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X&O Preview: Miami Hurricanes @ Duke Blue Devils 9/29

Friday night showdown between Miami and Duke

NCAA Football: Duke at Miami Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

In 2016, Miami dominated Duke 40-21 with a 17 point 3rd quarter. Brad Kaaya threw for 396 yards and 4 TD’s and David Njoku had 2 TD’s. Both of those players are gone and Miami has to find a new big body playmaker and a new Quarterback. What does Duke bring to the table?

A consistency under Coach David Cutcliff that we can count on his teams being much better than any stretch Duke has ever had, even under Steve Spurrier. Duke finished 4-8 with their last game being the beatdown they took from the #Canes, so we’ll look at the 2016 match-up but also the upset over Notre Dame. Expect a young Duke team to have grown up under fire and be improved in 2017.


Duke use shotgun and pistol alignments and will switch their offense based on what talent they have on the roster. At QB they have 6’5 rising sophomore Daniel Jones. Jones mixes a strong arm, he threw for 2800+ yards and 16 TD’s, and athleticism with his 486 rushing yards and 7 TD’s. Expect Jones to only get better under Coach Cutcliff.

Above, that’s an arc block dive read. What that means is the H-Back won’t block the Defensive End that you’re reading. Instead he works up to the next level / most dangerous man. Whenever it’s the playside DE and zone blocking- I call that dive option. Your blocking scheme leaves that DE on purpose. If the DE squeezes down to play the dive, the QB pulls and follows the arc block. If the DE does what he does and sits on the QB, he gives and the RB follows the arc.

Above- obviously here Duke runs an RPO but they did above as well. The WR sat in space in front of the CB. Here, ND’s flat player, the CB, bites hard on the QB allowing the WR to come free. The run play is inside zone read with an arc block from the HB.

Below- how do you take advantage of a defense that’s more athletic and uber aggressive? You run screens like this tunnel screen that get them out of position and over running the play.


If you can’t get a pass rush going against the Miami O-Line, who can you sack? Duke gave Brad Kaaya all day, especially in the second half, and he picked them apart. You’re getting an even front from the Dukies and quarters coverage with some blitzing.

Below- more lost DB’s in coverage.

Kicking Game

For years Duke was the team with no athleticism. I’m not saying they’re Bama strong or 2001 Miami fast. But they have gotten more athletic over the past five years. Here they return a kick for a TD showing great cuts and straight line speed.