After the Storm: UNC

After the Storm: UNC

Stefan Adams
The Hurricanes coasted by the UNC Tar Heels in their third home game of the season on Thursday, 47-10. Here were my impressions and takeaways from yesterday's game.


The QB controversy was put to bed… although Mark Richt kept it going until the last possible minute. The stadium jumbotron announces the starting lineup 15-20 mins before kickoff and Richt declined to submit a QB; the announcer completely skipped the position. Richt even went so far as to have Malik Rosier take snaps from Tyler Gauthier and give handoffs to Travis Homer (both first-teamers) in pre-game warm-ups. What we expected ultimately happened, as N’Kosi Perry took the first snap of the game for his first career start. It was the right move by Richt and it was simply time to move on from Rosier, as he’s taken this team as far as he could.


I still need to see more from Perry. But that’s not entirely his fault. Miami didn’t need him in this game as the defense took control, and once Miami got a comfortable lead, Richt went ultra-conservative, so he didn’t get a chance to show too much. Overall, I thought he played under control and managed the game well for the Canes; the freshman finished 8-12 (67%) for 125 yards, 1 TD, and 1 INT. Perry also added 6 carries for 26 yards on the ground.

Perry showed great anticipation on the 5 yard TD to Darrell Langham in the second quarter, as he threw him open and fit the ball into a small window in tight coverage. Downfield throws included a nice 28 yard strike to Mike Harley down the seam to start the game and was placed just over the defender’s head, as well as a deep sideline comeback to Brian Hightower from the opposite hash that was just a big league throw and indicative of Perry’s velocity. He’s now thrown a pick in essentially each game he’s played this season (although yesterday’s was not 100% on him), but I think mistakes are going to be inevitable with him and Richt will just have to live with the growing pains for now. I’d like to see him continue to cut down on those, and also begin to prove himself in big game/pressure situations, starting with next week against FSU. Yes, I think he’s better than Rosier. No, that does not automatically make you good enough to win ACC or national titles, nor does beating FIU and UNC.


The real story was of course the defense, though. Miami had three defensive TD’s in a game for the first time since 2000, and all three plays displayed that Miami’s speed and athleticism on the stop-unit is next level. Jon Garvin, Joe Jackson, and Romeo Finley got into the painted area and danced on UNC’s graves. After breaking out the Turnover Chain only 6 times through 4 games this season, the Canes matched that number against the Tar Heels, taking the ball away 6 times in the game. The Canes’ defense also came into this game leading the country in tackles for loss and racked up 14 TFL in the outstanding effort.


Miami continues to play incredible situational football on both offense and defense. On defense, UM came in first in the nation in 3rd down defense (18% conversion rate) and only further proved why against UNC. UM held UNC to 2/13 (15%) on third downs and, between that and the turnovers, the Tar Heels’ offense could not sustain drives. On offense, Miami came into the game 19th in the country at 3rd down offense (48%), and furthered that number by going 3/6 (50%) vs. UNC. Trayone Gray also converted yet another short yardage run on 3rd down. A marked improvement in these areas from the past few seasons of ineptitude here.


Miami’s middle linebackers had themselves a game in this one. Quarterman recorded 5 tackles, 3 TFL, 2 sacks, a PBU, and the aforementioned forced fumble before leaving the game with an ankle injury early in the third quarter; Richt mentioned postgame it was a sprain and not considered serious. There was no dropoff to backup Mike Smith though, as the redshirt senior stepped in and tallied 4 tackles and 2.5 TFL in relief. At SAM, I thought Zach McCloud played one of his best games as a Hurricane, leading the team in tackles with 8 and generally keeping his contain on the edge.


It’s time to start doing more to defend the QB run. If Miami’s defense has an achilles’ heel, it’s defending the QB when he breaks the pocket and scrambles for chunk gains. Aside from a few nice runs by UNC RB Michael Carter, the Tar Heels’ only offense was QB Chazz Surratt pulling the ball down and taking off for a big gain. Discounting sacks, Surratt had 7 carries for 78 yards. We also saw this issue in the Toledo game as well, when QB Mitchell Guadagni continually broke contain with 11 carries for 77 yards. It’s a product of the ends rushing too far upfield and leaving huge lanes for the QB to run through, and that may just be something you have to live with playing with a Manny Diaz defense, but it’s something to still take a look at and try to address.


