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Film Preview: Savannah State at Miami

Miami hosts Savannah State at 6pm on September 8th

LSU v Miami Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images

The Miami Hurricanes host the Savannah State Tigers on September 8th, 2018 at 6pm. The game will be held at Hard Rock Stadium and is on the ESPN ACC Network. The fan turnout will be minimal between the weak FCS opponent and after Miami’s dud that was laid in Arlington, TX against the LSU Tigers. Mark Richt is standing strong behind his quarterback, Malik Rosier, while fans clamor for something different.

The Tigers dropped their week one contest to the UAB Blazers, a good but not great squad that just got a re-boot two years ago. Miami should handle State easily but the ‘Canes looked out of shape and underprepared a week ago against what is probably an 8-win Tigers squad led by a transfer quarterback.

Savannah State’s Offense

Savannah State’s Counter

If anyone in their right mind thinks Savannah State can slow down Joe Jackson or Gerald Willis III they’re insane. The issue is whether Pat Bethel and Tito Odenigbo can stop from being the kings of encroachment. The Miami interior line looked like they had never heard or seen a hard count (when the quarterback changes inflection to draw the defensive linemen offsides) which is worrisome for the ‘Canes defense.

The Savannah State H-Back was supposed to “kick” or block out on the defensive end but misses and the defensive end makes the play on this counter.

Savannah State Crossing Route

If the Tigers quarterback has this much time to throw against Jonathan Garvin, Jackson, Scott Patchan, etc it means Jess Simpson isn’t doing his job right. UAB is a good defense but not quite what people expect Miami to perform to the level of. Also, Manny Diaz had better not have to blitz in order to get pressure on the Tigers.

In the GIF above, the UAB inside linebacker is playing man coverage and not only chases a running back out of the backfield but steps in front of the pass and runs the interception back for a touchdown.

Savannah State’s Defense

I have this weird feeling Miami will force in a good throw instead of running against a 5-man box but the five man box is obviously sitting in front of the ‘Canes play caller slash head football coach. Miami could easily run against this look from the Tigers as UAB ran for 287 yards and four touchdowns against this look.

Above, the Blazers take advantage of the five man box by running the swing draw concept. Both the swing and draw are open and the safer play for UAB was the draw. It may be safer for Miami too with the accuracy of the quarterback versus his running skills.


What we saw against the Tigers was outright disappointing. The ‘Canes fans expect more and honestly the players and coaches should as well. Miami needs to focus their attention to the finer details. The offensive line being out of shape might be a too little-too late scenario but the defensive line jumping offsides and the poor tackling has to be fixed immediately.