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Student of the Game Film Review: Miami Hurricanes vs. Florida State

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Miami lost 31-28 and Manny Diaz was the reason why.

NC State v Miami Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images

4th and 14. That is all that stood in the way of the Manny Diaz led Miami Hurricanes and a fifth straight win against their rival Florida State. The failure of that play was in many ways a microcosm of the Manny Diaz era.

The fact you were in that situation to begin with. Just when you blinked the Hurricanes were down 17-0. If you have ever gone to a live Miami home game you will hear the stadium play by play announcer often periodically exclaim, “That’s another Miami Hurricanes first down!”

Well it was another Diaz slow start! The offense dug an almost insurmountable cataclysmic hole. After the first six drives, the offense had three turnovers and 59 yards of total offense. The defense certainly acted like it did not want to be left out and did its part by blowing coverages on the back end.

Manny also cannot recruit it well enough and it’s routinely the same players week to week that are putting him in tight spots. The Mike linebacker spot this year has hurt you. Corey Flagg Jr. is 42nd in conference with 48 total tackles but his inability to be a factor at times is glaring.

Whether it is a misfit, lack of range or when FSU isolated him on a running back on 3rd down in the passing attack, there is a gaping hole in the middle of the defense right now. Manny continuously allows it.

Here you will see a clip where the mike backer is left untouched but cannot factor in the play. You add that to the fact that the defense lost containment on the outside (Yes. The Seminoles got away with a blatant hold) and FSU with the easy scamper and score.

The Miami Hurricanes don’t quit. That is true. They roared back and took the lead 28-20. During this 5-5 stretch it is very apparent that a Diaz led team does not quit. But why does that matter? When the end of the game result is failure by often coaching complacency then the culture of not quitting is just a façade like shades on a broken window.

The decibels the team deserves from high fives for not quitting is now at a point where they are simply inaudible undertones drowned out by loud cacophonous boos. And the 4th and 14 was significantly boo worthy.

The decision to have a quarterback spy when the coverage seemed to mirror cover seven principles was idiocrasy. With 14 yards to go, sure Jordan Travis is a running threat, you already have seven sets of eyes facing the quarterback in zone coverage. That was the equivalent of having seven quarterback spies. Manny chose to play eleven on ten football in that moment.

If you cannot stop a quarterback from running 14 yards to go in that structure you didn’t deserve to win the game in the first place. You add that to the fact that a simple dagger concept got them the first down was even more disheartening.

A cornerback covered no one once his only threat left his side. A slot corner widened out and left the dig window even larger for no other reason then cluelessness. Three defenders covered absolutely no one on that play and when you needed it most, the teacher failed the students.

I have watched Manny Diaz for the better part of 10 games on the Student of the Game review. This game was on him. There is no metric that gives PFF grades for coaching so I will take the liberty. F, for fire him.

I want a team that doesn’t quit. I just don’t want that same team to be so poorly coached. Grab your popcorn and your pencils canes fans. This one stings a bit. #Bang!!!