The offensive line did not pass block very well. Although UM opened enough holes up front to get their 4th straight 200 yard rushing game, I thought pressure got to Perry way too often and he was scrambling around for his life even though he had limited dropbacks. Tyree St. Louis in particular got absolutely owned by a nasty spin move from UNC DE Malik Carney, who proceeded to strip sack Perry and take away a scoring opportunity from Miami. UNC has a decent D-Line, but this weakness hasn’t really been going away for UM and is a concern as the schedule continues to get more difficult.


Grades

Offense: B

2 turnovers is a knock, but the scoring unit did what they needed to do after the defense took control and steered the ship to a win. The offense was barely on the field due to all the defensive TD’s (46 plays), but still put up 354 yards and averaged 7.7 yards per play. Miami’s methodical final drive was a thing of beauty, as they went 11 plays for 61 yards featuring 10 runs from Travis Homer and DeeJay Dallas, bleeding 7 mins and 26 seconds off the clock.

Defense: A-

UM came into the game 5th in the country at stopping the run (78.8 ypg), but was completely gashed on the ground and almost tripled that number against UNC, giving up 215 yards in the process. It looks ugly. Still, it’s hard to give this unit anything less than an A- after forcing 6 turnovers, scoring 3 TD’s, shutting out UNC in the second half (10 points total), and holding UNC to 2/13 on third downs.

Special Teams: D

UM did not have a good day on specials. Jack Spicer wasn’t much better punting the ball than Zach Feagles, with one of his 2 punts a short line drive that allowed for a big return, although he didn’t shank any out of bounds. Miami also allowed an extra point to be blocked after two Tar Heels got penetration. There were no notable returns, and Jeff Thomas made a bad decision taking the opening kick out when he should’ve taken a knee, leading to Miami starting at their own 16. The one bright spot was Bubba Baxa going 2/2 on FG’s, but this unit in general just seems sloppy right now.

Coaching: B+

Richt was very conservative with the offensive gameplan and was obviously trying to protect the freshman QB in his first start. You’d like to start seeing Miami and Diaz adjust more to those QB runs on defense. After going weeks 2 and 3 getting called for one penalty combined, UM has been flagged thirteen times the past two weeks (7 against UNC). This is all just nitpicking of course because, ultimately, both sides of the ball played well in a 37 point blowout win. Miami is finally blowing out below average opponents instead of playing down to their competition and it’s a good look for this staff.
 

Comments (39)

The Hurricanes coasted by the UNC Tar Heels in their third home game of the season on Thursday, 47-10. Here were my impressions and takeaways from yesterday's game.


The QB controversy was put to bed… although Mark Richt kept it going until the last possible minute. The stadium jumbotron announces the starting lineup 15-20 mins before kickoff and Richt declined to submit a QB; the announcer completely skipped the position. Richt even went so far as to have Malik Rosier take snaps from Tyler Gauthier and give handoffs to Travis Homer (both first-teamers) in pre-game warm-ups. What we expected ultimately happened, as N’Kosi Perry took the first snap of the game for his first career start. It was the right move by Richt and it was simply time to move on from Rosier, as he’s taken this team as far as he could.


I still need to see more from Perry. But that’s not entirely his fault. Miami didn’t need him in this game as the defense took control, and once Miami got a comfortable lead, Richt went ultra-conservative, so he didn’t get a chance to show too much. Overall, I thought he played under control and managed the game well for the Canes; the freshman finished 8-12 (67%) for 125 yards, 1 TD, and 1 INT. Perry also added 6 carries for 26 yards on the ground.

Perry showed great anticipation on the 5 yard TD to Darrell Langham in the second quarter, as he threw him open and fit the ball into a small window in tight coverage. Downfield throws included a nice 28 yard strike to Mike Harley down the seam to start the game and was placed just over the defender’s head, as well as a deep sideline comeback to Brian Hightower from the opposite hash that was just a big league throw and indicative of Perry’s velocity. He’s now thrown a pick in essentially each game he’s played this season (although yesterday’s was not 100% on him), but I think mistakes are going to be inevitable with him and Richt will just have to live with the growing pains for now. I’d like to see him continue to cut down on those, and also begin to prove himself in big game/pressure situations, starting with next week against FSU. Yes, I think he’s better than Rosier. No, that does not automatically make you good enough to win ACC or national titles, nor does beating FIU and UNC.


