The Miami Hurricanes dominated the Bethune-Cookman Wildcats 63-0 in front of a home crowd at Hard Rock Stadium. The ‘Canes defense played dominant, even if they only broke out the Turnover Chain once, in the showing. The offense started off slow and had to slowly wear down the B-CU defense in order to get things going.
The Hurricanes continued their third down woes until around the middle of the second quarter and finished 4-for-9 on third down and 1-for-2 on fourth down. Once again Miami’s offense didn’t turn the ball over which is a positive from the past few seasons where interceptions and fumbles were plenty.
Inside the stats: Jarren Williams finished with three touchdowns while averaging 10.6 yards per pass attempt. Deejay Dallas scored three times on nine yards per carry. Dallas will be playing on Sundays in 2020 unless he really wants to come back to Miami.
Third level RPO’s
To set up Dallas’ first touchdown run, Miami used a third level RPO against B-CU. With a third level RPO the quarterback is typically reading a safety. They became really popular at Baylor under Art Briles. Briles’ offense would run outside zone in the run scheme and a back side single receiver post as the RPO. If the safety to that side plays the run or trails to the middle of the field (back turned) the QB will pull and throw.
As the Wildcats safety turned his back to play the middle of the field, Williams sees this and knows the post is there. In the GIF below you can see how tight the window can be and why you need a good intermediate ball in order to make this work.
Zion Nelson and Deejay Dallas
We all knew Deejay Dallas was a good athlete, we just hadn’t seen the potential reached until this season. Dallas has come out on fire and looks slimmed down from 2018. His legs churn on first contact, he is cutting well, his 5th gear is there, and he’s running dudes over. This run gets sprung by Zion Nelson. Nelson, the true freshman tackle, mauls his guy by locking out and churning his feet. The effort from Nelson here is what impresses me.
Early third down woes
If you ever wondered why Miami couldn’t pick up a first down on third down, even against an FCS opponent, here is why. Williams stares down his receiver the entire play. The biggest issue is, it’s not even a quick developing slant in the quick game. Williams has to hitch up on a slant.
You can outright see here that the quarterback stares down the space on the field where the ball is going. The inside linebacker sugars a blitz, goes to drop low hole, then breaks on the ball because how couldn’t you? Everyone was aware of where that football was going and the B-CU linebacker just misses the interception.
This play is at the 20 second mark of the condensed game from ACC Network which is embedded below.
Preview and Review
When I wrote my film preview of B-CU and Miami, I wanted to see three things: game prep, improved offensive line play, and the ability to get pressure on the QB without having to blitz.
Regarding game preparation, Miami’s offense came out really slow, the kicker Bubba Baxa missed another chip shot field goal, and the offense struggled to convert third downs. That doesn’t show me game prep at all. That shows me that over the course of a game a team with more scholarships at a Power 5 level wore down a good but not great FCS team.
Even though it was only an FCS team- Miami allowed zero sacks and zero hurries. Double that with 257 yards rushing on 6.9 yards per carry and five rushing touchdowns and I think the offensive line showed improvement.
The ‘Canes were only able to come away with two sacks and four hurries which still leaves a lot to be desired. On the sack with the Wildcats backed up it took added blitz pressure for Scott Patchan to come away with the sack. That is not a good sign.
Were there things I would’ve liked to have seen look better against B-CU? Yes. But there are a lot of issues that need improving such as third down conversions, pass rush and the kicking game and Miami can’t afford a “wait and see” approach with those items. Central Michigan is another cupcake before a four game stretch of Virginia Tech, Virginia, Georgia Tech and Pitt. All four of those teams have glaring weaknesses (GT just lost to the Citadel) but they also all have recently beaten Miami (GT in 2018, Pitt in 2017, UVA in 2018, and VT in 2016).
Manny Diaz is going to have to show growth as a head coach and as someone who can prepare a team to come out hot and finish strong. From all accounts he thought he could get this program on better footing than Mark Richt and that has yet to be seen.