As I predicted and implied, Miami got beat down by the Boston College Eagles on Friday night in Chestnut Hill, MA. The final was 27-14 as BC played their game and Miami played uninspired. The offense looked like it had all but given up and a musical chairs situation was happening with the offensive line all game.
This was an all around dud from the Hurricanes which Mark Richt has ran out onto the field many times since his arrival in Coral Gables. 2016 had losses to Notre Dame and UNC that were shockingly flat. Then in 2017 the Pitt game and in 2018 LSU, Virginia and now Boston College. It’s not like Miami didn’t come out flat against FIU, too.
Covering the slant/arrow and up
This is a great play design by Steve Addazio and Scot Loeffler. They know the defensive backs are going to switch coverage responsibilities When the inside safety takes #1 who runs directly at him as a decoy, the ‘Canes CB is responsible for the #3 who will then run a wheel, right? Wrong. He follows behind #3 and catches the football too far from the CB to make a play.
Below, you can see the result of the wheel-turned-slant. The CB is out of position, the receiver is alone, the original slant drew that defender away and Miami has a random defender ready to tackle a pylon in the back of the end zone.
Having to switch coverage based on the look, and then switch back is a tough situation to be in. This is a great play design by the Eagles more than a bad coverage scheme by the ‘Canes. You can’t cover them all and if the dude standing in the end zone plays at the goal line this isn’t a touchdown. No scheme says “hey, go stand 7 yards deep and defend the mascot.”
Rhythm, Read, Rush
If Malik Rosier, supposedly the mature coverage reading option at quarterback, could take a look to his right he would not only see the pressure but also a wide receiver standing alone. Instead, with his limited ability to read the field, he doesn’t see or feel pressure and doesn’t see the open receiver.
Above, you can see the open receiver at the top of the screen, Rosier’s eyes/head/shoulders haven’t moved an inch from the snap, and he waits too long for the rush to work as the linebacker in coverage picks up Travis Homer.
The development of Navaughn Donaldson, or lack there of, has been pathetic. He doesn’t have his eye sup to see the nickel back blitzing. He doesn’t feel the pressure. Donaldson looks no different from his high school tape to now. But at least he’s a great teammate helping a friend in need.
Oh yeah and Tyree St. Louis makes the biggest mistake an offensive lineman can make: he lunges, with his eyes down, which makes him a mark to be slapped out of the way and worked around.
Red Zone Woes
Earlier, Miami broke out the “Wildcat” and Deejay Dallas punched in a touchdown run inside the 10 yard line. With the clock ticking down on a shot at the coastal division- Richt goes with a 3 man route and the coverage look pushes Rosier into another red zone fade. Sure it scored earlier but as you know I hate the red zone fade, especially on 4th down. Sure, on 1st down take a shot, but on 4th? No.
I would have put the onus on making the defense wrong no matter their decision. They’ve offered a 7 man box so the run is probably off as far as the give goes. But there’s only one defender that can stop a quarterback pull AND he’s got to cover the flat.
Now it’s hard to predict what a back side defensive end would do because Miami passes and I would have used a run-pass option. But if the end squeezes down the line on Dallas, Rosier could pull. He’ll be reading the flat defender over the slot. If the flat defender plays the bubble, he can run into the end zone himself. If the flat defender plays him, the stop route should pull the CB and S to him and thus the bubble is open.
The linebackers are line up too far towards Brevin Jordan and the outside receiver to play the quarterback on an inside zone read play. I was in full agreement with the 4th and 5 call Penn State ran against Ohio State as that was the first time it didn’t work all game for the Lions. It would’ve been better than forcing up another jump ball fade, on 4th down, into double coverage.
I hate to say I told you so but after watching Boston College play on film I felt they could out formation and execute Miami on both sides of the football. Rosier just isn’t a Power 5 level quarterback and especially not against coordinators like Scot Loeffler and Jim Reid who has 45 years of collegiate and professional coaching experience.
Miami has to find a quarterback, and a new offensive line coach before there’s any chance of the program getting on the right track to an ACC Championship Game victory. Until then, the ‘Canes will continue to lose to lesser programs like Notre Dame in 2016, Pitt in 2017, or UVA and BC in 2018.