The Miami Hurricanes were blasted by the Duke Blue Devils on Saturday afternoon by a final of 45-21. The home field Hurricanes, with an empty Hard Rock Stadium to play in front of, have slipped to a 3-4 record (1-2 in ACC). Duke is now 5-3 (2-2 in ACC) and a game away from bowl eligibility.
The Canyonero keys to beating the Blue Devils were:
1- Do your job. Kam Kinchens and James Williams were both called out the past two weeks for playing ‘hero ball’ on defense. That means having gone for interceptions when you clearly weren’t playing the coverage properly.
Miami fumbled five times, that’s not doing your job. Jake Garcia threw three ugly interceptions to go with his two fumbles. That’s not doing your job. Mario Cristobal has all but said this season is a wash and it’s time to flush guys out of the program- but whose fault is that?
2- Protect the QB. The ‘Canes offensive line protected well on the first touchdown to Colbie Young, but wound up allowing six sacks and a hurry including one sack that put Tyler Van Dyke on the sideline. Van Dyke was 11-of-16 with a TD before being knocked out of the game.
3- Win the kicking game. Miami lost the kicking game by fumbling a kick return that was converted into points for Duke. It was part of the massive fumble-driven momentum swing from The U being the clear 10 point favorite that Las Vegas saw into being an absolute gamblers nightmare.
As a coach I can tell you that nothing embarrassed you more than looking like you haven’t practiced. The fastest way for your preparation to be put in question is to have a ton of penalties (Virginia Tech), a ton of turnovers (Duke) or a bunch of kicking game issues (Texas A&M).
For a strength coach, the preparation piece is to be out hit, out ran, and to out injure the other team. Miami was out hit, out ran, and lost the injury timeouts against Duke. The team that loses the injury timeout game, loses the actual game.
The offense was 4-of-12 on third down, and 1-of-3 on 4th down. The defense allowed Duke to convert a solid 7-of-16 on 3rd down but also to go 2-of-2 on 4th downs. Miami clearly cut down on penalties, only committing three for 30 yards, so there’s a positive sign after the Virginia Tech disaster.
Josh Gattis must be said this morning as Miami lost the time of possession battle 32 to 27 to Duke. The ‘Canes also lost the turnover battle with EIGHT turnovers, while Duke only turned the ball over twice.
Tyler Van Dyke wasn’t playing amazingly, but was playing okay before he was strip sacked and knocked out of the game with a shoulder or clavicle injury. He left the field holding his right arm to his chest and walking very gingerly. Jake Garcia came in and turned the ball over five times, including some INT’s that were thrown to NO ONE.
As a team, Miami rushed for a mere 1.5 yards per carry including sack yardage. The ‘Canes threw three touchdowns, but also three INT’s. Henry Parrish Jr. and Colbie Young continued to prove that they want to play and play hard. Parrish rushed for 5.7 yards per carry and Young averaged 21.2 yards per catch on six receptions while hauling in two scores.
Above- Van Dyke has time via protection, but man, that play took almost four seconds from snap to release which typically would result in a sack, especially in the blitz happy red zone. The RB does an okay job in initial protection but that’s a half second from being a bad sack in an area of the field where you can NOT take a sack.
Above- Gattis is asking his beaten up, back up O-Line to pull across the formation on very aggressive Duke rush ends. The guard completely misses and what later would be a strip sack right here is a nice completion to Young. You can see early how things were working but were split seconds from being the eight turnover disaster this game turned into.
Above- This might’ve been a screen Van Dyke should’ve thrown into the ground. Knighton is clearly “covered.” Knighton has been a disaster this season. His potential is going to get someone fired, again.
Above- Jake Garcia comes in and essentially throws the ball directly to an opponent. It wasn’t the last time he threw the ball inexplicably. The young QB was in way over his head against Mike Elko’s defense.
Above- Nice and easy rhythm route fade to Colbie Young for a 71 yard touchdown. The big guy hauls it in, breaks a tackle, and hits the end zone.
