Tyler Van Dyke was thrust into starting duty after having hardly taken a single snap in orange and green. Van Dyke, the Connecticut native, was about as green as a quarterback could be heading into the 2021 season. In ‘20, Van Dyke had thrown two passes, both incomplete, and taken a sack. That was his career stat line.
The six-foot-four, 224 pound QB from Galstonbury was then throw into the fire for three runs an an incompletion as Alabama pounded Miami into the turf. The next week saw Van Dyke complete 90% of his passes with three touchdowns against Central Connecticut State in a route.
Van Dyke then struggled in consecutive weeks against Virginia and North Carolina. Between those two Coastal opponents, Van Dyke was sacked seven times, completed under half of his passes, and threw two TD’s with three INT’s. Miami lost both games and Van Dyke had to re-up before facing a highly regarded NC State team on October 23rd.
Over the ‘21 season, Van Dyke threw for 2,931 yards and 25 TD’s with only six INT’s. He averaged nine yards per pass attempt while being sacked 20 times. Van Dyke’s record as a starter was 6-3, including a loss to rival Florida State in an upset on the road.
That NC State game against the ranked Wolfpack is where we’ll pick up the story of how Tyler Van Dyke became Tyler Van Dimes.
Miami 31 - NC State 30
Van Dyke talked big before the NCSU game about how he felt the Pack couldn’t stop the Miami offense. He wasn’t entirely wrong, and threw for four TD’s with no interceptions while completing on almost 76% of his throws.
The game starts off rocky- there’s a false start, a nice easy hitch completed, before Van Dyke pumps and loses the ball on an incompletion. Then he hits what has to be his favorite route- the corner route.
Above- I run this concept slightly differently, but the result can be the same. I like to have #2 run a ‘lookie’ or a really shallow slant that turns up at the ILB. The lookie is my #1 read, the #1 running a fin (same 5 yard dig) with #3 running a corner just like above. The read is lookie to fin to corner.
Above In Lashlee’s offense, he dials up the two fin routes and the corner. Essentially, the concept does the same thing as my version. I just like how fast the ball can come out on a lookie vs a fin. Avoid sacks at all cost!
Above- In R4 terminology, 7-yards is the ‘hard deck’ for throwing a fade. NCSU is taking away the fade and this should either break off into a dropout to avoid the potential pick six if it’s an in breaking route like a hitch. Van Dyke throws it deep into that look and it’s incomplete.
Above- Now the CB is below the hard deck and Miami has a fade dialed up off of the run look.
Above- Here’s the fade, essentially, let your star WR, Charleston Rambo, out run the CB and drop the DIME (hence the nickname) in the corner. The NCSU DB’s were weak in general, the DC Tony Gibson knew it, that’s why he tried to play so much off cover 1 and 3.
Above- This one is close, Xavier Restrepo shouldn’t have been able to nearly pull this down but the NCSU safety has his eyes in the wrong place and gets burned against Miami’s up-and-coming slot receiver.
Above- The OC’s calls can make a QB look even better, when the game is called well. There are some brilliant calls from Lashlee in this game, as well as a few duds where he goes to the well too many times. Here, you’re seeing one of the gems. The backs hadn’t been a big part of the receiving game on intermediate throws. Jaylan Knighton had been used in pass pro a lot before this ball. Now you slowly wheel him out and the NCSU defenders’ eyes aren’t on him. He’s let go and that leads to a TD.
Above- I still don’t understand how this breaks but it does. The WR runs a deep crossing route that slips above the LB and below the S. He splits the safety and the ball is dropped in there a little short but Rambo adjusts after motoring down a little. If Van Dyke steps into this throw it’s a TD.
Above- I like attacking the flat and/or front pylon in the red zone as well as the middle of the field. Here Lashlee dials up the split zone play-action with a slide route from the TE Mallory. The WR that motions sets the pick and Mallory dives in for a TD.
Above- It’s one thing to chuck up a fade and hope someone runs under it. It’s entirely another thing to thread the needle on a 12 yard dig route through traffic on a 3rd and long situation. This is an NFL throw and OC’s should be lining up to be his play-caller in ‘22.
Above- Will Mallory had a nice game against NCSU on his comeback tour. Mallory weaves his way through zone coverages into the open space in the middle of the field. You need a tall threat that can run clean routes, find space, and catch the ball- Mallory improved in ‘21 from his ‘20 campaign.
Above- Against modern defenses, QB’s have to be some form of a run threat. Van Dyke had already scrambled a few times through the middle of the defense for positive yardage. Now he’s going to pull on a zone read option play which will slow down NCSU’s tendency to be overly aggressive against the run.
Above- Lately, I’ve talked a lot about the OODA Loop on SOTU. Talk about jacking up your OODA Loop: 1- high motion from the outside WR, 2- the inside threat runs under the outside threat. 3- the QB is booting a little off of play-action. That’s a lot of eye wash for the defense. Van Dyke then makes the proper read on the high-low to Elijah Arroyo.
Above- Let’s end this thing on a TD. People that don’t like RPO’s at all are misunderstanding the point. 1- The QB doesn’t have to run for it to be an RPO!! 2- when a defense stacks the box, the same person that doesn’t want to RPO will complain that Miami ran into an 8-man box and couldn’t get a yard.
In this clip you’re seeing the value of the RPO. The overhang player plays the run aggressively after the snap on the front side RPO. Van Dyke pulls and hits the slant for a TD.
Was Van Dyke flawless in the win over NCSU? Of course not. Freshman QB’s rarely are. The offense committed a few pre-snap penalties, had a bobble snap under center, and he missed on a couple of throws while also taking an ugly sack in the 4th quarter. Of course, what Van Dyke does best is he shrugs off the mistakes while gleaming little insights from each one.
Van Dyke left the NCSU victory to throw six TD’s with only one INT over the next two Coastal games versus Pitt and Georgia Tech. Miami won back-to-back underdog games (NCSU, Pitt) due to Van Dyke’s arm. Miami did lose to FSU on the other end of an upset, and Van Dyke had a terrible first quarter against the ‘Noles.
After the FSU game, Van Dyke went on to throw for six more TD’s, with no interceptions, and nearly 800 passing yards to beat Virginia Tech and Duke to end the 2021 season. Manny Diaz and Rhett Lashlee are both gone, and Mario Cristobal is the new head coach of the ‘Canes. Miami still hasn’t announced an OC for the young Van Dyke to learn under, however, I have a feeling it’s the ‘Mario Cristobal Offense’ that whomever he hires will run.