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Monday Musings: oh offense, where art thou?

NCAA Football: Miami at Virginia Lee Luther Jr.-USA TODAY Sports

What it do, y’all? Happy victory Monday (remember those?), and HAPPY HALLOWEEN. The only thing scarier than the movies on SyFy the past week is the state of the Miami Hurricanes’ offense. Let’s get to it...

1) Yes, this offense is beyond abysmal right now. I was racking my brain while watching Saturday’s rock fight in Charlottesville, wondering if I have ever seen a worse unit since I’d become a Canes fan many, many years ago. Watching Dan Enos and his soggy play sheet drown in a sad loss to Duke is on the list, as is losing in shutout fashion to Louisiana Tech in Shreveport. I was also at Miami’s 6-3 win at South Florida in 2011. That game was almost physically painful to watch. That being said, I still feel like Enos’s aforementioned 2019 turd fest is the gold standard of Miami’s terrible offenses.

2) But this year’s bleep show isn’t that far behind. Jake Garcia was supposed to be the answer at QB. Our old friend Marsh jumped in a pool over his commitment, as many of you will recall. Now, I feel like I’m going to jump in a pool any time this team finds the end zone. Garcia looks tentative with the ball, and his timing is just not there with his receivers. The big play doesn’t feel capable of happening outside of Colbie Young jumping up and grabbing a deep ball (and put me in the corner of those who want to see more 50/50 balls thrown deep Colbie’s way), and I don’t have confidence it will happen much against a decent defense like FSU’s on Saturday.

3) With that all being said, I hope to see Josh Gattis do two things on Saturday: continue the passing game out wide in space, and pound the rock. When you struggle to move the ball down the field through timing routes and deeper throws, it doesn’t hurt to get the ball immediately to a playmaker and let him try to make something happen. Miami did that a number of times early last week against Virginia. It didn’t exactly light up the scoreboard, but it did help move the chains a few times. And drawing attention out wide can’t hurt when you’re trying to attack the middle with the run. Henry Parrish, Jr. is one of Miami’s two best players on offense in my mind (along with Colbie Young), and putting the game on his back is what Miami will need to do to win its biggest game of the year.

4) I also hope we see Jacurri Brown given more playing time on Saturday. I’m not calling for Jake to be benched, to be clear. He’s the best option we have, and he’s capable of playing winning football. I just like to see Jacurri have a package of plays where he has the option to run or pass. It SEEMS like most of his designed plays are runs (I could be wrong, as I’m not a coach and have a layman’s eye), but I’d like to see what he could do with some true RPO plays. *shrugs*

5) What else can be said: defense and special teams won the day against Virginia and will have to again against FSU. Andres Borregales going 4 of 4 in the most pressure situations possible for all 4 kicks was 100% poetic after his miss on the final play of the Virginia loss last year. So happy for the kid. Miami’s kick coverage units were also solid. Field position is going to be massive when your offense is struggling, so the units will need to minimize yielding yardage again against the Noles.

6) And man, the defensive line was a force last weekend. Mitchell Agude and Leonard Taylor were grown-ass men among dudes, combining for 13 tackles and 5 tackles for loss. But Miami was getting pressure from several guys. Jared Harrison-Hunte had a sack. Nyjalik Kelly and Jahfari Harvey each had one too. Creating some havoc and forcing a Jordan Travis turnover or two will be key to set up Miami’s offense on a short field. The defensive front will decide again whether the Canes have a shot to win at the end on Saturday.

7) I didn’t mention him in my three stars pieces, but Kam Kinchens balled out against Virginia. I remember him whiffing on a tackle that led to a long gain, but he otherwise turned in a very strong effort. His pass break up on an open receiver in the end zone in overtime saved the game. Well done, Kam.

8) My early FSU game forthcoming this week (ha ha ha ha). We’ll have plenty of stuff this week here at State of the U on the matchup, with analysis and predictions to be made.

Stay tuned, and go Canes!