Before we fully clean the slate of that awful LSU game and move forward to some winnable games, let’s reflect one last time on Malik Rosier and his struggles on Sunday night.
It’s been said all week long following the 33-17 disaster on opening night; Rosier is not the answer at QB. The stats do a good part of telling most of the story. Any QB who can’t complete 50% of his passes has no place as a starter on any team, regardless of the defense they play against. Much less, a starting gig on a team that should compete for a playoff spot. So just how bad was Rosier against the Tigers? Well, the tape picks up where the stats leave off.
There are plenty of throws that can be picked apart and broken down from last Sunday’s game. However, here are four of the biggest throws that explain, without words, why Rosier is simply not an adequate passer.
Early 1st, Miami trying to answer LSU’s Field Goal
First of all, Jeff Thomas is maturing into an elite receiver before our eyes. This catch, and several other absurd grabs he had that night, are all the evidence that is needed. But this high-level difficulty reception shouldn’t be this hard. Rosier is making one read the whole way but does do a good job of letting Thomas clear the underneath defenders dropping in the Tigers’ zone defense.
The problem is the placement of the pass, one of the issues Rosier had all night. Rosier was consistently throwing high of his targets throughout the game and very nearly sailed this one over Thomas’ head. Not only that, but he also put it on his receiver’s trailing shoulder. So while the play is a net positive on the stat sheet, Rosier is bailed out by the acrobatics of Jeff Thomas.
Same drive, Miami on 3rd down in the red zone
This drive is reaching a critical point, a third and medium that Miami needs to convert to keep the drive alive. A touchdown here gives them the lead and early momentum. Rosier gives a peak to the middle of the field before finding his primary read, Jeff Thomas. From the slot, Thomas releases into the flat before turning upfield and running a curl. He has enough separation to make the catch and convert the first down if the ball is well thrown.
Yet again, this pass is high and this time, Thomas doesn’t even get a chance to show off his fantastic leaping ability and sticky hands. Fourth down, Rosier and the offense jogs off and Miami settles for a field goal.
Late 1st, Miami has a chance to take the lead, 3rd down and just outside the red zone
Similar to the last play, Miami can swing the momentum back to their side with a third down conversion or touchdown on this play. Lawrence Cager runs a go and releases inside, allowing LSU’s CB to pin him to the sideline. With the safety closing over the top, the window shrinks dramatically and Rosier doesn’t even give his man a chance to make a catch.
However, the worst part of this play is Malik’s read. Look at Ahmmon Richards on the other side of the field. He gets an outside release and is creating separation as Rosier goes to throw downfield. With the safety cheating toward Cager and away from Richards, all the QB needs to do is loft it up and let his speedy no. 1 wideout run under it for a touchdown.
Well, Rosier doesn’t see it, Miami goes to kick another field goal and misses. Miami won’t score points again until 4th quarter garbage time.
The final nail. Pick six late in the 2nd quarter
The play that sealed it in LSU’s favor. There really isn’t much to diagnose about this one but still needs to be included. Miami’s two inside receivers are working underneath while the outside guys stick toward the sideline. Thomas, running a slant, is Rosier’s first target. With his eyes never leaving no. 4, Rosier throws it without a second thought. The QB doesn’t even see the Tigers’ LB sitting underneath it, dropping it right into his chest and allowing him to run it back the other way for a 27-3 lead going into halftime.
Even if the LB isn’t there, the DB closest to Thomas is closing fast on the route and anything less than a perfect throw that leads his receiver, probably still gets picked off or at the very least, broken up.
Rosier wasn’t just bad last Sunday. He had one of the worst passing performances by a Miami starting QB ever. If Miami is going to have a real shot at competing with Virginia Tech for the Coastal Title, a Hokies’ team with a QB that looks competent by the way, they are going to need a new signal caller. The proof is in the tape.