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Film Review: Duke 20 - Miami 12

Miami drops 3rd straight in another bad effort

Duke v Miami Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images

The Miami Hurricanes lost yet another game, their third in a row and fourth in 2018, to the Duke Blue Devils. Duke scored on their first play from scrimmage and had little to no offense the rest of the football game. Even so, Miami couldn’t get out of its own way on offense or in the kicking game once again. The real coaching malpractice is Todd Hartley’s effort in the kicking game.

The Hurricanes have no quarterbacks right now if Jarren Williams can’t beat out Malik Rosier or Perry. Rosier averaged 6.2 yards per pass attempt while Perry came up with 2.2 yards per throw. Travis Homer and Deejay Dallas benefitted from big runs as the ‘Canes ran for 300 yards and two scores on 44 carries. Dallas, however, fumbled three times and lost two.

The opening score

Duke came out of the gates with a 7-0 lead on a 75-yard run from Deon Jackson. It seemed like a fluke play but if you watch the defense, they gave up a massive cutback lane with over pursuit and only having one high safety. Jaquan Johnson was down in the box as a linebacker instead of at 8-10 yards where he normally plays. This left the other safety on the play as the only deep player.

The other strange thing was having the safety over the offensive tackle to the field knowing that he is the only “alley” player or the player responsible to run down and help the linebackers. I’m a proponent of two high safeties just for this scenario. With the other safety to the other side of the field, and 15 yards deep, he can really only help in the far passing game. In the shot above I use the phrase “CBR,” no that’s not cheap beer but it’s counter-boot-reverse.

There’s Johnson in the shot above, over pursuing the football and caught up in the trash. He should never have passed the defensive end in his pursuit because in reality, what is he going to do play side that someone else couldn’t?

Linebackers are supposed to work on a chain, when the mike runs up the will (Johnson on this play) gets pulled down and in, but it’s a long chain. Johnson in the box as a linebacker, and the other safety far and at 15 are more baffling moves that cost Miami the football game as Duke had trouble moving the ball in the torrential downpour that followed.

Split Zone

This is one of my all-time favorite plays and a great change up to inside zone read and zone lead (or base zone as some call it). Split zone has been discussed here quite often because I think if an RPO is tagged on it it’s a perfect play. The running back starts off running it ‘play side’ which above is left. The fullback’s job is to kick out the stand up player on the right side of the offense.

If the back doesn’t like what he sees, he can cut back to the kick out block. On inside zone read and base zone the back really should stay play side, this is the zone’s version of a counter in a lot of ways- but it also is a desire to stay play side as well.

You can see why it’s such a great play in the shot above. Jordan runs his man to buy him a hotdog and a Coke, Trayone Gray does a great job of kicking out the defensive end to create the cut back lane, and Dallas is out of the gate.

Quick GIF

Duke lets Gerald Willis III come unblocked and it’s hilarious.

Duke Jump Pass

The Blue Devils line up in a pretty standard formation. It’s a 2x2 set with two receivers to the bottom of the screen and a receiver and H-Back to the top. If I’m calling man coverage at the goal line (hopefully that’s the case, right?) someone has to be in man on the H-Back. Would you rather it be a linebacker or safety? Especially considering how inept the Miami linebackers have been in pass coverage, I want a safety.

The Hurricanes linebackers are as aggressive as advertised and out of position on a pass as usual. Zach McCloud doesn’t even see the H-Back running right past him. Duke scores here abusing Coach Daiz’s propensity to bring pressure and knowing that the linebacker trio that has three years of starts under their belt has hardly been developed on Greentree.

Pass Pro breakdown

Jahir Jones is playing some really bad football. As a coaching staff- you’re either coaching it or allowing it and Jones is being coached and / or allowed to play this poorly. He simply cannot be the best option at left guard, but his maturity outweighs being a football player, I’m sure.

However, this time it’s not just Jones, it’s Deejay Dallas, too. Dallas had a mixture of brilliant and boneheaded plays against Duke. For all of his amazing runs he lost two fumbles and his strange lack of peripheral vision on this sack was costly for Miami. Perry needed to get rid of the football faster than he did, but Dallas also blocked air on this play. Brevin Jordan is a good blocker but wouldn’t the idea be to help a tight end block instead of no one?

The end of this game resembled the end of Miami at Notre Dame from 2016 so much so I think I had deja vu.

You tell me there’s been development and I’ll tell you you’re lying.


Miami has dropped three straight, which resembles the end of 2017 and the middle of 2016. Can Mark Richt not keep the program on track for an entire season? The 10-0 start in 2017 was an aberration, this program is stuck in the Hard Rock Stadium mud and faces three straight potential losses, that shouldn’t even be close games if the ‘Canes were living up to their potential, in 5-4 Georgia Tech, 4-4 Virginia Tech, and 5-4 Pitt.

If Mark Richt comes out of 2018 6-6 there has to be major change within the coaching staff and strength program or the hot seat should start getting warm after back to back top 10 recruiting classes in Coral Gables. Maybe a young coach with an innovating offense could step in and use Richt’s recruiting to win football games against mid-card opponents like Virginia, Boston College and Duke.