On Saturday, the Miami Hurricanes beat the Duke Blue Devils by a final for 47-10. The teams were tied 10-10 at the end of the first quarter. Then Miami scored 20 unanswered points in the 2nd quarter and shut the Devils out for the final three periods. The Hurricanes move to 7-5 on the season (5-3 in the ACC) while Duke falls to 3-9 (0-8 in the ACC).
The Canyonero keys to victory were to: 1- Run the football, 2- stop the run, and 3- play your game.
1- Miami ran for 140 yards and two scores which is much improved from the prior two weeks.
2- Miami held Mataeo Durant to 68 yards on 3.1 yards per carry.
3- Miami’s game has been hinged on Tyler Van Dyke’s arm and the ‘Canes came out and relied heavily on their quarterback.
The Hurricanes finished the game 8-of-17 on 3rd down which is average, but 3-of-3 on 4th down is where the game was decided. Duke converted 9-of-19 3rd downs but only finished 1-of-4 on 4th down. This game was decided on offensive snaps on 4th down.
The ‘Canes cut their penalties way down from prior weeks. Miami only committed five penalties for 30 yards on the afternoon. Duke, for instance, committed eight penalties for 82 yards. The U did not turn the ball over which is huge for Miami. No fumble issues (Van Dyke did fumble but it was recovered by Miami), no interceptions.
While the ‘Canes defense only allowed a field goal, the special teams allowed two long returns to start the game, including one for a TD. Jaylen Stinson logged 131 return yards on two returns. Jonathan Patke’s kicking game woes take on a new form in every game, and in every game he fails somewhere.
Andres Borregales made all eight of his kicks, including four field goals on the afternoon. The two back up punters both got reps and punted dueling 49 and 40 yard punts.
The Miami offense, led by soon-to-be SMU head coach Rhett Lashlee, looked good enough against a bad Duke defense. QB Tyler Van Dyke averaged only 7.8 yards per pass attempt but threw three touchdowns with no interceptions.
Van Dyke’s main two targets were Charleston Rambo and Mike Harley. Both receivers have pushed themselves into NFL Draft status this season, especially Mr. Rambo. Rambo caught eight balls for 101 yards and two scores against Duke.
Harley caught 13 balls for 96 yards. They were joined by wide receivers Jacolby George and Xavier Restrepo. George averaged 26.7 yards per catch on Saturday, while Restrepo caught another TD.
Jaylan Knighton ran for 51 yards on 3.9 yards per carry against the Devils. Lashlee finally got other backs some work with Thad Franklin, Cody Brown, and Isaiah Cashwell carrying the football. Franklin averaged 7.5 yards per carry with a TD, while Brown averaged five yards per run.
The ‘Canes offensive line held Duke to no sacks, and four hurries with four tackles for loss.
Above- Against real competition, the two receivers both running posts would be an issue but not against Duke. This is a game that Miami should just out-talent their opponent in and scheme shouldn’t be an issue.
Above- It’s easy to make fun of Manny and his “we never saw that before” excuse. Duke did run a dime look against Miami.
Run that 3-2 and bring 5 every play with 3-high safeties. Force Lashlee's IZ to work— imfb_blog (@IMFB_Blog) November 22, 2021
But if Roman and I predicted they would, shouldn’t Lashlee and Diaz have predicted the same?
Above- 1- This is what great protection brings. Miami picks up Duke’s four man rush and owns it. 2- Like Roman said above, that deep safety still isn’t deep enough. Some how he wound up in a man turn against Restrepo and gave up the vertical to the goal post.
Above- Van Dyke likes the 1-on-1 to Rambo. This is mesh and he has post and mesh up top but takes the shot to Rambo who really made a million dollar move by leaving Oklahoma for Miami. Good job by him for betting on himself, good job by Rob Likens for improving Rambo’s concentration and getting one hell of a year from #11.
Above- Miami adds a tight end and it’s just a zone wash play with the slant back side. Basically one cut and ram yourself into the pile for a TD. When you can bully a defensive front, you need to just do it. KISS.
Above- Mesh again and Rambo gets that 1-on-1 look so Van Dyke goes back to him for the TD. I’m a big fan of mesh in the red zone, it’s really hard to defend, especially if you have a a guy that can win that match-up.
Duke’s offense has come off the rails. Outside of one drive, Duke really didn’t get much done on offense. Miami came away with three sacks, nine tackles for loss, and a QB hurry on Saturday. Duke had no answer for Leonard Taylor as he seemed to have constant penetration against the Devil’s offensive line.
Gunnar Holmberg averaged 4.5 yards per pass attempt with no touchdowns and an interception to Marcus Clarke. The back up QB, Riley Leonard, looked completely lost while on the field.
Durant did about as well as a running back can do when they aren’t supported by a QB run game or a passing game. While Durant ran for 68 yards, the rest of his team ran for -6 yards per carry as Miami finally had a solid day against an opponent’s O-Line.
Duke had three receivers hit double-digit yards per catch on the afternoon. Jake Bobo improved his yards per catch but again, no one scored on Duke’s offense. The ‘Canes still struggled with pass break ups only logging one on the afternoon.
Above- A Miami linebacker making a quick read, shooting an open gap, and coming up with a TFL?! It only took three years of Manny being the head coach to see this come around. And damn did the LB look... fast?! Duke shut down on 4th down.
Above- The corner blitz worked here for Diaz. Duke was looking to go deep rather than using a real progression and it shows. The WR that Ivey was over before blitzing was standing alone.
Above- Nesta Jade Silvera is a ‘flash’ player. He has big time flash plays and then will take reps off or will jump the wrong gap. He’s improved that over time and has improved his desire to fight off blocks and continue to play after being blocked initially.
The kick return
Above- You can see that Miami loses their lanes, and the KO team players are blocked vs controlling the contact. The safety fails to fit the massive gap and with the players all logged up inside the hashes it’s an easy explosive return.
On kickoff, you practice three drills over and over again:
1- Butt & press. STC’s want their KO team to avoid the 1st blocker and then press the 2nd back into the returner. It’s part of staying in your lane as you run down field. Avoid, get back in lane, jam and press, take control, rip and make a play.
2- STC’s will work ‘small sided games’ of having two KO guys run down vs. three KR guys. KOR- two are blockers, one is the returner. KO- two dudes running down. The job is to whistle it up at random points and see if your two guys have maintained the 5 yard space while not being controlled by the blockers.
3- Work on two defenders working together against a blocker and a returner and working together on a chain to not over run the returner, while also not giving up your outside leverage.
Above- You can see the break down in a GIF here above. The safety guy being out of position allowed the KR’s lead blocker to just have to get in the way and the kicker obviously wanted no part. He’s more Carlos Huerta than Matt Bosher.
Miami finished the season 7-5 overall and 5-3 in the ACC. When Miami came to the ACC there was an expectation that Miami and Florida State would be playing in the ACC Championship Game every year. Since joining in 2004, Miami and FSU have never met in the ACC Championship Game.
I won’t claim to be some Miami insider, so I’m not sure what this administration will finally do regarding an athletic director or the head football coach. For now, Manny Diaz is still the head coach at Miami and he’s hitting the road recruiting for the ‘Canes. On Saturday, Miami did what it should do- pounded a bad Duke team.