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From the Perch: Toledo

From the Perch: Toledo

Roman Marciante
InSight is back. Back again to recount a particularly elevated performance from Malik Rosier. The Miami Hurricanes had a blast off win vs the returning MAC champion Toledo Rockets. The senior signal caller had five total touchdowns. "Rosier's ride was "2 if by air and 3 if by ground." With the history lesson in the rear view, let's focus forward on the next edition of "From the Perch."

Rosier finished the game 13/23 for 205 yards passing and 80 yards on the ground. (Had a 10 yard per rush average) His dual threat ability definitely factored in the run game. (We will highlight later) But where Rosier proved very effective vs the Rockets was his passing ability on third downs.

The 2017 Achilles heal of the Canes apparently wore high tops as they were 7-15 on third down conversions Saturday. Miami's 46% is good for a respectable 34th nationally and vastly improved from the 126th spot they held a year prior.

On this third down attempt you will notice all eyes on the quarterback. This signals a zone which Rosier quickly identifies and throws a successful completion to Jeff Thomas on the switch route. Note that Rosier released the ball when Thomas was still in his break. The rhythm and the anticipation of the throw were in sync and the first down ensued. Thomas will garner cushion. And when teams give you cushion, the quarterback needs to take your "change" from underneath such cushion.

Another 3rd down attempt. Lawrence Cager is one on one at the bottom of the screen. Cb is playing press man coverage which is identified early and correctly. When Rosier decides to pull the trigger you'll see the video pause to see the WR/CB relationship. This is "NFL open." When a cornerback's head is turned away from you, the offense holds the advantage. Rosier once again anticipates this throw and throws a brilliant ball. Pressure down main street forces Rosier to fall away from the throw but off platforming strikes when coerced by the defense is impressive.

One more 3rd down completion to Cager. 11 set personnel with Cager at the X. Difficult to ascertain the whole route concept on the play but you will notice Rosier scans the whole field to find the open guy. Credit to the offensive line for the clean pocket and the 3.21 seconds of protection needed to complete the pass. Rosier will scan middle, right then over to his left. This completion was at a critical juncture of the game when Toledo was forging some momentum.

The next play shows an incomplete pass on an 88 concept (post, post) This concept will kill quarters coverage and Rosier absolutely picks the right read here. If he was able to step into this throw it is more than likely a TD. Now let us microscopically focus on the pressure. It is a simple stunt between the DT and DE. However I believe the refs missed a seldom called defensive holding call on the stunting defensive tackle. As he slants in front of the guard he will grab the shoulder of the LG thus opening the front door for the DE who is looping back inside.

In previous games Rosier has not been mechanically optimal on roll out passes especially to his left. (Harder on right handed QB's rolling left) You will see at the end of his roll out, he will really emphasize getting his hips square to the target. This allows him to get his release point up and in an ideal position. I disagreed with the telecast saying it was open early because the defender was in his face. Rosier extends and gift wraps a ball to Mallory who simply drops a pass he shouldn't have.

Now the tale of two bubbles. Miami is notorious for running an inside zone/bubble RPO. You will see one case where the receiver is led up field (Thomas) and one where the ball is lateral or behind the LOS. (Harley) That is the subtle ball placement needed to make this a 7 yard gain or a next to nothing gain. I often wish Miami would occasionally flex out the slot in attempt to make it an easier hitch based throw and spread the defense. (WR stacks)

rOmaN on Twitter

rOmaN on Twitter

Jeff Thomas effect on the next clip. It is amazing how quickly how much ground Thomas will cover. He has a linebacker and safety bracketing him in coverage. Now ideally that would mean a 1v1 match-up would be somewhere else on the field but Thomas scorches both defenders on the seem. (mirrored dagger concepts) Rosier does a good job opening up center and not staring down the receiver. The safety made one false step and it was curtains.

Now dagger concepts are run vs "open and closed" looks. Open would be no one over the top inversely closed is when a safety is present over the top. Typically I would prefer my dagger concepts run with the option to run a dig vs closed defenses. (option route) But when the safety is flat like this case, I am 100% on board blowing by the safety and running the seem. All day.

rOmaN on Twitter

Rosier's legs and the dual threat aspect also played a big part in the win. Here you will see an example of a QB zone read Rosier correctly read when the DE crashed on the HB. Note Brevin Jordan in the H back role will counter step as if to go cross formation on a wham block. I think this was disrupting a defensive key because the flow of the defense was to crash inside including the backside LB. Jordan never was never able to reach on his defender after but the damage was done. Nice gain.

rOmaN on Twitter

Once you have to respect a quarterback's running ability this can happen. Back side will backer respects and stays on Rosier after the give to Dallas. The mike backer misfits a gap and the safety inexplicably runs behind him. (Get that boy a map) It is never good when two guys run into the same gap and Dallas cruises in for six. Ultimately the will backer could have stopped this play for minimal yards if he immediately crashed on the HB. The will pauses on Rosier just a little and that was all that was needed for the score.

rOmaN on Twitter

In closing, Rosier and the offense improved this week. Miami dominated the time of possession by more than 10 minutes. That was a direct result of grounding it out in the running game and being much more efficient on 3rd down. Rosier's efficacy in both those aspects was well documented as both a runner and a passer. Toledo's offense averaged 70 plays a game last year. Miami held them to just 59 on Saturday. I think we stumbled onto the game plan.

