virginia Tech Hokies, Notre Dame Fighting Irish and hopefully the Clemson Tigers in the ACC Championship game.

Patience in the Fourth Quarter

Mark Richt showed extreme patience under 2 minutes in the 4th quarter on Saturday against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. With Tech deciding to play five defensive backs and all at least 5 yards off the man throughout the drive. Miami chose to nickel and dime the Jackets picking up 5-10 yards a pop instead of the method Richt chose for the first three quarters.

The Miami play calling early was suspect. Run, Run, throw a deep ball, punt. On this drive it was perfect patience. Rosier made the easy read and throw and Miami moved the football, getting it to the sideline on every play. I questioned why Miami didn’t go with the Run-Pass Option look earlier in the game, and it seemed like a trick Mark Richt kept in his bag until the fourth quarter. That’s extreme patience in the face of adversity and it paid off for him and his Hurricanes.

The RPO is simple yet complex. The QB is required to do quite a bit in the typical pre-snap reads, but at the same time it’s pretty common of every play called at the college level.

  1. Check the safeties- are there 1 or 2? 1 usually means pass; 2 means run.
  2. Check the box- are there 5, 6, 7, or 8 in the box? 5-6 is a run read; 7 is a 50/50; 8 is a pass read.
  3. Check your CB leverage- outside can make for an easy slant.
  4. Check your flat defender (linebacker, nickel back) leverage- press means the bubble is off, inside means you can pick it up, outside the bubble is off, 5 yards of space means throw it.

Georgia Tech Rocket Toss

Miami looked like a bad high school team against this rocket toss. The safety gets cracked from 15 yards away. The linebacker McCloud takes a crack in the face. The wing comes around to block anyone that runs the alley or to kick the cornerback out to the sideline.

Miami covers an uncovered slot receiver with a safety far too deep to cover a guy that’s ineligible. An offense has to have 7 men on the line, but if you have two receivers on the same side, both on the line of scrimmage, the slot is ineligible.

Once the wing goes in motion, the safety away from the two receivers needs to roll into the box a little and the corner doesn’t need to stay that far to the sideline. Sure, you wait for counter or reverse but this far away from a possibility of an actual play taking place?

Defending Inside Veer with Mark D’Onofrio Manny Diaz

I’m not really sure what the idea was here but the 5-man line did eliminate the midline option, however, with the defensive end and inside linebacker playing confused, the safety not coming down to play the pitch or ball, and the defensive tackles all playing dive... the quarterback takes two defenders while the pitchman (A-Back in motion getting the pitch) is no where to be found because he also played the quarterback.

It’s pretty confusing why Manny Diaz kept one inside linebacker and 5 defensive backs inside the ten yard line. Above, you can see the Golden/D’Onofrio style of defense against the option. I can’t really see a lot of differences between the confused linebacker play, and the safeties no where to be found.

Tech scored on the option in both opportunities and needed a late comeback to win the game. The linebackers have back slid, and the defensive backs have either blown coverages or missed tackles unless your name is Michael Jackson- he was playing at a high level against Georgia Tech.

I’m really worried about Miami facing three entirely different defenses over three weeks. The FSU NCAA Offense, then the Flexbone and Georgia Tech, coming up the Air Raid from Syracuse.