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X&O Preview: Toledo Rockets @ Miami Hurricanes 9/23

The #Canes host Toledo on what should be a hot and humid Saturday in South Florida

Miami v Appalachian State Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

The S&P+ is a great but not flawless estimate of which teams will beat whom in a head to head match-up. The Miami Hurricanes finished the 2016 season ranked 14 in the S&P+ while Toledo finished 34th. Now, that’s 2016 and we’re on to 2017. The S&P+ has yet to calculate the year of growth the ‘Canes have taken over the off-season and spring football and the transfer in of Dee Delaney, nor has it taken into account the early departures of Brad Kaaya or David Njoku and others who have left Miami’s running back corps depleted.

Moving forward from that, Miami should defeat Toledo. It won’t be Arkansas State or Appalachian State easy, but it should be a game that’s wrapped up prior to the 4th quarter.


Junior QB Logan Woodside threw for 4000+ yards and 40+ TD’s for the Rockets in 2016. The Toledo offense is looking to throw the football. They still ran for 2000+ yards but first and foremost they’re looking to spread you out and throw. It’s not just deep passing although they will use smash concepts and the “6” (aka 4 verticals) concept with deep posts to move the chains. If The Rockets want to keep Woodside healthy they’ll have to use 7-man protection against Chad Thomas, Joe Jackson, Kendrick Norton and RJ McIntosh. With McCloud covering their slot and Quarterman and Pinckney in the middle, there’s no chance for Toledo to run on Manny Diaz’s defense. They’ll have to hope to take advantage of young DB’s like Trajan Bandy and Amari Carter- but I just can’t see that happening more than once or twice all game.

They also throw underneath like the shallow cross here on 3rd and 6 in the GIF below:

Below, you can see a nice endzone shot of 7 man protection and using your outside receiver to attack the deep middle of the field. App State had their safety out of position and Toledo took advantage.

Below, you can get a grasp of their single back spread run game. That’s a double pull from the C and G, similar to what we’ve discussed Coach Richt liking in his playbook.


Defense is where you can see the speed disparity between App State and Toledo, which means and even greater disparity between Miami and Toledo. If the App State players are too fast to keep in contain, what will they do to stop the #Canes?

If you think App State is fast, the ‘Canes have to be channeling The Joker

I think Mark Walton flashes his shift and straight line speed all game against Toledo making easy work of the Rocket defense. I would predict 150+ and 2 TD’s from Mr. Walton.

First- a screenshot of how Toledo lines up against 20 personnel shotgun. You see an even front with a stand-up defensive end. The Rockets don’t always use the ends standing but do here. That’s a 4-3 defense with a 2 high (2 safety) shell.

Below you can see the App State triple option slowing an already slow Rockets defense down.

Here on the jet sweep, The Mountaineers beat the Rockets to the corner and score from 16 yards out. Newcomer Jeff Thomas will flash his speed as will Ahmmon Richards.

Kicking Game

There isn’t much to say in the kicking game besides Toledo missed a field goal that cost them the game. Oh, and App State took a kickoff return to the house.