Game Preview: Week 10 vs. Georgia Tech

Game Preview: Week 10 vs. Georgia Tech

Paul Austria
Another hard-to-watch and very wet loss came about the Miami Hurricanes (5-4, 2-3) last Saturday and the solution to solving Miami’s offensive woes still eludes them heading into this weekend’s matchup at Georgia Tech (5-4, 3-3). The woes can be attributed to a multitude of areas, from play-calling to inconsistent quarterback play, to a couple of bad fumbles by Deejay Dallas, a few drops from UM receivers, and a subpar performance by the offensive line. Despite the tough stretch, coach Richt and the Hurricanes remain hopeful going into Atlanta.

Mark Richt went to both quarterbacks last week and the results were more or less very similar to last week. Malik Rosier has a little bit more of success, going 8-12 for 76 yards while Perry was 5-16 for 35 yards. UM was having trouble establishing rhythm through the passing game and was stagnant for the most part. Both quarterbacks split 1st-team reps in practice this week but Richt announced that Perry will be the man under center come Saturday.

“I think both Malik and N’Kosi practiced well,” Richt told the Sun-Sentinel. “I thought they both competed well and we’re just making a decision based on what we think gives us the best shot.”

Due to underwhelming quarterback play, WR Jeff Thomas has basically been a non-factor as of late after starting the season strong. In Miami’s last 3 losses, Thomas has accounted for only 51 receiving yard and he has not eclipsed 100 yards since Week 3 vs. Toledo.

On the bright side, Miami’s running game found a lot of success against Duke, as Travis Homer and Deejay Dallas were both able to find the endzone on long runs. The irony of Miami’s 300 rushing yards last week is that a good majority of them came when the turf was riddled with puddles left and right that looked something reminiscent of that one scene in The Longest Yard where they threw laterals in the mud, just without the laterals. Dallas had two fumbles in the second half that did hamper Miami’s chances at a comeback and after the game, he immediately texted coach Richt that he was personally sorry. Homer had a big game against GT last year with 170 yards on the ground, so look for him to possibly continue that success this weekend.

Miami’s defense allowed a 75-yard touchdown run on the first play against Duke, but throughout the rest of the game, UM’s 2nd-ranked defense only allowed 215 yards. Shaq Quarterman was a ballhawk all game with 11 tackles while DT Gerald Willis had two tackles-for-loss and one sack. Jaquan Johnson added an interception but the Canes face a difficult task in Georgia Tech.

Coach Paul Johnson’s triple-option offense has been a nightmare for opposing defenses to contain this season and that is reflected in statistics as well as the Yellow Jackets have the top rushing offense in the nation and they average over 6 yards/carry. Heck, Their top two leading rushers on the team are also their quarterbacks and they’ve been living and dying by the triple-option as TaQuon Marshall and Tobias Oliver have thrown a combined 88 passes through their 9 games this season.

Oliver is tops with 780 rushing yards and 12 TD’s this season and Marshall has 659 yards with 9 TD’s. That’s not even including their freshman starting running back Jordan Oliver, who’s compiled 604 yards while averaging 6.4 yards/carry. The interesting part about this offense is that it’s actually served as a great defense for them as well. To offer some clarity, the triple-option has contributed to the Yellow Jackets winning the time-of-possession battle in 8 of 9 games this season, with that one outlier taking place in a 66-17 blowout of Bowling Green.

Looking at the bigger picture, this essentially puts Miami in a corner where if they lose the time-of-possession battle and their offense remains inefficient, the chances at victory are bleak.

“Normally every play matters, but definitely against these guys you have limited possessions,” co-offensive coordinator/running backs coach Thomas Brown told the Sun-Sentinel.

“Most games against their defense or their offense, you can probably get the ball two, three, four less drives a game. Every drive matters. We’ve got to get points every drive and do a good job of sustaining drives.”

Nate Woody is entering his first season as defensive coordinator for Georgia Tech. Coach Paul Johnson noted that biggest difference in this year’s defense compared to last season is the higher level of aggressiveness, and that higher level of aggressiveness has led to turnovers.

Turnovers have been plentiful for this unit as they are currently tied for 8th in the nation with 20, including 3 last week in a huge conference win against North Carolina.

"We know if we want to be a top defense, if we want to be a good defense and we want to win games we have to win the turnover battle," DE Anree Saint-Amour told the Marietta Daily Journal. "That's what we try and do."

Senior DE Anree Saint-Amour has been the leader for this 3-4 defense with 10.5 tackles-for-loss, 4 sacks, 3 forced fumbles, and 2 interceptions. Saint-Amour is one of three players on the team with at least two interceptions, joining safeties Malik Rivera (who also leads the team with 45 tackles) and Tariq Carpenter.

Saturday’s conference matchup is slated for a 7 PM start in Atlanta and you can catch all the action on ESPN2.

Comments (2)

Another hard-to-watch and very wet loss came about the Miami Hurricanes (5-4, 2-3) last Saturday .

Saturday’s conference matchup is slated for a 7 PM start in Atlanta and you can catch all the action on ESPN2.
Yep, it's indeed hard to watch, but I'll be doing just that, watching episode 10 of the 2018 Shichtshow
This game could get ugly. We haven't been able to sustain drives all season, don't have much hope that is going to change this week. If we continue to go 3 n out or fail to put together scoring drives consistently, we're getting blown out the building. Techs offense will stress our defense if kept on the field all game. I never ever bet against the Canes. If I did, I would take GA Tech to cover this week. Let's hope the offense gets something going this week.