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Grab Bag of ‘Canes Football

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Offensive Line, 1999, and Malek Young

Miami v North Carolina State Photo by Lance King/Getty Images

Malek Young

Mark my words, this guy is going to end 2017 as an All-ACC Cornerback and enter 2018 on the pre-season All-American lists. He proved as a freshman he is a play maker. He proved he can run with a stud like Richards. Young will lock down a side of the field and allow the coaches to play around with Johnson at safety and figure out guys like Bandy, Dean, Delaney and Carter and where they fit in.

Do you let him own the boundary and single WR sides in a 1on1 and mix up your coverages to the field/multi-receiver side?

Do you play Young to the field and take away the opponent’s likelihood of running trips?

It all depends on how solid of a tackler he can be to the boundary and how well the other CB’s step up and come ready to play.

The Offensive Line

Offensive Line is an extremely difficult position to master both physically and mentally. Physically, many on the O-Line have always been the biggest kid on the block. Many haven’t been challenged to a school yard brawl like a scrappy Corner (thinking Richard Sherman) and until the advent of the new age-based leagues (Pop Warner bases their restrictions on age and weight), for years the big fellas couldn’t play youth football. Their bodies are also growing and many carry bad weight. You see O-Line youngsters that just lean and shove defenders down, because the average high school D-End is 190lbs.

Mentally, the high school schemes on O and D aren’t usually that complicated. A 4-tech doesn’t shift all that often and become a 5 or a 3 on you. You don’t see as many different fronts, blitzes, etc against you. Your scheme is often quite simple as well. Teams run the double wing and wing-t still today. Gap-down-backer. Then you get to college and each run play changes depending on line calls and fronts across from you. The calls are made by the center at the line of scrimmage. Outside Zone isn’t just outside zone; there’s 4-5 different ways to skin that cat based on what front is across from you and what the defense likes to do.

With all that said- the Offensive Line needs to be a cohesive unit that you settle in to and get the best five on the field. When you hear about a ton of shuffling of starters or even the same starters shuffling spots mid-season- that’s a sign to be worried about. I think Miami settles in post-spring with:

LT- McDermott | LG- Odogwu | C- Gauthier | RG- Donaldson | RT- St. Louis

From there every team needs at least a back-up OT- Miami’s can be Darling. Then a back-up C/G- Miami’s can be Linder. Add in a few of the new blood like Gaynor and the ‘Canes can settle into some roles and start to trust each other up front.

Fall of ‘99

The Hurricanes released a report back on July 28th of 1999 getting fans excited for the ‘99 season of #Canes football. The ‘Canes finished ‘98 9-3 losing to FSU, Virginia Tech, and Syracuse. It was a strange year- Miami benefited greatly from a Hurricane that moved the UCLA game to the end of the season. Besides the disaster in New York against the Orangemen. The ‘99 schedule was a brutal one with Penn State, FSU, Virginia Tech, and Ohio State. Not to mention BC and Syracuse had 8 and 7 win seasons. The season had a familiar undertone- gone was a successful QB, returning were a good number of defensive and offensive lineman and a highly talented receiving corps. Two or three losses, maybe. Four? Terrible. Questions were abound about Butch Davis as a game day coach. All of that young talent and losing four games, especially one to ECU.

Miami was almost there. The PSU game was a last second coverage blunder. The FSU game was tight for three quarters. The Virginia Tech game was a Syracuse-esque disaster but it brought in Ken Dorsey and the rest is history. Could 2017 see the same type of season? Could Miami lose to 1-2 of the tougher opponents on its way back in 2018?