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From the Perch: Pitt

From the Perch: Pitt

Roman Marciante
The end of the season is upon us and the Miami Hurricanes have finished with a disappointing 7-5 record. The 93rd ranked offense in the country surely had its less than "plush" moments Saturday when it faced off vs. the Pitt Panthers. N'Kosi Perry finished the day 6-24 and there was a myriad of reasons why. (Yes. Drops) From the Perch will try to find the "vasoline" and show it's no "interstate love song" in this next edition of FTP.

Miami's Achilles heal under Mark Richt returned on third down this week. Miami was a lackluster 2-12 on third downs. Many things to highlight on this play and we are going to take our time. First thing you'll notice is that Miami is keeping 6 in to block. Miami is sliding it's protection right when it notices a walk up linebacker. (This is bait) Miami utilizes slide protection but the will backer (set to the pass strength) is dropping into protection. The blitz actually comes from the opposite side.

You'll notice that Donaldson blocks no one on this play. This is not a byproduct of him failing at anything individually per say, it is just a byproduct of the offensive line sliding the protection the wrong way. It fell victim to a greatly designed blitz that confused Miami at the line of scrimmage. The half back needs to take the immediate threat but the spacing/timing of the blitzing Pitt defenders also was hard to contend with. So credit Pitt here. If Miami would have slid the protection to the opposite side I think it would have had time to work.

But now I want to focus on the next aspect and show the design of the play and highlight areas. It is a mirrored switch concept that is taking time to develop. There is absolutely no blitz beater involved. In the limited time needed for the quarterback to "beat the blitz," no wide receiver is even looking for the ball. (poor design) This play absolutely has no shot if the offensive line isn't setting it's protection right.

It would really help the quarterback if you would do a few things in these down and distances. Have an "out" or a "hot" to beat the blitz. Or simply unlock one of your mirrored sides to come into view of the quarterback and beat the blitz. (A drag) I like mirrored concepts but Miami is really handcuffing themselves when they ask both sides of the field to run 8-12 yard routes when you only have time for five.

The offensive line is responsible in this system for the protections. Miami's system of having a quarterback simply stare at the center is really cutting off the ability of the quarterback to see the whole picture in my opinion. And when the staff sees a blitz coming in this fashion and still decides to run this play, it should be highly questioned. Other teams employ check with me, audibles, plus 1 ideologies to get themselves out of a potential bad play call. Miami does none of that here and it's a wrap.


Another failed 3rd and 10 and I find issues with both the play call and the quarterbacks decision. This is 3x1 set with trips set to the field. You will see that Pitt is once again trying to get Miami to choose at the LOS which way they will slide their protection by having defenders at both 9's. (out wide) Miami will actually slide right (good call here) and block it well.

But the quarterback needs to understand the pre snap advantage is to the trips side. You essentially are showing a three to two advantage. Then the decision to throw a boundary stop at eight yards in tight press coverage was the wrong read. Yes. It is one on one. I still do not like the decision. That was never going to be a first down. Harley is running a faint block and seam here on the opposite side, it was open if he decided to throw it. Miami has not completed one of those on the year and hard to know if that was actually the intended call.

But 3x1 on third and 10. The OC calls an 8 yard stop to the X and a bubble screen with Lawrence Cager as the intended target. I don't see how that is setting your team up for an advantage in this instance. This is one of those moments when a mature quarterback comes to the sideline, has security and autonomy with his coach and says, "I need a much better play call than that." Then the quarterback walks off with desperado theme music playing in the background as he walks away.


Highlight a good showing of anticipation on this throw. Z go Y out. Perry sees the inside leverage of the #2 db and he throws this ball outside while Harley's back is turned. Easy pitch and catch here. The break at 5 and leak up to 7 yards insinuates a speed out. One step drop and this is good receiver to route distance relationship. Was hard for me to tell if this was mirrored because I cannot see the opposite wide out on this 2x2 set. The opposite slot is running a whip route. (out breaking route)


Here is a drop. It is right to focus on the drop. But this is a missed read in my book. Miami goes 10 set 2x2 mirrored wide out stops with associated slot verticals. You know the concept as a qb so you need to read your side and see the safety flat. (Also Pitt under Narduzzi has a propensity to be overly aggressive and get flat in the secondary) When the safety drops down, the vertical should have been a chunk play with better anticipation.

One thing I have to give credit to the Pitt safety is how he was able to force Cager out wide and still affect the reception to Langham. This is a DB understanding how to disrupt route concepts. Depending on the situation you can have the slot drive up and two for one read a cornerback OR you can have the slot take an inside release and bring the traffic away from the wide out. I don't think Pitt's safety gave Miami a choice. Great play.


