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Where’s the Deep Ball?

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Miami’s offense had some great moments against Pitt, but a certain play is missing from their arsenal.

NCAA Football: Miami at Florida International Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Throwing 4 touchdown passes against a respectable Pitt defense, quarterback D’Eriq King looked sharper than he did against Clemson a week prior, but not dominant. King threw 2 interceptions, one that was returned to Miami’s goal line, the other to Miami’s red zone.

Against Pitt, 3 of King’s 4 touchdown passes went for over 30 yards, but the ‘Canes were still unable to connect on ‘true’ deep balls. Credit should be given to the secondary of Pitt, but what we haven’t seen for the past 2 weeks is much separation between Miami’s receivers and coverage while streaking down the sidelines. Miami found ways to score in order to control the game, but the long ball is still a threat important to any offense.

Against Clemson, King had one of the worst throwing games of his career. Of course, the blame doesn’t simply rest on his shoulders alone, as Miami’s receivers were constantly blanketed by Clemson’s defensive backs. However, we have seen deep throws executed by this offense. Using the Florida State game as an example, we witnessed how potent the Miami offense can be when they’re able to stretch the field.

Dee Wiggins seemed to be Miami’s primary deep-shot threat, but was held to just 1 reception against Clemson, and didn’t record a catch against Pitt. Mark Pope was able to get back on track on Saturday, catching 5 passes for 46 yards, but the underperforming Wiggins is starting to see his reps diminish.

While you hate to see a player struggle and regress, the next man up must be ready. D’Eriq King hasn’t been as mistake-proof as he was against Louisville and Florida State, but the offense as a whole needs to be sharp in order to put up big numbers on the scoreboard.

The encouraging news for Miami is that they have a ton of talent behind Wiggins, and if he continues to struggle, the ‘Canes must utilize the other options in order to stretch the field in coming weeks. Additionally, Miami’s depth chart as of October 19th lists no ‘true’ starting wide receiver, proving Miami’s search for a proficient wideout.

Besides D’Eriq King, Cam’Ron Harris, and the tight end corps, no one’s starting job is safe on Miami’s offense. Hopefully, we’ll see a newer face step up this coming Saturday, or a resurgence for Dee Wiggins.