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Film Room: Concepts Miami can use to beat the La Tech defense

What Dan Enos can run against the Bulldogs in the ‘Canes bowl game

Virginia at Miami Daniel A. Varela/Miami Herald/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

The Miami Hurricanes will face the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs in the Walk On’s Independence Bowl on December 26th at 4pm eastern. The game will be shown on ESPN, and I’m sure the dark lords of cable are hoping the ratings turn out to see Miami lose. My film preview was up on Friday and you can check that out for more info on this piece here.

The ‘Canes can win this ballgame. Regardless of popular thought, Miami is the more talented team. The issue will be motivation and coaching. Are the Hurricanes going to be more motivated to play the Bulldogs? Banner Society’s Alex Kirshner has covered the lame excuses used for when a team is blown out of a bowl game.

Scenario 1: Smash

Best concept to beat this look: Post Corner from the Tight End so a smash concept.

Hiding that tight end in a deep stance behind a big tackle is a great idea. With La Tech having 1 high safety and the cornerback now having two defenders to his side, the safety has to cover a lot of room on this concept. You can even run it mirrored to both sides with what the defense is showing.

In the GIF below you can see the smash concept and how open it can get against two defensive backs to a side, imagine what you can do to only one high safety and a linebacker? Guys like Mike Harley and Dee Wiggins need to flash their supposed speed and burn a linebacker and get to the spot where the ball is dropped in before the safety gets out and over the top.

Scenario 2: Bubble-Draw

Best concept to beat this look: Bubble Draw

I initially suggested the Mesh Sit concept you see below, but I changed my mind upon further review. It’s a great concept but I want to run the rock when I’m given a clear opportunity to at least get a 50/50 look.

I appreciate that when I did a google images of “Mesh Sit Air Raid” this is what came up.

But I’m really going with a bubble-draw as you can see below. I call this a pass-run option or Pee Arr Oh. We have to differentiate for the QB’s read that he knows he’s looking to throw here first, then run. The QB will read the overhang linebacker. If he runs up to play the run the QB will throw the bubble. It’s an easy 1 over 3 from the look we can see and no reason not to throw a bubble. I consider a bubble an extension of the run game, anyway.

As you can see, it’s part of the classic Horns Down play that West Virginia used against Texas multiple times two years ago with Will Grier. Instead of the stick of stick-draw being the read it’s the bubble of bubble-draw. It’s a great play to take advantage of numbers and athleticism.

Scenario 3: Play-action RB Screen

Best concept to beat this look: Dan Enos’ pride and joy, the RB screen off play-action.

You wanted the best? Well they didn’t make it. You’ve got Dan Enos and he would love no more than to execute his under center, bunched up, play-action running back screen. Deejay Dallas was at expert levels on the screen but Cam’Ron Harris isn’t too shabby at it either.

Why does it work? Unlike his normal play-action passing stuff where there are multiple progressions. The QB can keep an eye on his threat blitzing away from the screen. He also doesn’t have a progression. Another thing is he doesn’t full turn his back, he pedals out with his eyes downfield. This play was adapted from earlier in the season and made to fit a little better into the talent available.


When I wrote this we still hadn’t learned who the quarterback was going to be. Miami is without Navaughn Donaldson, Deejay Dallas, Jeff Thomas and an offense that scores enough points to win more than half of their football games. I was pretty excited after Louisville not because of the result but because of the scheme I saw. But I warned fans to be cautious as if Enos was forced to being more up tempo, spread, and RPO based we could see that backfire and it has. Against FIU and Duke it was back to square one and that’s not a good thing.

I hope you guys have a great Hanukkah and Christmas.