I really think Miami needs to address this phenomenon in the off season. Stop if you have heard me say this before, but Miami QB's seem to be really unaware of the blitz at times. When your line sets the protection, the quarterback has to essentially stare at the center's ass anticipating the snap. A lot can change with a QB's mental picture in this time frame. This is an insane catch by Evidence Njoku but this is so unnecessary.

The field #2 db is firing in and the offensive line and the running back pick it up perfectly. But the most important guy on the field Perry, simply never even sees it. This is more of a system implementation on the staff. The quarterback needs to have eyes on the prize and take what the defense gives him. The boundary cornerback shows press man and runs into a deep third. Pitt plays an underneath flat defender and this is such a small margin of error. Conversely if you see the blitz coming opposite side of the field your receiver was open by 10 yards.


Once again you struggle at times mightily on third down because systemically you do not help your quarterback out. 2x1 Switch to the field. Miami keeps 7 into block. Pitt shows Blitz does not come. Pitt playing Man 2 underneath. What is open? Kosi again is trying to hit a a comeback vs press man and it is not working. Everything is covered.

So issues on design. H-back and RB need to release flat or check middle if the blitz doesn't come. They don't. Homer blocks no one. I also see that Homer was covered by the lb. That was a match-up that needed to be exploited more this game in my opinion. It was not. (You can tip a defense's hands with check motion, Miami does not utilize this concept) And the passing combo is essentially not a man beater at all. So on third down the Miami staff is making an effort to bring more into block, which I understand, but the routes? No sight adjustments. No attached option routes based on coverage. No audible. No check with me. This is what you get.

https://twitter.com/romancane/status/1067264932838850560

I would really like to soap box this next clip and say please throw a skinny post off jet sweep motion. The clip will speak for it self. Every team simply plays the tendency that you only hand the ball off with jet sweep motion (because you do) and this is the result.

https://twitter.com/romancane/status/1067272552043696129

I want to give praise to the running game. Miami is averaging 7.25 yards a rush the past two games. Here is an example of some spread concepts plus a running quarterback and how it can work wonders. Pitt in a cover 2 shell and 6 in the box. The "spread" concept is based on the fact the bubble screen occupies two defenders outside the hash. Miami leaves the defensive end unblocked but he is responsible for the QB so essentially he wears cement shoes on this play.

5 offensive lineman take care of the 5 remaining in the box defenders and it's Homer's job to make the safety miss. For good measure he makes two safeties miss. Go back to a week ago and it was the same bubble screen/quarterback fake that sprung Cam Davis' long touchdown run vs the Hokies. Miami does not need to rely solely on the bubble to create this. A wide receiver stack concept or pushing the slot out more with spacing can accomplish this. Other methods of horizontal attack methodologies are really lacking in this offense.

https://twitter.com/romancane/status/1067276663627620353

And lastly let's look at probably the most creative and effective use of, formation, personnel and design by the Miami Hurricanes all year. This is 30 set personnel. (3 running backs and no tight ends) Trips right Wildcat. (No way for a defense to know Miami will line up this way based on personnel when Kosi stays in the game) This concept with tempo would be devastating. Even without tempo this crushes Pitt on a 4th and 2. Cheap shot alert* Miami is lucky this isn't fourth and one because we would have ran a full back dive.

I digress. But this is a QB lead draw after a fake to the tailback. Look at the offensive blocking on this play. The right tackle essentially drops into a pass block look sealing off the back side pressure while the right guard pulls for power. The H back counter steps then performs a wham block. Excuse me. BUT WHERE THE F HAS THIS BEEN ALL YEAR? I mean Miami can run so many variants and overwhelm a team with numbers to the trip side too if they choose. I love this look. I need more of this in my life.

In closing, not really fun when your quarterback was 25% accurate on the day. Miami had 7 drops but even with those drops the adjusted completion % was 54%. One thing that is very alarming to me is that the staff is calling so many mirrored concepts for Perry. It screams that they do not trust a quarterback to read the whole field. There is essentially no way to know this without being behind closed doors, but the play call selection might lend credence to the notion.

But come on Ro, there was so many drops. It was a mixed bag. Bad play calls. Bad design. Missed reads. Bad throws too. But do not for one second believe a performance that bad, especially in the passing game, that it was just strictly one thing. That was a total team effort by the staff and players. Hopefully InSight's FTP shed some light on it. If at the beginning of the year you randomly put 12 films for me to sort through, I would never have in a million years picked this film as the 12th game of the season. This is not film of a team who looks to have gotten better as the season went on.