Above- Variations of crossing routes work against man defenses. Mallory comes across the formation and the linebacker forget to chase until it’s way too late. The other two crossers cloud up the Duke DB/LB OODA Loop and Mallory runs free.
Later, Garcia throws a pair of ugly picks and gives up a strip sack. One thing I’ve noticed with the Miami offense is the lack of progressions under 2.8 seconds. Miami needs to find an OC that can get the football out in 1.8, 2.2, and 2.8 seconds- not 2.8 being the first read that comes open and others being three seconds or LONGER.
Ahkeem Mesidor continues to shine bright for Miami. Mesidor ended the night with six tackles and two tackles for loss. UCLA transfer linebacker Caleb Johnson had a big TFL in the red zone. The defense finished with three sacks, five TFL’s, five PBU’s and three hurries on the afternoon.
But the Hurricanes allowed 200 yards on the ground to a one dimensional offense of Duke’s. Devil QB Riley Leonard threw a TD and ran in three more while Jaquez Moore averaged 10.5 yards per carry against Kevin Steele’s defense. In Steele’s defense, there were eight turnovers which clearly wears the defense down.
Above- Miami D is still spot dropping LB’s. 11 is too far from the threat to make a play, his eyes have to be up and on a certain threat number. And then his tracking of the ball carrier is poor as he over runs him. James Williams does a solid job on the vice tackle of closing inside out and stripping the ball out.
Above- Avantae Williams has entered into that Gurvan Hall level of poor tackler.
Above- Leonard went full Sam Howell twisting and driving his legs through multiple Miami defenders. 15 had a clear shot and just whiffed completely sliding off and letting up a TD.
Above- The drills we were privy to this spring and summer weren’t actual tackling drills, they were something you would do at a youth camp with a coach holding a bag with no force behind it and guys just jumping on the bag or hugging it and running off.
Or, they were U12 drills where the defender doesn’t have to use their OODA Loop at all. No one was getting better at that P5 level from the above while in spring football.
Above- Leonard cutting and slamming his body through more defenders including five-star James Williams’ John Cena style shoulder tackle.
Above- One of my all-time favorites dating back to Urban Meyer at Utah, my first coaching job at the high school level, Pitt with Matt Canada against Clemson and so on. Shovel option with the pitch option outside and the shovel underneath is an all-timer. Georgia Tech tried it to beat Clemson last year and it failed. Here Duke uses it to perfection.
Like power read, the pulling guard protects the inside shovel receiver, like on power read how the pulling guard protects the QB on the pull. Miami played the pitch and Q properly but not the shovel man inside.
Above- The 3 rules of defensive football are: Align. Assign. Finish. Miami isn’t lined up right, they’re giving up the outside force completely against Duke here. Then they don’t assign well, one guy is on the Q, but where’s the outside force player at all? And of course, if Leonard scores they didn’t finish. Bad angle, worse tackling.
Mario Cristobal is having a disastrous first year in Coral Gables. His offensive coordinator hire looks like a bust, and his program has injuries piling up and little fight left on the field in the second half on Saturday. Coach Cristobal can clean house and dump players all he wants to, but the fanbase and local talent will turn on him if Miami doesn’t show signs of improvement soon.
I didn’t expect a 10 win regular season, but 8-9 wins with the returning talent, the resume of the coaching staff, the increased support staff, and the weak schedule made it seem like eight might be an easy lock. Then the bell rang.
The overall product is piss poor. Penalties, turnovers, missed tackles, quitting on the team, kicking game issues, blown assignments, injured QB’s, game day coaching issues. This looks more like a first year head coach than a guy on his second P5 program.
Then you look at how poorly some of the teams Miami has lost to are playing. Texas A&M might not make a bowl game, MTSU might not either. UNC is 6-1 but they’re an anything goes team the last five weeks of the season. Duke is 5-3 but had dropped two of their last three before pounding Miami at home.
On to the next one. Miami will travel to Charlottesville to face the Hurricanes at 12:30pm on regional TV once again on Saturday, October 29th.