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Film Review: Miami 38 - Virginia Tech 14

Hurricanes come alive in a desperate situation

Miami v Virginia Tech Photo by Michael Shroyer/Getty Images

Miami won. The Hurricanes broke the four game losing streak with defensive adjustments and the offensive scheme looking more like 2015 than 2005. The growth was there and Cam Davis looks like the next Miami star in the backfield. Now the offensive staff has to build on that growth and Perry’s maturity to beat the Panthers and get a bowl win.

TE Screen

I really like this play for the Hokies against Miami’s front 7 that is aggressive by nature and by play call. Virginia Tech, coming off a long play-action pass up the seam, calls a play-action power pass (fake power with the guard pulling and running back action, too) and throw back to the tight end. The tight end’s job is to block inside to slow down a pass rush then turn out and catch the screen.

The play side offensive tackle will serve as a lead blocker, as the play side guard pulls and wraps to sell power. The tackle comes down the line flat to block a cornerback while the center comes down the line and then up field to block a safety in the alley. The TE stays back and reads the flow of his blockers.

I love the offensive tackle finishing off the cornerback with a big hit. In the world of zone blocking and power, guards and tackles rarely get the chance to blind side anyone like in the days of belly, counter trey and trap.

Shaquille Quarterman Interception

Shaquille Quarterman has had a hell of a career so far at Miami and I really hope he stays for his senior season. Miami needs guys committed to four years who can stay and guide these young freshman and sophomores who are getting early playing time on both sides of the football. However here I’m glad the dude picked off the pass but you can see that if Ryan Willis threw the now screen it was an explosive play.

Zach McCloud’s job is to play #3 to his side which in this case is the running back. When the back released to the flat, McCloud had to chase him as the ‘wall to #3’ player. This helps close the passing window on the slant while also covering the flat route to the RB.

Shaquille Quarterman in normal circumstances would be playing the “low hole” which is the short area behind the center or the hook-curl to his side to cut off the now screen from breaking inside.

Above, the red circle indicates where Quarterman would be if he played the hook-curl. That would’ve cut off the now screen that Willis obviously should have thrown. Willis has even numbers to his right with 3 WR’s on 3 DB’s and bad numbers to his left, where he throws the ball, as he has 2 WR’s and 4 defenders.

It’s a great play by Quarterman and honestly it looks like he’s just seen a ton of film and could read Willis’ shoulders and knew what was coming. It creates the turning point of the football game and Miami hardly looked back after this interception.

Inside Zone Read with bubble RPO tag

On 3rd and 2 Miami has grown up and advanced the offense for N’Kosi Perry. Perry at times is overcoming his bad reads with his raw talent and will need to sharpen that up before playing Pitt on Senior Day.

If you watch the play back, it looks like Perry isn’t reading the defensive end at all but instead reading the flat defender. If the flat defender (marked above as RPO read) plays the bubble- Perry will give; if he plays the run- Perry will throw the bubble. For the people that don’t understand RPO’s this is why you run them.

Earlier on a 3rd and 1 Miami was stopped. The ‘Canes have been that team you can stop on 3rd and short because if you put eight in the box Richt’s scheme dictated to the quarterbacks to still run the football.

The earlier inside zone read (shown directly above) helps to freeze the back side defensive end on the Cam Davis touchdown run. However, man Perry should’ve given this football. Not only did the read sit (only pull if his numbers disappear) but the alley play runs down hill with a clear shot at Perry. Perry uses his talent to avoid both and scamper to the 1-yard line.

Back to the play at hand...

For the people that are all “Aye, I got an ideal, let’s run the ‘Canes offense from 1999,” here is why you don’t. After Perry pulled earlier and ran he slows down the back side defensive end. That end can’t “squeeze” to play the inside zone run (Davis) and is frozen by Perry. It makes him negligible versus a back with Davis’ explosive take off.

The RPO bubble package keeps the extra defender out of the box. The guy above with “always wrong” next to him is wrong here and chases the bubble. That allows Perry to hand off and Davis to cut back under the defensive end and then explode away from the flat defender aka Mr. Always Wrong.


When Mark Richt allowed for modern concepts the Hurricanes pour on 38 points and N’Kosi Perry scores three touchdowns (2 passing, 1 rushing). Cam Davis averaged 11 yards per carry while Travis Homer banged out 5.8 on the ground. Deejay Dallas had only five total touches after his fumbling issues.

The offensive line just looks better with Perry being allowed to run because of the numbers game, if he hands off with no read Miami is a man short at the point of attack. It also helps Miami to have the run-pass options in because it widens the flat defender which allows the offensive line to use five to block five which is what an offensive coordinator wants to see.

If Miami wants to beat Pitt, Richt needs to stay modern and allow Perry to grow into the position, mistakes aside.