The Miami Hurricanes convincingly beat the Duke Blue Devils 31-6 on Friday night. Miami’s defense was dominant logging sacks, turnovers, and punishing hits. Daniel Jones averaged a putrid 4 yards per passing attempt and 1.7 yards per rush. Manny Diaz brought pressure and took risks but they paid off against the Blue Devils. Here’s a review of what we saw.
Pass Protection on the Deep Post to Berrios
This is a touchdown pass and normally it’s hard to complain about such a thing especially early in the game to take the lead. However, the protection scheme on this play leaves a lot to be desired. Duke has been great at getting to the QB, we previewed that on Thursday. And Miami had to know it. Miami spent 2016 in 5 man protection schemes and watched Brad Kaaya get pressured and sacked all season. In 2017, you’d hope a lot was learned from the West Virginia bowl game.
Here, KC McDermott is beat by the defensive end and there’s no help for him by Mark Walton who is in a route in the flat. That would be a great check off as he’s completely uncovered but Malik Rosier’s eye discipline is poor. He never looks off Berrios on the deep post and gets hit hard from the blind side. His arm strength and leg strength keeps this throw on target (although, great grab by Berrios) and his leg strength keeps him upright enough to finish the throw as well.
If the Duke defense can get to Rosier this easily the FSU Seminoles will be an issue when they start to send Derwin James against KC McDermott.
Half-Slide Pass Protection From Mark Walton
This is half-slide pass protection from the Miami Hurricanes. The ‘Canes finally leave 7 in to block the Duke blitz and pressure. Mark Walton does a confusing job on this play however. He is a flash fake on the play-action pass and comes left to right. The “slide” portion of the protection is left, that’s where you see the four assigned to the left side working their area. The C will slide to the 1-technique (nose tackle) and the left guard helps him with that player because no blitz shows to his left. The left tackle steps left and blocks his zone as does Herndon who is lined up as a wing.
On Walton’s side, the right side, Donaldson the right guard will block the 3-technique (defensive tackle on his outside shoulder) man to man as will the right tackle blocking the defensive end man to man. Mark Walton is supposed to split them in case of a blitz or to help with their man. Donaldson gets beat and Walton starts right, then turns his eyes and hips to the left and Rosier is sacked. It’s atrocious and you’ll see how it’s done right by Travis Homer next.
Half-Slide Protection From Homer and the Corner-Out Pass Combo
This is the pass protection coaches drool over from a running back. Travis Homer doesn’t just block, he runs up into the open gap and hits the blitzing linebacker square and at the line of scrimmage. This secures the block, closes the hole in the pass protection and keeps Rosier upright. If you “catch” the block back by the QB the simple physics tells you he’ll wind up pushing off of the back and making a play on the QB or even knocking the back into the QB and disrupting his throwing motion.
Travis Homer has a future in the Miami backfield. He’s shown more vision in his cuts and has shown an explosive running style. Any doubts about him have been erased and can be attributed to him running against Miami’s starting front seven with Miami’s inexperienced second team offensive line blocking for him. He’s looked great so far in three games.
The Texas Route to Mark Walton
We actually previewed the Texas route a long long time ago (a year and change ago) here on SOTU. The Texas route is when the back runs an angle route from Madden or the NCAA series, starting outside of the offensive line and cutting back inside diagonally across the field (hash to hash). The outside routes from the wide outs are 5 yard outs and seams so the defensive backs are tied up and turned away from the running back’s route. Walton only has to beat an inside linebacker and he has that talent to do so. He’ll use an outside-in move on the LB to pause the defender’s feet and get an edge on him.