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Film Preview: Miami at Boston College

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The ‘Canes take the dreaded trip to Chestnut Hill, Mass

Temple v Boston College Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

On Friday, October 26th the University of Miami heads to Chestnut Hill to take on Boston College. The Hurricanes and Eagles are both coming off of bye weeks. In Boston College’s last game they defeated Louisville without star running back AJ Dillon while Miami lost to Virginia in a stunning upset.

The ‘Canes are 5-2 and sitting at 16th per the S&P+ while the Eagles are 44th and 5-2 as well. Miami’s 12th ranked defense will have to focus on the run as even without Dillion BC ripped off over 200 rushing yards against the Cardinals. Miami is going back to quarterback Malik Rosier and N’Kosi Perry is supposed to play but not start the Friday night contest on ESPN.


22 personnel offense

The Hurricanes are going to face a pro style, multiple tight end and fullback offense not unlike the LSU Tigers. The Eagles have a better quarterback in Anthony Brown and better running back than LSU in AJ Dillon. If Dillon is healthy (he is set to play) he’ll be a load to take down for the ‘Canes who have missed a lot of tackles at the 2nd (linebackers) and 3rd levels (defensive backs).

When teams run crossers and force man coverage switches the defensive backs seem to be lost out in coverage. The worst culprits are Sheldrick Redwine and Jhavonte Dean. Michael Jackson, Trajan Bandy and Jaquan Johnson are much better in coverage but the scheme can’t be over complicated and force the DB’s into breakdowns in coverage. We’ve seen that in the past against Virginia Tech in 2016, and Wisconsin in 2017.

If Boston College is smart they’ll study the 2nd half of the Miami versus Wisconsin Orange Bowl game from the 2017 season to find the key to the Miami defense. The Badgers also use multiple tight ends and fullbacks while having an above average running back.


BC kicking game blocks a Punt

The Hurricanes will have to be concerned with what they saw on this punt from the Cardinals. The Eagles got after a punt and blocked it resulting in a score. It doesn’t matter if it’s Zach Feagles or Jack Spicer at punter the Hurricanes are horrible in the kicking game under Todd Hartley. The Eagles are 46th in special teams per the S&P+ while the ‘Canes are 89th and every game brings a new embarrassment in the most important phase of a football game.

The Louisville shield punt only has two players in the back resulting in an easy block for BC. The Eagles are a solidly above average program in all three phases of the game. Mark Richt needs a renewed emphasis on special teams in order to beat the Eagles in what will be a close game on Friday night.


Miami should RPO the hell out of this look

Malik Rosier isn’t exactly astute at reading a defense or understanding post snap coverages but we’ve seen him use run-pass options in the past with some success. Brad Kaaya actually used them with the most success at Miami in 2016 (Appalachian State) under Mark Richt but Rosier can actually run the football unlike Kaaya.

It’s simple, it’s effective, it’s modern. If Richt wants to beat a hard nosed squad like the Eagles he’ll have to take the looks he’s given and pick them apart with finding space. BC leaves space in their 4-2-5 by dropping the defensive backs deep against Louisville’s pass-first offense.

If Miami still wants to run three verticals with no swing route or option route off them into this deep coverage they won’t beat Boston College. I covered the three verts issues here and here. Again, using the R4 passing system the main idea is to have a rhythm route, like the vertical fade Richt likes, but also a read route (dig, stick, curl) and a rush route like a swing from the running back.


Summary

Miami should handle Boston College if we were to look at talent versus talent but the Eagles have really grown under Steve Addazio into a formidable opponent. If Coach Richt can’t make proper adjustments and Manny Diaz can’t shut down a multiple tight end and fullback offense the ‘Canes are in trouble. Wisconsin didn’t steamroll Miami but if the offense stalls again it’ll be tough for the Hurricanes.

Prediction: Miami 17 - Boston College 20