The real story was of course the defense, though. Miami had three defensive TD’s in a game for the first time since 2000, and all three plays displayed that Miami’s speed and athleticism on the stop-unit is next level. Jon Garvin, Joe Jackson, and Romeo Finley got into the painted area and danced on UNC’s graves. After breaking out the Turnover Chain only 6 times through 4 games this season, the Canes matched that number against the Tar Heels, taking the ball away 6 times in the game. The Canes’ defense also came into this game leading the country in tackles for loss and racked up 14 TFL in the outstanding effort.


Miami continues to play incredible situational football on both offense and defense. On defense, UM came in first in the nation 3rd down defense (18% conversion rate) and only further proved why against UNC. UM held UNC to 2/13 (15%) on third downs and, between that and the turnovers, the Tar Heels’ offense could not sustain drives. On offense, Miami came into the game 19th in the country at 3rd down offense (48%), and furthered that number by going 3/6 (50%) vs. UNC. Trayone Gray also converted yet another short yardage run on 3rd down. A marked improvement in these areas from the past few seasons of ineptitude here.


Miami’s middle linebackers had themselves a game in this one. Quarterman recorded 5 tackles, 3 TFL, 2 sacks, a PBU, and the aforementioned forced fumble before leaving the game with an ankle injury early in the third quarter; Richt mentioned postgame it was a sprain and not considered serious. There was no dropoff to backup Mike Smith though, as the redshirt senior stepped in and tallied 4 tackles and 2.5 TFL in relief. At SAM, I thought Zach McCloud played one of his best games as a Hurricane, leading the team in tackles with 8 and generally keeping his contain on the edge.


It’s time to start doing more to defend the QB run. If Miami’s defense has an achilles’ heel, it’s defending the QB when he breaks the pocket and scrambles for chunk gains. Aside from a few nice runs by UNC RB Michael Carter, the Tar Heels’ only offense was QB Chazz Surratt pulling the ball down and taking off for a big gain. Discounting sacks, Surratt had 7 carries for 78 yards. We also saw this issue in the Toledo game as well, when QB Mitchell Guadagni continually broke contain with 11 carries for 77 yards. It’s a product of the ends rushing too far upfield and leaving huge lanes for the QB to run through, and that may just be something you have to live with playing with a Manny Diaz defense, but it’s something to still take a look at and try to address.


The offensive line did not pass block very well. Although UM opened enough holes up front to get their 4th straight 200 yard rushing game, I though pressure got to Perry way too often and he was scrambling around for his life even though he had limited dropbacks. Tyree St. Louis in particular got absolutely owned by a nasty spin move from UNC DE Malik Carney, who proceeded to strip sack Perry and take away a scoring opportunity from Miami. UNC has a decent D-Line, but this weakness hasn’t really been going away for UM and is a concern as the schedule continues to get more difficult.


Grades

Offense: B

2 turnovers is a knock, but the scoring unit did what they needed to do after the defense took control and steered the ship to a win. The offense was barely on the field due to all the defensive TD’s (46 plays), but still put up 354 yards and averaged 7.7 yards per play. Miami’s methodical final drive was a thing of beauty, as they went 11 plays for 61 yards featuring 10 runs from Travis Homer and DeeJay Dallas, bleeding 7 mins and 26 seconds off the clock.

Defense: A-

UM came into the game 5th in the country at stopping the run (78.8 ypg), but was completely gashed on the ground and almost tripled that number against UNC, giving up 215 yards in the process. It looks ugly. Still, it’s hard to give this unit anything less than an A- after forcing 6 turnovers, scoring 3 TD’s, shutting out UNC in the second half (10 points total), and holding UNC to 2/13 on third downs.

Special Teams: D

UM did not have a good day on specials. Jack Spicer wasn’t much better punting the ball than Jeff Feagles, with one of his 2 punts a short line drive that allowed for a big return, although he didn’t shank any out of bounds. Miami also allowed an extra point to be blocked after two Tar Heels got penetration. There were no notable returns, and Jeff Thomas made a bad decision taking the opening kick out when he should’ve taken a knee, leading to Miami starting at their own 16. The one bright spot was Bubba Baxa going 2/2 on FG’s, but this unit in general just seems sloppy right now.

