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Student of the Game “I’d Steal That”: Run Game Diversity

The Clemson Tigers played to your tendency and blew up the mesh point. It happens. The Miami Hurricanes weren’t the best running team in 2020 and that needs to change.

Syndication: USA TODAY Ken Ruinard via Imagn Content Services, LLC

The Miami Hurricanes finished a meager ninth in the ACC conference last year with 162 yards rushing a game. What is further concerning, in wins the Hurricanes averaged 183 yards on the ground. In losses, the Hurricanes averaged an anemic 106.

That is a big difference which seemed to manifest itself when you visited Death Valley, Clemson. 42-17 and the Miami run game was half of its former self. Literally. In August and September Miami rushed for 246 yards a game and come October time the Tigers caught you by the toe. October’s rush total in games was that same ironic 106 yards a game.

So what gives? On this play, Clemson was playing your strong side and you just didn’t provide enough honest sideways hog molly pressure. The Venable’s warriors assaulted your mesh point with reckless abandon. They pinned their tiger ears and kept you in the backfield while daring you to throw the ball to your receivers. It wasn’t pretty.

Rhett Lashlee uses the run game and the RPO game almost interchangeably. I have always considered the standard QB zone read attached RPO with a quick perimeter throw option as a modernized version of the triple option. The half back give is the equivalent of the B-back dive, the quick screen is the option pitch and the quarterback keep is self explanatory.

The half back dive (OR inside zone) from shotgun is square one. That is what keeps the interior of the defense honest. It is the fastest variety of going up field. It is necessary. It is the building block that leads to other things. The canes just have to be careful.

Miami could benefit from some run game diversity. In this edition of “I’d Steal That” you see one team using numbers to their benefit and another, not so much. The counter action against and even split front led to BANG!. There is something to be said for more is more.

If you have more blockers than they do, statistically the odds favor you. If they bring more to the party than you have appetizers, somebody needs to make a Publix run. Check away from this front when the safety goes into the box or simply shift the half back on the other side of the quarterback and Miami could have gotten the numbers.

Just limit the damage on negative plays early. Give defenses something else to think about. If they penetrate without fear, like in the case Clemson did, then give them the fear of a 300 pound sideswipe that leaves them face first and run over by three more sets of cleats.

Popcorn and pencil time. This is the series that gives you permission to look at your neighbor’s work. Go ahead. Do it. I dare you. #gocanes #summerofsteal #BANG!!!