A positive is that the running game has found some success the past two weeks from the more spread concepts. Mainly the plays involving the Bubble screen. Even in a game where Miami had more bubble screens blocked than completed, the mere threat of it has kept opposing defenses honest. The spread concept led to more favorable match ups in the run game and when the safety missed a tackle or took a bad angle, the Miami talent took care of the rest.

That is what this offense needs. Put your players in the best situation to succeed. As soon as the head man figures that out, Miami can be a respectable team offensively again. 93rd in the nation should never be acceptable and baring any catastrophic injury to half the team, should be a fire-able offense. I am almost sure if the shoe was on the other foot and the Miami Hurricanes laid an egg defensively, the ax would drop. Heads would roll.

The trend is alarming and Miami's offense is getting worse over three years not better. 57th in 2016. 60th in 2017. 93rd in 2018. Can we be completely honest here? Even Mark Richt's best season as a play caller being 53rd with Miami talent is embarrassing in itself. And personally I believe that when Miami went from 5th in turnover margin last year to 44th in the nation this year, it forced this Miami offense to be more efficient. Less turnover chain means more extending the first down chain. Miami just was not up to the task.

This was not an anomaly for Richt's offense to be out of sorts. The anomaly was the fact the defense was so good at getting turnovers last year that it gave you more chances to be less bad. Miami makes real changes with this offense there is no reason it cannot have UCF results. If Miami thinks it can keep doing what it is doing and make little to no change, Mark Richt will eventually be relieved of his offensive coordinator responsibilities. That is because he will be relieved of his head coaching responsibilities too.
 

Comments (45)

I am going to apologize in advance. I know this might be one of the more technical intrinsic pieces I have done. At anytime anyone has a question about anything hit me up. @ my name in here and I will do my best to explain anything. We are all learning in here my friends.
 
I am going to apologize in advance. I know this might be one of the more technical intrinsic pieces I have done. At anytime anyone has a question about anything hit me up. @ my name in here and I will do my best to explain anything. We are all learning in here my friends.
No apologies necessary @Roman Marciante! Your great work is giving many insight into the offensive issues we may otherwise not have seen.

Thanks again and I hope Franco has a big year!
 
Don't sell yourself short compadre

Hypothetically. If Miami had this base offense I would would really like to see the following 12 step program.

  1. If you don't trust your QB to read the whole field then "check with me" Have two plays ready to go based on what you think is coming
  2. Really learn to manufacture some easy perimeter passes to accentuate your run game. (more than just bubbles)
  3. Motion a little more to isolate your play makers OR get them to over commit to things like Jet Motion
  4. Have a script of a lot more third down plays you are comfortable with. (Richt ran the same 3rd down play 5/6 times back to back weeks)
  5. Have a script of a lot more red zone plays you are comfortable with. (Not just about a fade ball city)
  6. Keep your later in the year running game (we ran for 197 a game)
  7. Diversify the screen game a bit (saw a couple good ones, expand upon it)
  8. Stop relying on mirrored concepts so much or get a quarterback who can read the whole field. Your choice
  9. Be lethal when teams blitz you
  10. Develop some shock plays-know when to use them
  11. Keep that 30 set tips wildcat creativity mentality (It gave me an x/o woody)
  12. Have fun with it and stay aggressive. Make an offense so appealing to play for that every kid wants to come here.
 
...i just wanna forget this year already. No Losier next year...that is one positive take away from this year...
 
...i just wanna forget this year already. No Losier next year...that is one positive take away from this year...

You and me both. After that last word of this article, I had a big exhale. Like "Thank God this is done." Picked the wrong year to jump on board and do film reviews. lol.
 
Hypothetically. If Miami had this base offense I would would really like to see the following 12 step program.

  1. If you don't trust your QB to read the whole field then "check with me" Have two plays ready to go based on what you think is coming
  2. Really learn to manufacture some easy perimeter passes to accentuate your run game. (more than just bubbles)
  3. Motion a little more to isolate your play makers OR get them to over commit to things like Jet Motion
  4. Have a script of a lot more third down plays you are comfortable with. (Richt ran the same 3rd down play 5/6 times back to back weeks)
  5. Have a script of a lot more red zone plays you are comfortable with. (Not just about a fade ball city)
  6. Keep your later in the year running game (we ran for 197 a game)
  7. Diversify the screen game a bit (saw a couple good ones, expand upon it)
  8. Stop relying on mirrored concepts so much or get a quarterback who can read the whole field. Your choice
  9. Be lethal when teams blitz you
  10. Develop some shock plays-know when to use them
  11. Keep that 30 set tips wildcat creativity mentality (It gave me an x/o woody)
  12. Have fun with it and stay aggressive. Make an offense so appealing to play for that every kid wants to come here.


