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Film Review: Miami 70 - Bethune Cookman 13

The Mario Cristobal Era started off with a bang against the Wildcats at Hard Rock Stadium on Labor Day weekend.

Bethune-Cookman v Miami Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

The Miami Hurricanes took care of business at Hard Rock Stadium on Saturday afternoon, beating the Bethune Cookman Wildcats 70-13. BCU came out hot with a three point lead (more on that in a minute), before Miami rolled to a 42-10 first half start under new coach Mario Cristobal.

I didn’t draw up Canyonero keys to victory, but against an average FCS team the key is to come out healthy and to have improved at what you struggled with a year ago. For Miami, the needs improvement items were: kicking game issues (10 of 10 on PAT’s, solid returns), tackling (still some issues but looked better) and losing focus and intensity during games (poured on 28 more points with a nice lead).

The Doppler

The ‘Canes offense finished 7-of-7 on 3rd downs and only turned the ball over one time, a Tyler Van Dyke fumble. Miami ripped off 12.2 yards per pass attempt and 7.3 yards per carry as a team against BCU.

Josh Gattis’ system scored big points and spread the ball around to ten different receivers on the afternoon, seven of which had double-digit yards per catch averages. The U also rushed for seven TD’s on the afternoon, even without left tackle Zion Nelson, and running back Jaylan Knighton.

Bethune-Cookman v Miami Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

On defense, the ‘Canes held BCU to 3.2 yards per carry but allowed 9.2 yards per pass attempt. But the ‘Canes defense logged two sacks, six TFL’s, one hurry and three PBU’s. Two sacks doesn’t feel like enough against BCU, their mobile QB gave Miami some trouble and eyes need to be ahead on Texas A&M and what Haynes King can do with some space.

Miami did have the one turnover, and added six penalties for 48 yards, too. One of which was for Kam Kinchens ‘spike’ of the ball which seemed like a call the referee could’ve let go, and had a talk with him instead of a 15 yard flag.

Miami O

To quote Shoresy, if you can’t run ‘em up, fill ‘em in. Miami was able to run ‘em up so why not line up in a heavy formation and run the ball down BCU’s throat? When the talent is equal, at say College Station in Week 3, spreading the Aggies out might be a better idea than attempting to run directly into the heart of their recruiting- defensive line.

Above- You aren’t going to get on the field for Josh Gattis unless you block. Xavier Restrepo is proving value all over the field and will be on an NFL roster for versatility and willingness to do the dirty work alone.

Above- Notice the tight end duo? 85 isn’t out there. It’s no. 80 Elijah Arroyo and no. 84 who on the roster is Josh Neely, a defensive lineman. Whoever is in 84 is blocking his tail off and will be a fun player to watch in these goal line and short yardage situations.

Above- Van Dyke to Restrepo will be an every week thing in ‘22. I think Restrepo has a big time season like Charleston Rambo or Braxton Berrios in the past before taking his talents to the NFL. Van Dyke is so damn polished looking in this game, now, he didn’t have a pass rush in his face, and BCU looked like pass skelly against Miami’s O-Line.

Above- This is like backyard ball at this point. Van Dyke has so much time he could’ve posed for an NFT or whatever yutes do these days. But beautiful placement, the perfect amount of loft and touch.

Miami D

The defense will be a longer journey to fix than the offense. The offense really just needs a talent and coaching influx on the offensive line (and Coach Mirabal will get that done) and a playmaker or two that can create space vertically to let guys work underneath. Rhett Lashlee didn’t leave the cupboard as bare as Manny Diaz’s defensive staff did.

Above- I never understood how, of all people, Gil Frierson seemed to get in Manny Diaz’s doghouse. I didn’t even know Manny had one with all the things Tate Martell and Jarren Williams et al seemed to get away with. But Frierson saw his play time dwindle under Diaz’s staff. Frierson seemed to understand align-assign-finish better than just about anyone in orange and green the last two years.

As the bros say in hockey, wheel snipe celly, and Frierson can do those things. He can run, make the play, and finish in the end zone. If he can get involved in the kicking game he can be another guy that gets drafted or at least UDFA’s into the NFL.

Above- Mesh rail with that orbit motion made this a gem of a play call from BCU. Caught Miami blitzing and the back ran free. It’s man and someone forgot to cover the RB here for Miami.

Above- oh crossing routes. I’m not sure why no 8’s back was turned while in zone but he didn’t see the crosser coming. Also, safeties have to yell down to cornerbacks that crossers are moving. “In, out” calls typically help on rub concepts, and “cross” helps on, well, crossing routes.

Above- Leonard Taylor flashes his five-star tools with big plays on TFL’s. Taylor has that first-step burst to be elite.

Kicking Game

The kicking game had some burst to it! I’d love to see the diagram and rules for the new kick off return, it was electric with Key Smith there to handle duties. He’s earned that job after Week 1.

Above- Restrepo as a lead blocker doesn’t hurt as he’s willing to throw his body around for The Program.

Andres Borregales finished 10-of-10 on extra points, Lou Hedley didn’t have to punt once, and I don’t recall any bizarre coverage or fielding of punt issues we saw under the last regime.

The Wrap

Miami did exactly what you expected them to do against an FCS program. It’s not like the ‘Canes played North Dakota State, it was just Bethune Cookman and the Wildcats haven’t won the MEAC since 2015.

Moving into Week 2 against Southern Miss, the coaches want to see less penalties, and less missed tackles and blown coverages. Tyrique Stevenson getting burned isn’t a good sign, and DJ Ivey was back to his old tricks of missing tackles and getting lost in coverage.

The wide receivers did a good job of hauling in passes and not dropping balls, but they weren’t challenged like they will be against Texas A&M. It’s a good thing Miami faces So. Miss. in Week 2 before heading to Texas. It’s a nice ramping up of difficulty before an SEC opponent.