The North Carolina Tar Heels came into Hard Rock Stadium and knocked off the Miami Hurricanes 27-24 on Saturday evening. The Hurricanes fall to 2-3 in Mario Cristobal’s homecoming season at Miami. The Tar Heels move to 4-1 with their one loss coming against Notre Dame. Mack Brown is now 4-0 against Miami since returning to Chapel Hill after retirement.
The Canyonero keys to victory to beating UNC were:
1- Shutdown Josh Downs- Downs caught six passes for 69 yards and a touchdown on the afternoon. Not a huge day, but his current role has changed with J.J. Jones becoming the deep threat for the Heels. Downs caught a few really key passes for first downs and a TD.
2- To be patient vs Longo on defense- Outside of a pair of blown coverages, Miami’s defense did play well against Drake Maye and UNC. Kevin Steele’s group picked up five sacks, nine tackles for loss, four PBU’s and a hurry.
3- To take what the UNC defense gives you- Gattis adapted for Tyler Van Dyke by force or by choice, who cares?! We saw more spread sets, obviously more passing with Van Dyke throwing the ball 57 times, and even some tempo.
Miami finishing only 5-of-14 on 3rd down wasn’t up to snuff, and only 3-of-6 on 4th down wasn’t great either. On the flip side, the defense gave up 7-of-14 on 3rd down and 2-of-3 on 4th down. Miami’s short yardage offense and defense has been a struggle.
Miami won the penalty battle with only three for 30 yards against UNC’s eight for 61 yards, and both teams had two turnovers on the day. Miami lost the Josh Gattis Honorary Time of Possession Trophy and the game.
Including sacks, the ‘Canes only rushed for 1.8 yards per carry against the Tar Heels. A first quarter missed field goal by Andres Borregales wound up the difference in the game.
Tyler Van Dyke came alive in a more spread out, up tempo, sling it around offense. Van Dyke threw for almost 500 yards on 8.7 yards per attempt with three touchdowns and an interception. The offense saw offensive linemen Jakai Clark and Justice Oluwaseun go down with injuries in the red zone on what could’ve been a touchdown drive.
Henry Parrish Jr. rushed for 19 yards on 17 carries against a bad UNC defense. Van Dyke managed to complete a pass to nine different skill players, including all three TD’s to a different receiver.
Above- DC Gene Chizik dialed one up at the exact right time. Van Dyke was looking right, the boundary blitz from the overhang and CB were opposite where the back was helping. If the back’s call was to the blind side, it might’ve not been a sack, but good call.
Above- Not quite Kevin Fielder’s crush, mesh rail, but almost. Drive Rail?
Above- RPO Glance tagged onto guard wrap. The LB/S runs down, back end is in 1-high to the field, perfect call and great throw, catch, broken tackle / run. Good stuff.
Above- Van Dyke’s read. He comes down vs dropping so it’s a pull and throw read with the CB’s outside leverage on the glance.
Above- how it looks opened up for Van Dyke. This isn’t even modern football, it’s still 6-7 years ago conceptually but it works.
Above- Mesh works here to Mallory. Crossing routes versus man are deadly. Van Dyke throws him open and it’s an even bigger play.
Above- This is where Van Dyke and Maye, too, excel. QB’s now have to play in chaos. They can’t just sit in some old 80’s West Coast Offense and count steps on a slant. Adjust for success. Scramble drill pays off here.
Above- C’mon now Gattis, no one thinks Van Dyke is running triple option, bud.
Above- Hal Mumme used to say, “Your potential is going to get me fired,” and Knighton might be that guy for Miami. 3.9 yards per carry last year wasn’t flashy for a ‘big play’ back. Now he’s fumbling and dropping easy passes in key situations in multiple games.
Above- Van Dyke dropping DIMES again. Great throw to the WR Colbie Young. Great catch from Young, stays in bounds, controls the catch. And it’s on 1st down instead of 3rd.
Above- The final interception for Miami doesn’t need to be seen. What does need to be seen is that it’s only 3rd down, midfield, and at this point 14 seconds to go. This is a throw away ball and live to fight on 4th down. Bad decision here after a really good game from Van Dyke otherwise.
“Tyler Van Dime or Van Done?” Revisited
Over the off week, I wrote a piece about Tyler Van Dyke’s technique as a passer. His technique had changed from 2021 under Rhett Lashlee to 2022 under Josh Gattis and Frank Ponce.
Above- Comparing MTSU in ‘22 and UNC ‘22 for Tyler Van Dyke’s passing technique.
Wrist flexion is back from ‘21 against UNC where it wasn’t there against MTSU. What that means is Van Dyke’s wrist would be loose and hand pointing down when he made his better throws vs. his throws that sailed high.
His knee is also bent more vs. UNC than MTSU. That allows for better weight transfer, hip rotation, and follow through on throws to put them on target instead of high.
Van Dyke still had a couple of throws behind receivers but that happens. Guys mostly made plays on those balls. He threw a few pretty ‘21 style deep balls and made a gutsy throw for a TD while under pressure.
Drake Maye threw two interceptions which moved his season total to three in 2022. But, Maye also averaged 11 yards per pass attempt and tossed two TD’s. Maye’s ability to scramble also helped keep the chains moving on 3rd and long and 4th and short.
Darnell Jackson Jr. and Corey Flagg Jr. had big statistical days. Both had seven tackles a piece, with Flagg logging three TFL’s and Jackson picking up 1.5 TFL’s. The Miami defensive line came away with three of four PBU’s.
Above- CB Stevenson was in cover 2 and Kinchens the safety had his eyes on the #2 threat (the winged TE). Looks like the safety was in quarters and the CB was in C2. Some of the Manny Diaz coverage miscommunications in the back end are still an issue.
Above- Over the head of the safety and inside of the cornerback. A perfectly placed ball against a CB that can’t turn his hips and accelerate.
Above- UNC should’ve been stopped at the three or four but pushed the pile through for a TD. Miami isn’t flashing that ‘toughness’ that 150 play scrimmages and pushing unloaded sleds was allegedly going to create.
Above- no. 15 hit square way too early, then just mashed it on the UNC touchdown throw.
Above- Did he close his eyes on the first one? Did his WiFi lag and cause a glitch and thus him double tapping the square button?
Above- And then dove and missed again on the same play.
Starting off down 14-0 was a tough way to come off of a loss to Middle Tennessee State and an off week to prepare for North Carolina. After that ‘before the week off’ start on offense, at least Miami OC Josh Gattis opened up the formations and playbook for Van Dyke.
Injuries, tackling, game management, and questionable red zone calls are still holding the ‘Canes back this season. Josh Gattis adapted more to Van Dyke’s strengths, and Miami’s lack of run game, on Saturday. But the Hurricanes are still struggling to keep up with other team’s speed, and in situational football.
The ‘Canes head up to Blacksburg to face a bad Virginia Tech team at 12:30 on Saturday, October 15th. The game should be streaming on ESPN3 or on local affiliates. Oh now this once mighty primetime matchup has fallen on hard times for teams with a combined 4-7 record in ‘22.