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Film Room: Hurricanes spring game film breakdown

Tate Martell shined against the ‘Canes defense

NCAA Football: Miami Spring Game Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

With the spring game going un-televised I don’t have the best film to work with. However, a true legend filmed a majority of the scrimmage and we will be using his Twitter feed to break down a few plays from the afternoon.

It was good to see the quarterbacks play much improved football from years prior based on small amounts of film and data from the scrimmages. Dan Enos is going to do great things with the quarterbacks and offensive scheme while at Miami. The bigger issue will be keeping Enos from taking a head coaching job in the off-season when places like Virginia Tech could reasonably come available.

Four Verticals Switch

The diving Will Mallory touchdown was on a four verticals switch call. What that means is that both numbers and both seams would be occupied, but not necessarily by where the player begins. After the motion, Miami is in a 3x1 set. The left receiver’s job is the left numbers, the tight end’s (Mallory) job is to cross the goal post and re-settle on the far seam (left). The switch comes from the two receivers on our right.

They switch responsibilities (an old Air Raid staple) and the right outside receiver winds up on the seam while the right slot winds up on the numbers and wide open (see above). It feels as thought the quarterback had his mind made up and Mallory makes a great diving catch to bring the ball down.


I have discussed swing-draw quite a bit on State of the U (here, here). This looks like a swing-draw with Martell at quarterback. Martell misreads the play and doesn’t hit the back, unless he felt the pressure behind him and decided to get out of trouble before being “sacked.” It looks like Martell was thinking run all the way here.

In order for the play to work properly, the back is going to have to stay a read. If he’s open throw him the football, if the defensive end or a linebacker runs to the swing, quarterback keeps on the draw.

Crossers and Swings

I love the use of mesh and shallow cross by Dan Enos to get playmakers the football on short, accurate throws with limited room for error. It’s how you saw Tua Tagovailoa and Jalen Hurts have such high yards per passing attempt numbers and completion percentages. However, the quarterbacks are going to have to actually throw a swing when under pressure.

The swing is the rush route in the R4 coaching manual. The speed out or fade is the rhythm route and the double crossers (mesh) or shallow-dig (cross) combinations are the read. That means as the QB drops back he should be watching his rhythm route. If it’s open he throws on the end of his drop (three step usually in the shotgun). If it’s capped, he will look to his read. Here it’s the crosser. If the QB feels pressure or that’s covered, it’s time to go to the swing route (rush route). When that is covered (it’s not) he would “release” or take off running.

On whatever combination that’s being ran in this clip, N’Kosi Perry forces the throw to possibly a sit down route while the back is standing alone in the flat.

Here’s another play where the ball is forced into traffic and there’s a swing rush waiting for him. If the ball is throw to the back the linebacker will have to recover 12 yards in limited time and make an open field tackle or this swing route goes for 25 yards.

The clip is below:

On the clip below, the crosser is wide open and never seen. If the QB is going from rhythm to read in their progression- the crosser is an obvious look from the QB because he’s the second part of the progression and going from left to right (Hal Mumme made the Air Raid right oriented).


It’s good to see that both sides of the football played well. K.J. Osborn seems like a lot to handle for the defensive backs and the combination of Mallory and Brevin Jordan will be dynamic. Adding in Deejay Dallas and Cam’Ron Harris with Lorenzo Lingard, Jeff Thomas, and Jeremiah Payton makes Miami’s offense loaded at the skill positions. If Martell is the starter- that gives Miami a quarterback who can run inside zone read, swing-draw, and dart which Coach Enos liked at Alabama.

If it’s someone like Perry or Jarren Williams starting at quarterback, Miami has another versatile weapon in Martell to put anywhere on the field (read more here). As long as the offensive line can find a combination of getting the best five on the field- Miami should find great success against a weak Coastal in 2019.