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What if the Miami Hurricanes went Spread in 2010: Teams Edition

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What teams personnel groupings could have best exploited the explosiveness of the spread offense?

Miami Hurricane Football Game Day Images: Virginia Tech at Miami

Had so much fun we had to do it again.

Players are the heart and soul of sports. It’s the talents of a Duke Johnson, the electricity of a D’eriq King and the personality of a Braxton Berrios or a Jimmy Murphy that makes it all fun to watch. More so in Miami where we have not had the pleasure of a complete team, we attach ourselves to favorite players based on those qualities among others. But its when these traits unite that we truly take notice. A Deejay Dallas may be the definition of those items together, but what can always trump a single individual holding those traits is a full set of 22 players that complement one another similarly.

A TEAM.

As mentioned, we are still awaiting that in Coral Gables. We have had glimpses since 2010.

2011 vs Ohio St.

2016 vs West Virginia

2017 vs Notre Dame

Whereas these performances stand out, and 2017 quite possibly the team performance of the decade for Miami, what would it have been like to have a team that consistently put its players in positions to succeed? Which teams of the last decade would have succeeded in a Rhett Lashlee offense? Lets dig in.

I broke out the depth charts focusing on players for those teams that I felt would be impactful (IE Players, Out for the Season, Red shirts were excluded. In season injuries were tough but I chose to include those players). Also, as we are focusing on the effect spread would have, we will exclusively pay attention to the offense. (Full Team effect to come at a later date.)

So how do we do it?

  • We look at what the 2018 Houston Cougars did
  • We look at what the 2019 SMU squad did
  • We look at play call balancing, red zone numbers and distribution patterns.
  • We take averages and totals for Canes players in 2019, SMU players in 2019 and UH players in 2018 and apply them to each year simulated.

2011

QB: Jacory Harris, Stephen Morris

RB: Lamar Miller, Mike James

WR: Travis Benjamin, Tommy Streeter, Allen Hurns, Phillip Dorsett

TE: Clive Walford, Chase Ford

The 2011 Miami Hurricanes were a difficult pill to swallow as a fan. For as much talent that the team had it never felt as though they could click simultaneously. Travis Benjamin was one player who, similar to Jeff Thomas, should get plenty of touches due to his playmaking ability and game changing speed. Yet he only had three (3!!!) games with six or more touches. With 20% more plays to go around in a balanced offense, and as many targets as SMU lead receiver James Proche (111), Benjamin hits 1654 in yardage and much more than the 3 TDs he had in 11’. Lamar Miller as the cog on this team as he was in 2011 gives the team a 1,000 receiver and rusher in Travis and Lamar. We can not forget Harris’ favorite receiver, Tommy Streeter, who hit 811 yards on only 46 receptions. Its safe to assume this would be the first 1000RB/1000WR/1000WR in Canes history. Lastly at QB, Harris attempted (300) less passes than Shane Buechele COMPLETED (307) for the 2019 Mustangs. Simply giving Jacory the same attempts Buechele had at Jacory’s completion percentage and Yards per attempt leaves Harris at 4060 yards and 31 TDs (1TD/9.75 completions)

2014

QB: Brad Kaaya, Jake Heaps

RB: Duke Johnson, Joe Yearby, Gus Edwards

WR: Stacy Coley, Phillip Dorsett, Braxton Berrios, Rashawn Scott, Herb Waters

TE: Clive Walford

This iteration of Canes offenses was fun to dream on simply for the combination of Brad Kaaya and Duke Johnson by itself. The addition of a feature receiver in Phillip Dorsett and a possibly healthy Stacy Coley only made this more exciting. Since Coley was hurt most of the year I used his per catch average from the pevious year. I can easily imagine the offense operating without much limitation. Duke Johnson would ultimately challenge for the Heisman (1988 rushing, 586 receiving and 27 total TDs). But it wasn’t Dorsett or Coley that was the biggest receiving benefactor - it was Walford with 61 catches and 941 yards, punctuated with 9 touchdowns. That would easily earn a John Mackey Award in most seasons.

2016

QB: Brad Kaaya, Malik Rosier

RB: Mark Walton, Joe Yearby, Gus Edwards, Travis Homer

WR: Ahmmon Richards, Stacy Coley, Braxton Berrios, Malcolm Lewis

TE: David Njoku, Christopher Herndon IV

Here we start to see the consistent benefit of the spread effect. Before the 2011 simulation, Miami had never had a season with two 1000 yard receivers and a 1000 yard rusher. Within this simulation, we have our SECOND. Most notably is Ahmmon Richards becoming the only Miami Freshman to break 1000 while breaking the freshmen yardage record held by Michael Irvin. Stacy Coley finishes in style with a monster 74 catch, 1250 yard 12 touchdown season. Also becoming a trend (or maintaining what already exists) is the tight ends blowing up. David Njoku would net 814 yards and 11 touchdowns, which should again be more than enough to secure a Mackey. Lastly, Kaaya would become the leader in almost every major category at the University of Miami and score over 100 TDs in 3 seasons.

2020

QB: D’Eriq King, N’Kosi Perry

RB: Cam Harris, Jaylan Knighton, Don Chaney Jr., Robert Burns

WR: Dee Wiggins, Mike Harley, Mark Pope, Jeremiah Payton

TE: Brevin Jordan, Will Mallory, Larry Hodges

This can be taken many ways. One can say that I am optimistic and assume this team has as much talent if not more than any Canes team in the last decade (I am and I do.) It is made to appear that this team has more to gain than most of those same teams (they do, most notably respect). This team is BY FAR the most talented in almost 15 years. Most importantly, the expectations and potential are SKY HIGH for the 2020 offense.

With that this is the resulting stat sheet:

With the right Offensive Coordinator, the right system and he right quarterback, the 2020 offense hits gold with a dynamic and balanced attack featuring five pass catchers over 500 yards and two over 900. The two Brevin Jordan and Mike Harley are players seemingly made for a spread offense, and the numbers bear it out using their share rate from last year and the pace from SMU and UH. We have yet another 1000 yard rusher in Harris and finally have a Heisman hopeful quarterback, eclipsing 4500 total yards and 50 TDs. That’s what we have been waiting for.

It’s fun when its hindsight, but when used in foresight, it feels unfathomable. We have been conditioned to understand that nothing goes as planned or comes as advertised. Not in Miami. That is until 2016 when we finally got that shiny new havoc raising defense after “No D” Nofrio for five years. If we finally have what we have asked for, just as 2016, why not expect greatness?