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Film Review: Miami 21 - Georgia Tech 27

The Hurricanes losing streak continues in Atlanta, GA

Miami v Georgia Tech Photo by Mike Comer/Getty Images

Mark Richt’s Miami Hurricanes have hit another four game slump. Back in 2016 the excuses were talent, depth, the process was all too new. In 2018 it’s year three of the Richt Era and the excuses are talent, depth and execution. If a head coach’s job is to acquire talent, develop the talent, and deploy the talent the Hurricanes shouldn’t be wondering if they’ll qualify for a bowl in year three.

The ‘Canes finished the game averaging seven yards per passing attempt and under five yards per rushing attempt. The Hurricanes are on a downward spiral with the lone bright spot being N’Kosi Perry not getting pulled out for Malik Rosier on Saturday night.

Double Option

Paul Johnson had a few looks that he liked all night and one was to get a “trips” look with having a receiver and both wings on the same side of the field, or both receivers and a wing to one side, too. It’s a numbers game here where they left A-Back coming in jet motion can now block the cornerback, the wide receiver can block a safety, and the right A-Back blocks the inside linebacker.

The option relationship is then between the quarterback and the B-Back (fullback). The QB will read the outside linebacker, here it’s Zach McCloud. If McCloud plays the QB he will pitch to the B-Back, if he plays the B-Back or “pitch” the QB will run the football.

There are two cutback players on the play. The first is a backside inside linebacker while the 2nd is the backside safety. With the jet motion the backside safety rolls to midfield, and with the blitz there is no backside cutback linebacker.

The one thing the read, McCloud, can’t do is freeze up and not commit to anyone. He doesn’t play the QB and force him to pitch. That’s usually the goal because it puts the ball in the air which can result in a fumble, and the defense can hit the QB in the process. Here, McCloud doesn’t commit and the QB keeps the ball.

Because of the blitz and the block on Shaquille Quarterman there’s no cutback player at the 2nd level, and Jaquan Johnson is the last player left to stop the QB Marshall. As you can see, Johnson over pursues the play and as Marshall cuts back he has a clear path to the end zone.

Tight Zone

Tight zone is a great play to counter your normal zone blocking rules. Miami has ran a good amount of split zone and inside zone read this season as well as stretch- so tight zone is a good switch up for the ‘Canes. On tight zone, Miami’s offensive line will look to double team the 4 technique (defensive tackle) to the top of the screen and the 0 technique (nose tackle).

The 4 technique to the bottom fo the screen will be blocked by the H-Back, allowing the two combo blocks to push up and come off to the 2nd level inside linebackers. Usually on tight zone the running back will cutback under the center and stay on the side he was handed the football.

Instead, with the extra linebackers to the right of the offensive line, Cam Davis sees his opening to the left side and works slow to-fast through. Davis explodes through the line of scrimmage for a touchdown.

N’Kosi Perry

N’Kosi Perry barely broke 200 total yards on the night while averaging seven yards per passing attempt and 6.3 yards per run. Perry didn’t run the football in the sense of swing-draw or read option type plays but he scrambled when needed and picked up first downs with his legs on a scoring drive. The pass protection for Perry was a rollercoaster but because of his awareness of the rush and ability to avoid it the Yellow Jackets came away with only one QB hurry and no sacks.

The passing concept is switch, the outside and inside receivers switch responsibilities as the inside receiver crosses over and goes up the numbers while the outside receiver comes inside to the hashes. The back comes out of the backfield and is the “rush” route but Perry drills the football through a tight window between a cornerback and a safety rather than taking the easy check down.

Perry is going to have to learn to take what the defense gives him and not force throws. A late throw into traffic over the middle often leads to the interceptions we saw lead to his benching against Virginia.


We knew that the Yellow Jackets would attempt to dominate the time of possession and they held the ball for almost 10 more minutes than the Hurricanes. Miami had plenty of opportunities to win the football game but Jeff Thomas, Deejay Dallas and Perry fumbled away possessions. Miami is now 5-5 (2-4 in the ACC) with regular season games left on the road against the Virginia Tech Hokies and at home against the Pitt Panthers. Richt’s regime is 1-1 against Virginia Tech and 1-1 against Pitt since arriving in Coral Gables.

If Miami loses to both Virginia Tech and Pitt the ‘Canes won’t qualify for bowl eligibility. If Miami beats either the Hokies or Panthers it will be hard to imagine an ACC team at 6-6 with Miami’s national appeal being left out of a bowl game. If Miami becomes bowl eligible expect them to play at Ford Field in Detroit, MI in the Quick Lane Bowl against a Big Ten opponent like Maryland, Indiana or Minnesota.