The Miami Hurricanes pounded the Notre Dame Fighting Irish 41-8 on November 11th in the Ora... in Hard Rock Stadium. Miami was rowdy all night with an late 80’s atmosphere surrounding the game.
Bill C’s S&P+ rankings and Las Vegas had Miami as the home underdog but Mark Richt got out his mustard and chomped down a Yocco’s home dog with extra relish. Miami came out knowing it had to keep Wimbush handing the ball off in the Irish running game, not allowing him to pull and make guys miss. Once Josh Adams would be stopped, Wimbush would have to throw which is exactly what Brian Kelly didn’t want.
Here are a few plays from the game worth breaking down.
Miami’s Pivot/Corner Passing Combination
During the live tweet fest I did on the SOTU Twitter feed I called this “Smash.” Smash is a concept where the #1 or outside receiver runs a hitch. A hitch is a route where the WR runs 4-steps and turns one yard back to the football for a quick pick up. Here though, the outside WR runs a pivot. A pivot means he cuts inside, and then flips his hips and breaks outside. #2, Berrios, runs a corner route in both. He’s looking for the football to land on him in the back corner of the end zone.
Malik Rosier drops the ball in perfectly and Berrios beats the nickel playing press man. This is Berrios’ 8th receiving touchdown on the season coming from a guy that only had five touchdowns in his three year career before this.
Notre Dame Double Slants to the Field
Ian Book comes into the ball game and Trajan Bandy might have actually been drooling like something out of a cartoon. With the corner playing outside leverage, and he and the safety playing “quarters” or their 1⁄4 of the field (split field coverage, the center determines the other side of the field).
The linebacker to Bandy’s side is running the flat as soon as he reads pass. Bandy should have his eyes on #2 or the slot. Usually the thinking at defensive backs is if the slot runs deep the outside WR (#1) will run short. If #2 runs short the #1 is going deep. In pattern-match quarters (ok this is getting deep dive) you don’t cover ‘space’ like a typical zone you cover your man tight until he leaves your space.
Bandy doesn’t care what the coverage rules are, he watches Book’s eyes, sees right where he’s throwing the football, and jumps the route. Risky play, but I think Manny Diaz encourages instincts and aggression just from the looks of things, and Bandy gets a pick 6.
Miami’s Running Back Screen
When Mark Richt was hired I drew up the running back screen for you guys because I knew it would be a part of Richt’s playbook coming to Miami. Richt had always used delayed screens to the backs at UGA and knowing Mark Walton’s strengths as an all-purpose back he would keep them in his arsenal.
Travis Homer has turned into a versatile back as well, which is a testament to Thomas Brown and the coaching staff. Homer came in raw and a physical specimen but the evolution of Homer into something Miami hasn’t had since Willis McGahee- that mixture of power and speed.
Mark Richt called this screen at the perfect time, and it was ran to perfection. The sheer design of it is perfect too. For the occasional mess of a play design and call, this one was flawlessly executed except for not scoring a touchdown.
Miami hosts Virginia on senior night on November 18th at noon. Virginia was the blowout that killed the Orange Bowl forever and the icing on the 2017 cake would be Miami blowing UVA out to give Berrios and the seniors an amazing send off before hitting the road against Pitt, Clemson in the ACC title game, and then the playoff.