I honestly think reading this back I just described Clemson's offense.
 
@SigmundFriend @KrazyCane @Earnest T. Bass @Jaromir Jagr @Calvin

#RomanforOC
#AnyonebutRorcht[/QUote

Just like coach searels deserves another year to coach mainly a starting 4 or 5 of the guys he helped to bring in, so to does coach richt deserve to continue to call plays for the qb's he brought in. If im coach richt ill be damyum if i spent 2yrs developing guys and hire somebody to come in after the hard part is over with only to have someone else looking jazzy, i cant see coach richt doing that and i dont see him doing that with coach searels either which is the best move for this team. Those 2 have put alot of work in to get those young guys up to this point, its bout to be real now, shout out to coach richt for keeping a stable staff together in advance. The o-line recruits will see for themselves, its not coach searels.
 

My friend. After two years developing kosi, three years developing Rosier, they are responsible for being the least accurate passers in the ACC this year. This isn't really lending credence to the notion of "developing" them. This is a very rigid system to perform under. I did play the position well enough to understand the throws that are being made and the level of difficulty required to make them vs certain coverage.

Mark Richt has a philosophy of calling a play, and expecting his team to beat it regardless of what coverage is being called. My question to you is, do you think this is a better approach then rather "taking what the defense gives you."

At this point you do not have to take it from me. But every national telecaster the past several weeks has questioned the offense from a systematic standpoint. ESPN game day has crucified the quarterback play in front of a national audience. I had the unique opportunity to interview Dan Orlovsky two weeks ago and he simply called this offense "archaic."

You do not and IMO will not see development of a quarterback until he devises a system that is more quarterback friendly.
 
My friend. After two years developing kosi, three years developing Rosier, they are responsible for being the least accurate passers in the ACC this year. This isn't really lending credence to the notion of "developing" them. This is a very rigid system to perform under. I did play the position well enough to understand the throws that are being made and the level of difficulty required to make them vs certain coverage.

Mark Richt has a philosophy of calling a play, and expecting his team to beat it regardless of what coverage is being called. My question to you is, do you think this is a better approach then rather "taking what the defense gives you."

At this point you do not have to take it from me. But every national telecaster the past several weeks has questioned the offense from a systematic standpoint. ESPN game day has crucified the quarterback play in front of a national audience. I had the unique opportunity to interview Dan Orlovsky two weeks ago and he simply called this offense "archaic."

You do not and IMO will not see development of a quarterback until he devises a system that is more quarterback friendly.

Richt probably still logs onto the internet with a dial-up modem
 
You and me both. After that last word of this article, I had a big exhale. Like "Thank God this is done." Picked the wrong year to jump on board and do film reviews. lol.

LOL...no my man. You picked a great time. Mork just picked a bad time to throw a grenade on the program and see what happens...I mean I've never seen a coach consistently go against common sense like he has all year. He knew the right thing to do...ala Perry starting the final games...but why did he wait until the end of the year to do it?...it tells me he was being deliberate after FSU...deliberately inserting an inferior QB to lead this team. All this play the best guy coach talk was BS and fraudulent....sigh....
 
I honestly think reading this back I just described Clemson's offense.

I'm not even joking, I'd vote for you for OC. If voting for OC were a thing.

It's refreshing to hear actual ideas to try instead of insisting that everything's basically fine if guys would just execute.
 
You and me both. After that last word of this article, I had a big exhale. Like "Thank God this is done." Picked the wrong year to jump on board and do film reviews. lol.

Romey Rome is like that film critic who in his first year on the job has to review 'Ishtar', 'Gigli' and 'Caddshack 2' over and over, again
 
Romey Rome is like that film critic who in his first year on the job has to review 'Ishtar', 'Gigli' and 'Caddshack 2' over and over, again
I knew it was bad but reading Roman’s stuff just makes me want to jump off a bridge

#firericht
#hireroman
#Roman2020

DON'T JUMP. Unless it's a really small bridge into some calm, cool, refreshing water. We all need that sort of relaxation after this year.
 

2022 Commits

WR
6'2"
185
Nashville, TN
CB
6'0"
160
Lexington, MS
QB
6'4"
205
Valdosta, GA
CB
6'1"
175
Fort Myers, FL
S
6'1"
170
Orlando, FL
WR
6'1"
185
Mandeville, LA
MLB
6'1"
210
Manvel, TX
OT
6'7"
275
Sandersville, GA

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Win 25 - 23
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Win 69 - 0
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