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.
Quite a hit from D'Eriq King. Got me thinking: imagine if your QB got ejected for targeting after an INT... pic.twitter.com/BVe5IIkiiz— Max Olson (@max_olson) October 17, 2020
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.
D'Eriq King: "That was probably one of the worst games in my career. I didn't sleep much. I just came in Sunday. I was open. I wanted to be coached... having a good week of practice."— David Furones (@DavidFurones_) October 14, 2020
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.
Dee Wiggins can’t reel in a picture perfect pass from D’Eriq King. pic.twitter.com/W474QDWwuf— Anthony Yero (@AnthonyYero1) October 17, 2020
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.
UM now 7 of 30 on passes thrown at least 20 yards this year, with Wiggins/Pope not giving King very much help. Question is when to give extended look to Payton/Keyshawn Smith/Redding/Restrepo/Worsham.— Barry Jackson (@flasportsbuzz) October 17, 2020
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.
It is open competition at wide receiver for Miami. Dee Wiggins, Mark Pope, Mike Harley, Michael Redding III, Keyshawn Smith, Jeremiah Payton, Dazalin Worsham, Xavier Restrepo and Marshall Few are all listed with "or" as potential starting wide receiver on the new depth chart. pic.twitter.com/xL2hdobhIl— David Wilson (@DBWilson2) October 19, 2020
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.