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Film Review: Rutgers 31 - Miami 24, Pinstripe Bowl

Miami got bullied in the battle of the bully ballers in the Bronx.

Bad Boy Mowers Pinstripe Bowl - Miami v Rutgers Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images

The Rutgers Scarlet Knights ground and pound the Miami Hurricanes to the tune of 31-24 in New York City for the 2023 Pinstripe Bowl Title. RU head coach Greg Schiano went full bully ball against his former protege Mario Cristobal.

The Canyonero Keys to victory were true in every sense. I predicted a three point Rutgers win and it was seven points:

1- Stop the run. Rutgers rushed for 208 yards and three TD’s on 4.6 yards per carry. That isn’t stopping the run, and the RU QB only needed 15 pass attempts to win the ball game. The tush push game wasn’t that effective for RU but worked eventually every time, including their fake off of it.

2- Play to Brown’s strengths. OC Shannon Dawson dialed up a handful of QB designed runs but this wasn’t a display of Brown’s strengths at all. Also, once Brown had his passing game going the offense decided to revert back to 1997 and ran into a stacked box.

3- Limit turnovers. Brown threw an early pick but the offense wasn’t turnover prone. That was their lone turnover of the game. The blocked punt for a touchdown was atrocious and shows the lack of detail in the kicking game.

The Doppler

Miami finished 4-of-12 on 3rd down and 1-of-2 on 4th down, including a horribly called 4th and 2 play to essentially seal the game for RU. Rutgers offense finished 5-of-12 on 3rd down and 1-of-1 on 4th down.

Miami was penalized five times for 45 yards including costly personal fouls. Rutgers wasn’t much smarter being penalized six times for 58 yards with the two caveman coaches looking at each other like the Spider-Man pointing meme.

Miami had the two lone ‘turnovers’ including the blocked punt, and RU won the time of possession battle 34-25. Somewhere a Josh Gattis just got his wings.

As I’ve said a million times- kicking wins and loses games and Miami’s punt being blocked and recovered by the Scarlet Knights for a TD cost them the momentum and difference in the final score.

Miami Offense

QB Jacurri Brown scored three touchdowns (two rushing) with one interception in his first playing time in over a year. Brown rushed for 47 yards while passing for 5.8 yards per attempt. Neither are world beater stats.

Mark Fletcher rushed two times for two yards before going down with an injury. Henry Parrish rushed 11 times for 46 yards (4.2 per carry).

Xavier Restrepo caught 11 balls for 99 yards and a touchdown in a solid game for the veteran receiver who has caught balls from a half dozen QB’s as a Hurricane.

The offensive line was manhandled even with three starters and their blocking TE Cam McCormick all playing. They allowed two sacks and four TFL’s and couldn’t push the pile on key 3rd and 4th down plays.

Above- That sack is on Jalen Rivers, not Luis Cristobal Jr. Rivers lets his man go inside, that’s the forbidden screw up! As an OL you can allow outside pressure, but never interior.

Above- Dawson has to figure out why his offense doesn’t work versus zone, and why his QB’s can’t seem to identify clear defenders in the passing window.

Above- For what was an abysmal game for Miami, a few bright points did happen. They dialed up a nice inside zone read with an arc’ing H for Brown. He pulls, and slides into home for a touchdown.

Above- Brown is inconsistent with ball placement, but when he’s on he’s really on. Beautiful dime to Restrepo for a TD.

Miami Defense

The Miami front six were dominated by Rutgers offensive line. Kyle Monangai rushed for 163 yards on 6.5 yards per carry and a score. QB Gavin Wimsett scored twice on the tush push, and backup RB Samuel Brown V picked up another 38 on the ground.

Wimsett finished 7-of-15 passing for 5.6 yards per attempt but didn’t turn the ball over. He hit Christian Demel on one big pass for 23 yards but missed a few wide open shots.

Miami failed to sack Wimsett but did pick up four TFL’s against the RU front. Miami DB’s collected four PBU’s on the afternoon.

Above- Miami’s defense was plagued by missed tackles once again. Rueben Bain Jr. was one of few defenders that really went all out in the Pinstripe Bowl.

Above- RU bounces split zone outside and the WR sets up a perfect moving screen to spring the RB to the corner of the end zone. That’s not a crack back it’s just a clean pick.

Above- The “tush push” isn’t worth putting in a GIF or video, but the fake is! Reminds me of single wing high school football. Through the legs to the RB who has a beautiful ankle breaking cut off a Miami defender.

Above- More ‘Canes diving, lunging, leaving their feet and coming up with air. Lance Guidry needs to get back to the drawing board on his tackling and pursuit work.

The Blocked Punt

The punter needs to be counting the number of threats to blockers to the right. He’s far outnumbered and has to know that.

Above- Just another example of a lack of attention to detail. How does Cristobal not call a timeout seeing they’re outnumbered? He’s clueless in the kicking game and it shows.

The Wrap

The game went exactly as many of us predicted it would. Rutgers run game pounded on Miami’s weaker defensive front, Wimsett couldn’t hurt Miami through the air, Brown was okay but not a P5 starting QB, and Cristobal mismanaged the kicking game and clock once again.

This off-season Miami adds even more freshmen talent to the roster and pushes out some old time Manny Diaz players. Cristobal either needs to do a lot of growing as a coach or Miami will never be a playoff contender, even in the 12-team era.