Coaching: B+

Richt was very conservative with the offensive gameplan and was obviously trying to protect the freshman QB in his first start. You’d like to start seeing Miami and Diaz adjust more to those QB runs on defense. After going weeks 2 and 3 getting called for one penalty combined, UM has been flagged thirteen times the past two weeks (7 against UNC). This is all just nitpicking of course because, ultimately, both sides of the ball played well in a 37 point win. Miami is finally blowing out below average opponents instead of playing down to their competition and it’s a good look for this staff.
I agree with everything said.
 
I hope we don't have any restrictions in the game plan/playbook next week for Kosi. We gotta work jordan/mallory in the middle of the field more vs FSU to expose their linebackers.
 
I know that the D could have stopped the run better but 6 turnovers and 3 defensive touchdowns surely warrants a straight A without the -. I would have failed your class in college.
 
D gets gashed on occasion, but they more than make up for it by making game changing, soul crushing big plays.

We can obviously improve but if the trade off is 12-15 TFLs and multiple TOs, I’ll take it all day.
 
We could have a controlled rush and play more contain. Its seems our defense is just to create havoc. That's what forces 3rd and long and pressure for offenses. I would like to see more 1 high with a spy once we realize the QB can scramble

I thought one of mannys best calls was on 3rd down. We rushed 4 and had Shaq spy. Coverage downfield was great and the qb tried to get out of the pocket and couldnt which led to a joe jackson sack. If we're going to be hell bent on rushing the QB with no gap integrity we need to have a spy.
 
I know absolutely nothing about kick returns... but noticed most teams create a wall in front of the returner, while our guys seem to have a man picked out and run around like chickens with their head cut off trying to block him.
 
We could have a controlled rush and play more contain. Its seems our defense is just to create havoc. That's what forces 3rd and long and pressure for offenses. I would like to see more 1 high with a spy once we realize the QB can scramble

You will see the spy once Joaquin returns. Carter will move back to spy on third down.
 
The last few sentences about blowing out below average teams is so encouraging. Getting young players in to get experience will build championship level depth.
 
This game reminded me of the Duke Johnson game vs VT. Kaaya hardly did anything except for one awesome pass but the running game made the a QB a non factor
 
I thought one of mannys best calls was on 3rd down. We rushed 4 and had Shaq spy. Coverage downfield was great and the qb tried to get out of the pocket and couldnt which led to a joe jackson sack. If we're going to be hell bent on rushing the QB with no gap integrity we need to have a spy.

Shhh. People gonna think you're singing the praises of Manny.

The turnaround from this year to last on 3rd down has been stunning. Oh, and leading the country in TFL? My biggest worry is that Diaz leaves after this year - because being top 5 in both of those stats is something that will be in demand for about 100 BCS programs.
 
Shhh. People gonna think you're singing the praises of Manny.

The turnaround from this year to last on 3rd down has been stunning. Oh, and leading the country in TFL? My biggest worry is that Diaz leaves after this year - because being top 5 in both of those stats is something that will be in demand for about 100 BCS programs.

People don’t like to give Manny credit but last year Manny emphasized turnovers and we jumped to third in the country. This year he focused on third down and we’re doing great!
 
Seems like Perry targets Harley as opposed to JT and I wonder if this is because he’s more in tune timing wise from working with him with the second unit.
Hope he finds JT soon even though Harley looks pretty good catching the ball.
 

2021 Commits

S
6'5"
220
Fort Lauderdale, FL
DT
6'4"
255
Miami, FL
OG
6'2"
295
Miami, FL
DT
6'4"
290
Miami, FL
DE
6'5"
210
Miami, FL
WR
6'2"
180
Miami, FL
RB
6'0"
225
Hollywood, FL
TE
6'4"
210
Frisco, TX
STR
6'3"
190
Melbourne, FL
S
5'11"
200
Miami, FL

Latest Predictions

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2020 Schedule

09/10
UAB
Miami Gardens, FL
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09/19
Louisville
Louisville, KY
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09/26
Florida State
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10/10
Clemson
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10/17
Pittsburgh
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10/24
Virginia
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NC State
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11/14
Virginia Tech
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11/21
Georgia Tech
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11/28
Wake Forest
Winston-Salem, NC
12/05
North Carolina
Miami Gardens, FL
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