On Saturday night, the Texas A&M Aggies edged the Miami Hurricanes 17-9 in a barnburner. The Miami Hurricanes looked sluggish and never got out of second gear against the Texas A&M Aggies. ESPN decided to play the game at 9pm eastern and the ‘Canes looked like they were already in their pajamas and slippers all night.
The Canyonero Keys to victory were 1- to capitalize on potential Aggies QB drama. The Aggie went with LSU transfer Max Johnson finished 50% passing with seven yards per attempt and a score without a turnover. Johnson also ran a little bit in the read option game and on scrambles to pick up yardage. Obviously it was enough to win the game.
2- for Miami to win the kicking game- I’m not sure how much worse the kicking game could’ve gotten. Miami allowed a 36 yard kick return, missed one chip shot field goal, had another blocked, and A&M’s punt team pinned Miami inside the 20 three times.
Also the illegal formation that moved the punt being downed from the one yard line with three minutes left to the punt returner muffing but jumping on the fumble at the eight instead. Also- all this talk of ‘dawgs’ but the ‘Canes couldn’t wrestle that one away from a skill guy? huh.
3- for the ‘Canes O-Line to protect Tyler Van Dyke- The ‘Canes O-Line allowed six hurries but zero sacks and only three tackles for loss. Van Dyke attempted to scramble or to pull and run on inside zone read but struggled. Van Dyke looked sluggish, as did the entire team. This program looks slow and stiff.
The Hurricanes OC, Josh Gattis, won the Broyles Award last season which goes to the top assistant in college football. Gattis won ‘The Broyles’ under Jim Harbaugh at Michigan. A year later his offense finishes 5-of-14 on 3rd down, and 0-for-1 on 4th down.
How about Gattis’ theory on time of possession? Miami beat the Aggies in TOP, 34 to 25, but failed to score a single touchdown. Miami also recorded seven penalties for 52 yards while the Aggies recorded five for 55 yards.
The ‘Canes lost the kicking game and broke even in penalties, while having the lone turnover go against their side. Hard to win football games with that type of data going against you.
My issue with the Mario Cristobal (“Josh Gattis”) offense is the amount of time each pass concept takes to develop. There are too many concepts in the offense that require an excess of three seconds to get to the original read.
In Dub Maddox’s R4 system, that first read is a rhythm concept. Rhythm concepts should get out in 1.8 seconds. Reads in 2.2-2.6 seconds. Gattis needs to take pressure off of the offensive line, and off of the QB waiting on one threat to come open.
Above- Henry Parrish rushed for 85 yards on 5.3 yards per carry but had a key drop on a wide open throw. Jaylan Knighton rushed for 77 yards on 5.5 yards per carry and came away with just one short catch. Motion went one way and the pulling guard and tackle went the other. Miami ran the football well at times, but still got thumped on ‘and short’ necessary runs that resulted in field goal attempts or punts.
Above- Drops like this can be physical and mental. Shape hands like the “U,” elbows bent, use your brakes, get your shoulders and eyes back. He does a half turn here and his shoulders aren’t turned all the way back.
Above- When the QB turns his back like this a number of things change. 1- it’s obviously not an RPO to the LB’s. That’s why I don’t love run scheme where the Q’s back turns unless you’re Alabama or Georgia and can just dominate everyone physically.
2- The Q’s eyes / balance / perception have to re-calibrate when he turns back. He’s taken his eyes off the safeties and linebackers and now has to reorient to the field when he flips back over. This is a four second play. Pressure gets Van Dyke to throw off his back foot and the zip just isn’t there to the TE Elijah Arroyo. It’s complete, but a number of these resulted in bad throws later.
Above- The play calling all night, but especially in the red zone was what you need to come to grips with re Mario Cristobal as head coach. He’s not a risk taker, the man is as risk averse as they come. He’s going to punt, he’s going to kick field goals, he’s going to run the ball on 3rd and goal. Get used to it. No RPO tags, just jog outs from WR’s. 8 guys hovering to rotate down into the box. Woof.
Above- How many drops were there? How many wounded duck type throws? Something isn’t right with Van Dyke and his throws, but the pressure, both mental and physical, got to the receivers. The people that think playing a bad G5 is the same as playing an SEC team need to shut their thumbs up and listen to those of us that have been coaching this game for 20 years.
The Miami defense came away with three sacks, six TFL’s, five PBU’s and three hurries on Saturday night. The kicking game gave up a short field touchdown, and other than that it was a 10-9 ball game.
The tackling wasn’t always pretty but there were some really nice things happening. Leonard Taylor looked explosive at defensive tackle. Kam Kinchens had some nice open field tackles. DJ Ivey was everywhere with much improved play.
Above- The defensive line being driven into the second level defenders gets LB Caleb Johnson caught up in the trash. Steed forces this inside but Johnson isn’t there to fill it.
Above- Taylor showing his five-star potential in reality. He jumps the gap, later on some key runs he’ll also jump gaps and the LB doesn’t ‘make him right’ which is often a LB’s job.
Above- Aggies cut back off power and Miami is out of position and lunging at and missing tackles. The linebackers are still an issue for Miami, as is the DL jumping around gaps and not playing a real defense. Things to clean up for ACC play.
Above- Harvey is a ‘5-tool’ type prospect and it’s good to see him getting PT and making plays. I’ve been high on his upside for a couple of years now.
Above- At times the defense slipped back into the football follies style of tackling and tracking. Players lunging, rolling, diving, and knocking into each other while the receiver runs free. I disagree with the penalty on James Williams to end this play. It wasn’t a belly to back suplex, just a little gut wrench takedown.
Above- And another four missed tackles for a touchdown. First miss was on tracking, second was on not closing the space between the ball carrier and tackler, third was the Manny Diaz pile on points crap, and fourth was just a last ditch effort thing.
I’ve covered the stats on the kicking game above. You rarely win football games with a terrible kicking game. It’s hard to miss and have blocked field goals, a costly penalty, and a muffed punt return and still win.
Above- you can see the Tyrique Stevenson fumbled punt return. Things you can get awy with against Southern Miss that just won’t work against TAMU. The speed, reaction time, etc. is just that much faster vs. an SEC team.
Above- Looks to me like his hips were torqued left on his follow through. He pushed the ball left with his rotation there.
Above- The blocked kick is a great play from Regis on the Aggies. Big man just gets up there and uses his length to block it. Smart by TAMU to know they didn’t have to cover the ball.
The Canyonero Keys to victory panned out once again. The Hurricanes did some good things in the offensive run game, and in defensive pass coverage; but some of the same things plagued Miami from 2021 here in ‘22. Kicking issues, dumb penalties, drops, 3rd and short rushing, and tackling proved to be the difference in College Station.
The idea of the wide receivers ‘going to practice’ more was proven a fallacy either way you look at it. Players need rest and recovery for a long season and the body only has so many miles in it.
Rest up everyone, Middle Tennessee State is coming up for another cupcake, followed by an off week, before the ACC slate picks up with the North Carolina Tar Heels back at home. Gattis can’t settle for nine points against a team that can put up 40 in a quarter.