Objective. It is well documented that Rosier had some inaccuracies and struggles in previous weeks. But after a five touchdown performance and a review of the tape it is clear that Rosier put his team in a position to win. He was careful and conscientious with the football. He did not throw any interceptions nor did he have a pass that I recounted that was in danger of being picked off.

I saw some really good quarterbacking this week. Could it be possibly that Rosier plays better with a chip on his shoulder and needs the negative energy to engage? I really don't know that answer. But the Hurricanes need this version of Rosier more than most. Conference ball is right around the corner.

Comments (64)

All the Rosier haters chiming in in 3...2...1....

I thought the playcalling was better this week (WR screens, where have you been?) but we need to use the next few weeks getting some of the other receivers including the TEs in a rhythm and on the same page with 12. We KNOW what Jeff gives us every week.
Even the face of the visual evidence, people won't want to admit it, but he quarterback'd a hell of a game. Now, doing it consistently, and against better opponents...
All the Rosier haters chiming in in 3...2...1....

I thought the playcalling was better this week (WR screens, where have you been?) but we need to use the next few weeks getting some of the other receivers including the TEs in a rhythm and on the same page with 12. We KNOW what Jeff gives us every week.

I understand the frustration from the fan base. That four game losing streak that was accentuated by some uneven quarterback play was disheartening. But just realize from my perspective that I cannot look at a play but from anywhere but an objective position. Sure. I am human and we all have some preconceived notions. But this film from Malik was pretty good.

He showed me some things that if he can build upon, will be the type of play from a quarterback needed to propel the offense. But the fact of the matter is that he needs to be consistent. That hasn't always been the case.
Really good right up OP. The clip with your 88 concept I think Rosier has to throw that ball a beat quicker. Certainly the game up front hurt him but he doesn't have the biggest arm and if he read this correctly this ball needs to come out quicker.
Really good right up OP. The clip with your 88 concept I think Rosier has to throw that ball a beat quicker. Certainly the game up front hurt him but he doesn't have the biggest arm and if he read this correctly this ball needs to come out quicker.

I'll watch again. But did you see the defensive hold by the DT I was talking about?
Roman.. I appreciate what you do & I will gladly admit he played better. I won't argue his ground game at all. But man.. Unless I flat out missed them, I didn't see ONE throw over the middle. Not one between the hashes. That is a major issue if he isn't even looking at the middle of the field.
And to the people who think I'm just hating on poor poor Malik, look at Roman's clips above. Not one of them is a throw over the middle.

Also noticed that 5 of his 13 completions were caught at or behind the los. 3 were Thomas deep balls, where Thomas simply outran everyone else (nevermind all the deep shots that fell incomplete).

This was our first offensive play of the game. Thomas wasn't even being covered. Luckily the ball was batted down because Malik wasn't just throwing into double coverage, he was throwing to the ONLY WR being covered on the play.

Hes a streaky QB. When hes hot, hes hot. When hes cold, its fade to black on our season. We should all hope that this was the game that gets him his confidence back to run the table the rest of the season. We have seen what Malik can do when his confidence is at a 10.
Roman, question for you based on the first three games you've analyzed - are teams making a larger effort to take away the bubble throws to the WRs (playing man on the outside, playing press coverage, or making sure we don't have them outnumbered), or are we just not going to them as much? It felt like in the last couple years prior to this year, we had taken those bubble throws at any time we had multiple WRs to one side and the defense didn't have numbers (were playing zone) or had their CBs in off coverage, but this year, it doesn't seem like we've done that nearly as much (I think the 2 you picked may have been the only ones we threw against Toledo).

Not that they're my favorite play or the most exciting play, but there have been several times this year when we've lined up and I thought the throw was there for a few easy yards, and our QBs (mostly Malik obviously) haven't taken the throw.
Love ya @romancane, but just fair warning I'm going to disagree a bit on the Mallory play in my film review, who I believe was wide open immediately and Rosier had his eyes down on the defender rather than making the easy throw to Mallory right away (who was the first read).

Otherwise, you killed it as usual. You're really good at this stuff.