The Louisville Cardinals (10-1, 7-2 in the ACC) beat the Miami Hurricanes (6-5, 2-5 in the ACC) 38-31 in a close one on Miami’s Senior Day. Cards coach Jeff Brohm put on a clinic on offensive play calling against Miami’s Lance Guidry, a Broyles Award Finalist.
My Canyonero keys to victory were:
1- Pressure Jack Plummer. Miami came away with zero sacks, yup, zero sacks against Louisville and Plummer. And actually only three tackles for loss, too. Rueben Bain and the Hurricanes pressure looked no where near as effective against the Cards as opposed to Florida State and Jordan Travis.
2- Establish the run. Mark Fletcher established the run while Brashard Smith came in for the extra boost. Fletcher rushed for 7.4 yards per carry and two touchdowns while Smith added 17 yards per carry and a score of his own. This took pressure off Van Dyke who played mistake free football.
3- Win the kicking game. Andres Borregales made all of his kicks, but the kicking team allowed a 50-yard return that set up a Louisville score. The punt returner for Miami also cost the ‘Canes 15 valuable yards on the final drive for Miami with a personal foul. Louisville missed a field goal and a PAT but didn’t have that costly penalty. I’d say it was neutral, but not a win in the end.
If the data that matters is typically penalties, turnovers, and kicking- Miami had two horribly costly personal foul calls in the game changing moments of the 4th quarter.
The ‘Canes didn’t turn the ball over, and had the interception from Kam Kinchens, and the kicking game was neutral. This game coming down to a win or loss was on the back of a blown timeout, two bad 15-yard penalties and allowing a 50-yard kick return.
Miami’s offense finished 6-of-14 on 3rd down and 1-of-2 on 4th down. L’ville’s offense finished 5-of-12 on 3rd down and 1-of-1 on 4th down.
Miami ended the game with five penalties for 50 yards, while the Cards were flagged four times for 50 yards as well.
Louisville also won the Josh Gattis Time of Possession Award 30-29.
Shannon Dawson and Van Dyke put together a solid Rhett Lashlee type game plan for the 1st half. Van Dyke finished the game with 8.4 yards per passing attempt and a touchdown with no turnovers. He was only sacked once and picked up some yardage with his legs on another scramble.
The run game was the feature show and Fletcher as the power back with Smith as the speed guy worked for Dawson. Fletcher ground out 126 tough yards on split zone while Smith came in to light it up with a 34-yard TD.
After being shut down by FSU, Xavier Restrepo was back against the Cards. Restrepo caught eight balls for 24.1 yards per catch and one score. Jacolby George averaged 18.3 yards per catch, but Colbie Young was pretty much ineffective.
The offensive line doubled Ashton Gillotte rendering him a pain in the butt but not as chaotic as he normally is. The OL allowed just one sack but seven TFL’s.
Above- The opening drive ‘script’ wasn’t much. It was 3-and-out. Then the 2nd drive felt like Rhett Lashlee (SMU) was back in Coral Gables. Hitting a deep shot like this gets the QB in a groove of confidence and Van Dyke didn’t play over-confident which was good too.
Above- When Clemson was on top this was all the daylight guys like Travis Etienne needed. Get skinny and work through the stalemate blocks, juke the 2nd level and run over the 3rd level. Fletcher looks good here as the bruiser.
Above- Want to beat man? Run Mesh. Restrepo comes open on the crossing part of mesh and dives in for 6. Good to see him back in the game plan.
Above- Creativity in the run game?! Going full Tecmo Super Bowl re running the play, and it’s counter! I didn’t think Dawson-Cristobal had it in ‘em but there’s Smith in the end zone. Hands down the offensive play of the game.
Above- This thing almost gets blown up. Cam McCormick has to go deep on the kick out and then you just see a back that’s in a nice groove work across the field vs. the LB’ers. Split zone works again.
Above- One of those 2021 Van Dyke throws. Playing loose and confident. It was good to see, even in a loss. He misses on the final throw of the legit TD drive but it had to be high and deep and that’s a tough throw. The Hail Mary was a game winner if his teammates didn’t let him down.
QB Jack Plummer threw three TD’s with one INT on 8.3 yards per pass attempt. He spread the ball around to 12 different receivers, nine of which averaged 11+ yards per catch.
Miami shut down Jawhar Jordan for the most part, he averaged only 3.7 yards per carry and didn’t find the end zone. But Isaac Guerendo has caught fire lately and scored on Miami via counter. Guerendo averaged 6.2 per carry as the back up.
Kevin Coleman was the big play threat for U of L through the air. He had a 58-yard touchdown reception. Chris Bell, Joey Gatewood and Nate Kurisky (TD) were the outlets for Plummer.
Again, the Cards O-Line stuffed the Miami pass rush. They allowed zero sacks and only three TFL’s against a Miami team that’s been fairly sack heavy lately.
Above- James Williams gets cut down and Plummer drops a floater in as Kinchens gets mossed on this one. Big eyes means TURN AROUND.
Above- We warned you in the preview, the scary plays, and for weeks that the flats are a danger zone for Miami. They’re piss poor in communication and still haven’t figured out how to defend a slide route off play-action. Broyles Award...
Above- Kinchens gets mossed and kind of like Plummer (Cards QB) as he has a short memory. He runs over and picks this off. It’s a TD if he doesn’t but it is why sometimes he gets burned, because he’s covering over his low Football IQ teammates who don’t talk.
Above- We warned you about counter, too. The LB goes way too wide after seeing a down block in front of him. When that OT goes down, the LB has to know the kick out is coming. that’s basic middle school football stuff. Down-Kick = wrong arm.
Above- 100% the team you run a play-action TE delay against. Especially to the back corner pylon to the QB’s back side. Miami has a broken OODA Loop in the back end plus bad comms and limited in-game adjustments.
Above- Nice little spill to push 3rd and long in a close game. The ILB’s when it comes to the run fits are much improved from ‘22.
Above- If this works for Louisville as the dude’s 1st TD all season, imagine what BC’s QB Thomas Castellanos is going to do to Miami. We’ll get to that on Wednesday.
Above- The lack of comms comes back to bite Miami. Two DB’s are knocked down, one seemingly out, and Louisville takes a 38-31 lead they don’t surrender.
Also, this is like the Bartman Ball in baseball- there’s still time to stop this but Kinchens can’t tackle in space. All he has to do is cut the dude off and drive him out but he can’t. “Tackling has improved,” yeah because Mauigoa tackles well. Everyone else is still a disaster.
OK, y’all. We have one more regular season “Film Forecast” to go. I can’t believe the season is already over. This was a tough loss and you wonder how many of these players will return to Miami for 2024. A few might head to a winning program that needs to fill a couple of holes, and some others will try their chances at the NFL Draft.
Miami will face Boston College on Black Friday up in the cold at noon on ABC. The high on Friday is 47 degrees and coming off of another close loss I just hope Miami can stay motivated. BC is reeling after two consecutive losses, but they were also on a heater for almost two months.
7-5 sure would look a lot better than 6-6 for Year Two of the Cristobal Era. Either way it’s a low tier bowl game for Miami in ‘23.