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Film Review: Pitt 3 - Miami 24

Hurricanes dust Pitt before Panthers represent Coastal

Pittsburgh v Miami Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

The Hurricanes smothered Pitt slowly, like a big snake with a little church mouse inside of its throat. Miami defeated the Panthers 24-2 on senior day on Saturday afternoon. The Hurricanes used sacks, tackles for loss, a turnover, and a punt return for a touchdown to stop the Pitt offense.

Miami’s offense fumbled twice, average 2.2 yards per passing attempt (not entirely N’Kosi Perry’s fault), but did manage 9.2 yards per rush with Travis Homer ripping off 21 yards per carry on the afternoon.

Miami has come out of the 2018 season with a 7-5 record and awaiting their bowl destination. SB Nation’s Jason Kirk’s projections have Miami facing off against the USF Bulls in Tampa for the Gasparilla Bowl. Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl will be played on Thursday, December 20th at Raymond James Stadium.

There’s nothing like playing a bowl game while school is still in session- cool.

Pitt is dumb, Miami wins

The Pitt quarterback, Kenny Pickett, has to have his pre-snap reads built in but it feels like obviously he does not. Pitt could greatly benefit from hiring the Princeton offensive coordinator, Sean Gleeson (so could Miami) or someone else innovative.

Miami brings 7 man pressure that’s shown early pre-snap. Obviously the slot receiver will be uncovered. The safety has to cover the tight end to that side and the slot at the same time. What should a QB check to? I would run the tight end on an “opposite” route which means the tight end would run to the safety’s far leg. The uncovered slot needs to run a now or 1-step slant to get the ball in that open space the Miami scheme has left.

As you can see above, the slot is standing alone as the safety has to cover the deep threat of the tight end and six can’t protect against six or seven on a pass rush. Pitt doesn’t use their back as a swing route player, either. Terrible offensive scheme against the pressure Diaz likes to bring.

Manny is smart because he brought the pressure knowing Pickett wouldn’t check out and it worked for a huge sack to crush the Pitt offense and force a punt.

20 personnel: Zone? lead with RPO tag

The Miami offense isn’t known for being creative and it’s sort of sad that I’m this happy about seeing 20 personnel zone lead with a bubble RPO tagged. I mean it beats Perry taking a 7 step drop with 5 man protection and no rush route in the face of a 7 man rush, right?

Above, I’m not sure what Perry saw on his read but this is a throw read for me. A 6 man box is a 50/50 and with the safety that deep and the flat defender that far inside and flat footed I’m throwing the bubble. Perry gives to the back and there’s a confusing part to the run scheme. I’m not sure why the left tackle is blocking the defensive end, but we’ll call this some form of a zone (it doesn’t look like man blocking) lead for Miami.

Above, the offensive tackle should’ve blocked the defensive tackle. That would’ve kept that right hand from coming free which could’ve made a tackle. If the fullback kicks out the defensive end it’s a surprise block, like a trap, that opens that hole wider.

Pitt’s bad offensive game plan

I’m not sure what Pitt’s game plan was against Miami but running at 8 in the box is never something I want to dial up. Pitt however does. They try to run at Miami’s 8. My scheme would use the quarterback as the offensive coordinator on the field and allow him to get out of a bad play call.

Pitt runs a split zone-inside zone read mixture and the back has to break a few tackles just to get two yards before fumbling the ball over to Miami. Pickett is reading the back side defensive end, his HB is arc blocking up to the linebacker in case the QB pulls the ball on the read, and the wing at the top of the screen is running across to kick out any cut back player that shows. The diagram of what Pitt actually called is directly below:

Below, you can see what I would’ve done instead. Sure, dial up a run play but once there’s 8 in the box and no flat defender near the slot it’s time to read the flat defender (in the red circle) and possibly throw the RPO.

Below, the flat defender never takes his eyes off of the back field and if the slot had ran a bubble he would be too far outside for the linebacker and too shallow for a safety bailing out to 15 yards.

Bad offense is everywhere, not just in Coral Gables. This is why the ACC is so piss poor in 2017 and 2018. Where the Big 12 has spent the past 15 years hiring innovative play callers like Dana Holgorsen, Mike Leach, Lincoln Riley, and Mike Gundy the ACC has hired Steve Addazio, Mark Richt and Bronco Mendenhall who aren’t exactly known for innovation on offense.


Miami won a game that I thought they would come out flat for, so I’m happy with the result. I’m just not impressed by the ACC as a whole. Clemson is the clear leader and after that it’s a drastic drop off in development and deployment. Only three teams in the ACC have eight or more wins on the season as Clemson, Syracuse and NC State have 11, 9 and 8 wins, respectively.

If Jeff Brohm does take the vacant Louisville job the Atlantic will at least have the offensive thinkers in Dino Babers, Dabo Swinney, Willie Taggart and Brohm while the Coastal has Pat Narduzzi, Richt, Mendenhall, Paul Johnson, and whatever is wrong with the offenses at Virginia Tech and UNC under Justin Fuente and Larry Fedora.

It’s been real, y’all. Thank you for another great Miami Hurricanes regular season on SOTU, even if it sucked on the field.