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Film Review: Miami 31 - NCSU 30

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The young guns came out and upset the Wolfpack at Hard Rock

NCAA Football: North Carolina State at Miami Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Hurricanes upset the NC State Wolfpack 31-30 on Saturday, October 23rd at Hard Rock Stadium. The ‘Canes move to 3-4 while NCSU drops to 5-2. This was Miami’s first ACC and Power 5 win of the season.

My Canyonero keys were to stop NCSU’s gadget plays, run the football, and protect the QB. Miami didn’t run well but Jaylan Knighton did just enough while Tyler Van Dyke was protected better than Miami has all season.


The data

Miami finished 3rd downs 6-of-17 versus NCSU being held to 3-of-14 on their 3rd downs. On 4th down The U finished 1-of-1 while the Pack were 1-of-2. While the Hurricanes improved on third down offense and defense, they still committed nine penalties for 66 yards including an opening drive false start.

Five Miami receivers had double-digit yards per catch which showed some explosion, but also that Van Dyke could go to other receivers rather than relying on just one. The Pack had six doubled-digit receivers. Neither team committed a turnover, so the turnover chain is all but dead in 2021.


The offense

The Miami offensive line allowed four sacks, nine tackles for loss, and five hurries against a high pressure NCSU defense. Van Dyke threw for 9.8 yards per pass attempt and four touchdowns without an interception. His main target was Charleston Rambo who caught nine balls for 127 yards and two scores. Knighton picked up 83 passing yards and a TD.

On the ground Miami’s backs Knighton and Cody Brown averaged four and 2.5 yards per carry, respectively. Thad Franklin didn’t record a carry, and Van Dyke scrambled just enough to pick up a some key yards but he’s not exactly mobile.

Above- Van Dyke doesn’t panic, resets his feet, and drops a dime on a corner route. If Van Dyke is going to eat up these corner routes, Lashlee just has to keep on calling them. This looks like two fin routes from the #1 and #2 receivers and the #3 running the corner.

Above- Pressure? Dudes in your face? Van Dyke puts it up on a dangerous throw and Rambo does a fantastic job of coming down with the throw.

Above- Knighton on the wheel route for a big TD. If your backs are mostly staying in to block, running some swings, the wheel is a great adjustment. It’s important to realize as an OC that even if Isaiah Moore went back in that he isn’t as mobile as he was, and now he has to cover Knighton or provide pressure on an injured leg.

Above- Van Dyke got plenty of time against a four man rush and hits Rambo deep over the middle. It’s nice to see Lashlee open up the book a little and let him go deep. No one is having fun running for one yard per carry up the middle 20 times a game.

Above- if you can’t beat ‘em, steal ‘em (Roman should appreciate that). Miami has given up these slide routes to H-backs in the red zone and now uses one to Mallory for a TD. It’s a clunky play design and not as open as you’d like, but he dives in for six.

Above- Van Dyke reads the over hang safety and when he bites on the run, the QB pulls and throws the fin route. Van Dyke felt really good about Rambo beating his CB because there’s no time to really look and read to reset here on the RPO.


The defense

The defense logged only one sack and just three tackles for loss. But where they excelled as in pass break ups, and hurries. The ‘Canes had six PBU’s and seven hurries against the Pack offensive line.

NCSU QB Devin Leary threw for over 300 yards and two TD’s, while also rushing for a third score. Leary averaged only 7.4 yards per pass attempt on the night. Miami squashed Bam Knight on the ground, holding him to two yards per carry. Ricky Person Jr. ran for six yards per rush and Miami gave up a 40 yard carry to Trent Pennix.

Miami had only one sack which was from Bubba Bolden. The ‘Canes TFL’s were spread out throughout the defense, as were the hurries.

Above- this is the issue with showing blitzes early. Leary saw Williams walk up, knew to boot away in an empty set, and threw the TD at Bolden. This is just a smart play by the QB.

Above- The corner is burned so badly that he can’t even catch up to an under thrown deep ball. Pitt is going to come after these corners and will have time to throw behind their ACC best O-Line.

Above- Miami brings pressure, it’s picked up, the QB steps up and throws a rope to Thomas. For whatever reason the Miami defense has been a middle of field open (MOFO) defense since Manny Diaz arrived at Miami. The intermediate to deep middle is typically wide open for OC’s and Beck picks up on this here.

Above- NCSU going ‘steal this’ against Miami. Sam Howell looked good on draw and Beck runs it with Leary. Miami defenders sit back and wait for Leary and get blown up on a block and then tackle him into the end zone.

Above- Where is the pass rush, Jess Simpson? The four man rush gets no where and Leary attacks Miami in a 1-on-1 there on the deep ball and wins.

Above- TACKLING LOW! HOLY CRAP a Miami defender shoots the hip instead of going for the shoulder block or 90 degree angle and the tackle is made. It was still an ugly tackle, the defender came off his feet instead of driving for five and squeezing the legs, but it worked!


Kicking woes

Above- Oh, Patke. The last of Manny Diaz’s buddy on the staff is still killing him. While Miami made their kicks, Lou Hedley has been nearly blocked multiple times per game for the past few weeks. The kick and punt return teams are sub-optimal. And now a fake punt getting him, again.


The wrap

In front of the 2001 National Championship squad the ‘Canes did what they needed to do. They beat a good-but-not-great NCSU team in a close game. Manny Diaz’s squad showed heart, especially the young players. I love the ego from Van Dyke to talk big and deliver.

Miami now has to hit the road on Halloween weekend to face the really hot Pitt Panthers at Heinz Field. Pitt is scoring 45.3 points per game, good for 4th in the FBS.

After Pitt it’s four dud games in a row against Georgia Tech, at Florida State, Virginia Tech, and at Duke. Two of those four opponents should have a new head coach in ‘22. A loss to any of the above and this should be the last time Mr. .500 wears the U over his heart.