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How Much Blame Should Be Placed On Dan Enos?

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Is Miami’s offensive struggles all on Dan Enos?

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2019 was supposed to be a historic year for the Miami Hurricanes, where changes in the offseason were to come to fruition and UM was again going to be dominating on the field. One of the reasons for this optimism was the hiring of offensive coordinator Dan Enos, who came to Coral Gables with much fanfare, and was hyped up throughout the offseason. He had success last year as QB coach at Alabama, helping Tua Tagovailoa break school records, and developing Jalen Hurts into an improved pocket passer.

While I think he’s done a good job at developing the quarterbacks here, because you can't deny how much better Jarren Williams and N’Kosi Perry have gotten this season, but as a play-caller I believe he’s been very disappointing.

The major thing that has been disappointing in regards to Enos is the lack of points that the Hurricanes have been able to score this season. Last year against FBS schools, Miami averaged 24.8 points per game, and that offense was looked at as one of the worst in recent memory. In 2019 with Enos as the coordinator and play-caller, the Hurricanes are putting up just 22.5 points per game up against FBS teams.

Now I will say this, you can’t put 100% of the blame on him when it comes to more points being scored. I mean, Miami kickers are 6-13 on the season, which is 21 points left off the board right there. At least in those cases, the Hurricanes offense is moving the ball down the field, this falls on the special teams.

Then you also have the Miami offensive line, which has been one of the worst in the entire country in 2019. Even with a veteran starter like Navaughn Donaldson, and also talented players such as Corey Gaynor and D.J. Scaife, the Canes front force haven’t been able to do a darn thing, and it’s cost Miami’s offense moving forward.

Miami has explosive players, such as running backs DeeJay Dallas and Cam’ron Harris, and some plays weren’t even bad calls by Enos, they just weren’t executed due to a poor offensive line.

Even with all of that, Enos has still made just the most interesting play-call decisions this season. I’ve made this argument a million times, but the reason why Miami is paying Enos so much money, is the belief that his creative offensive mind should be able to overcome a poor line and still put points on the board.

Whether it was a double reverse to K.J. Osborn near the goal-line this past week against Georgia Tech, or a play-action on 3rd-and-11 that went nowhere in the Central Michigan game, there have been questionable decisions by Enos.

Perhaps the most infuriating part about Enos this season is that he’s not calling plays towards Miami’s strengths. For example, Miami’s tight end Brevin Jordan is arguably their best player on offense, with over 430 receiving yards on just 28 catches. However, against Georgia Tech, Jordan finished with only three catches, and he only pulled in two receptions the week prior. I’d understand if they were at least targeting Jordan and he wasn’t getting the ball, but he’s not even being targeted.

They have specific designed plays for Jordan, such as this tight end screen, which is bound to work every time it’s called. Problem is, it’s only called about once every two games, so Enos and the offense is missing out on perhaps another 20 yards.

Or why hasn’t the other tight end, talented Will Mallory been used more? Prior to the season, the fact that Enos loves to use a two tight end set was preached often, but Mallory somehow only has three catches this year, and zero since the Central Michigan game.

To go along with the argument of not calling toward Miami’s strengths, it seems that Enos has sometimes neglected the effective Hurricanes runnning game. At the start of the second quarter, UM has the ball 1st-and-10 on the Georgia Tech 30-yard line. Instead of going to their running backs which had been successful up to that point, they threw the ball three straight plays, was sacked one of the plays, and had to punt, wasting another scoring opportunity.

Last week, Harris finished with 136 rushing yards but only had 18 carries. If something is working, keep doing it! Keep pounding the ground and feeding Harris, or Dallas for that matter.

And don't even get me, or any other Canes fan started on Enos’ redzone play-calling. Currently, Miami ranks 123rd in redzone offense, a number so bad it’s hard to even believe. I understand that players have to execute the play, but when it’s 3rd-and-goal against Virginia, a jet sweep to Brevin Jordan isn’t the best decision.

So, does Enos have the pieces around him to run his perfect offense? No. Is he getting screwed over with the field goal game and bad offensive line? Yes. Still, Enos needs to show more when it comes to creative play-calling and adjusting his system to the players, rather than the other way around. If he doesn’t, and we don’t see some improvement from this offense by seasons end, Enos’ future may be in jeopardy with Miami.