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Matchup of the Week: Miami D-line vs. Florida O-line

Matchup of the Week: Miami D-line vs. Florida O-line

Cory Grimes
When two quality opponents line up across from each other, you can almost always point to the trench warfare as the key to the outcome of the game. With two offensive lines that are extremely green as a whole, this game on Saturday will be no different. I could have gone either way with this one, but I chose to pick the Miami D-line vs. Florida O-line because I feel that the discrepancy between those two units is slightly larger than on the other side. Jon Garvin and the rest of the Miami defensive line has a tremendous opportunity to put their stamp on this game. Pressure makes diamonds. Pressure busts pipes too. We've all heard it. The Miami defensive front is looking to burst the pipes of the young Florida o-line, flood the pocket and ultimately drown Feleipe Franks who struggles mightily against pressure.

Florida offensive line allowed a total of 18 sacks in 2018. There is no doubt that the unit was very solid, but they only return 1 starter from last year's group. That one starter, redshirt senior Nick Buchanan, was quite honestly the least impressive out of the 2018 unit. Including Buchanan, who started 12 of 13 games last year, the 2019 Florida offensive line has a total of 23 starts. Redshirt junior left guard Brett Heggie is one of the other more experienced guys in the unit. He showed promise a starter for the majority of 2017 until he went down with a season ending knee injury and struggled to find his way into the lineup in 2018. Redshirt Freshman gaurd Chris Bleich is a rather large human at 6'6" 330 pounds, but again is very inexperienced as he only saw action in 4 games last year during mop up time. 6'4" 314 pound tackle and former Texas Longhorn Jean Delance will also be making his first start. The Gators largest lineman 6'7 left tackle Stone Forsythe saw time in every game in 2018 and looks to protect Franks' blindside and hold down a fierce pass rush from the Hurricanes. There is a lot of unknowns with this group, and all of those words could have been summed up in one phrase. This Florida offensive line is raw.

Miami's D-line lost a lot of production from 2018 as well, most notably Gerald Willis and Joe Jackson. It will be no small task to fill that kind of talent. However, the 2019 defensive line room still to be one of the deepest groups for the Hurricanes. Jon Garvin is the leader in the room in terms of experience and past production. Trevon Hill, though it was not with the Hurricanes, is also a proven college football player who has shown he can wreak havoc in opposing back fields with a career total of 20 TFL and 11.5 sacks. The wily Scott Patchan has a nonstop motor and will be a larger part of the rotation this year. I pegged Gregory Rousseau as a breakout player in 2018, but obviously that never came to fruition due to injury. I think I was just a year too early on my prediction. He will be a menace on 3rd down and obvious pass situations. His get off is second to none, and his freakish frame speaks for itself. Much has been made of true Freshman Jahfari Harvey's performance since the start of spring practice. It will be interesting to see what kind of role he plays Saturday, but I believe he can already be a factor as a pass rusher. It is obvious that the Hurricanes defensive ends can get after the passer, but they will need to also be stout against the run and force Franks to win this game with his arm.

The Canes have no shortage of edge rushers, and Florida's tackle will have their plates full trying to contain them. However, I feel that the guys who really need to step up this game are in the interior. Nothing is more disruptive to an offense than consistent penetration up the middle. Gerald Willis single handedly wrecked opposing offenses last year with his penetration through the middle. Does Miami have a guy who can provide the production of Willis? Probably not. 2019 defensive tackle production will be more by committee than one guy leading the way. Jon Ford is the most obvious candidate to be the leader of the group. All reports suggest he's ready for a breakout year. He's an absolute mammoth and seems to have become a more explosive through Feely's program. He has the skillset to be an effective pass rusher from the middle of the defense. Without Nesta Silvera, others will be forced to step up. Pat Bethel, Jordan Miller and UCLA transfer Chigozie Nnoruka are all going to have to step into bigger roles in 2019. The defensive tackles will have to slow down the Florida rushing attack from the get go, and dirty up the pocket with pressure in Franks face.

Although this match-up is focused on the two lines, it extends to Feleipe Franks. He made a huge strides in the Gators 2018 campaign, especially in the final stretch of the season. Physically, there's not much more a coach could ask for in a QB prospect. He's tall, athletic enough and has the arm strength to make throws all over the field. Now the mental side of things is another story. His decision making and overall football IQ leaves much to be desired, especially against pressure. According to Pro Football Focus, Franks was an abysmal 26 percent completion and an average of 4.4 yards per attempt on 107 drop backs that resulted in pressure from the defense. There wasn't a better team in college football than creating pressure and disruption in the backfield than the Miami Hurricanes. Miami's defense got pressure 41 percent of the time against power 5 offenses in 2018. Will Franks be better in his second season under Dan Mullen's tutelage? Certainly. I still think he is who is though. With a clean pocket and good timing, he can make all the plays. With heat coming his way, he melts. I don't see that changing too much on Saturday.

Men lie, women lie, Canes fans lie, Gator fans lie but numbers don't. Franks can't handle pressure, and the Canes bring it. The new look Gators offensive line will have to be able to run the ball consistently to slow down the Canes attacking style defense. The Gators have an experienced group of pass catchers, but if the O-line can't keep Franks clean in the pocket, it will limit their impact on the game. Miami's defensive line crew is as talented as ever, but much of the group is unproven. There is no better chance to show what they are about than an in a game like this one. Hill, Garvin and Rousseau have elite pass rush ability, and they'll need to showcase that for the Canes defense to be at its best. Todd Stroud and his stable have the ability to take this football game over from the first snap and swing the outcome in the Miami Hurricanes favor. Tune in Saturday to find out who wins the battle in the trenches.

Miami 27 Florida 21
 

Comments (14)

Hopefully the D doesnt get gashed by the run. Everybody’s talking about the pass rush, but not much on run-stopping
 
Hard to complete a pass when you're on your ass.

We'll be bringing a lot of heat - especially with a bunch of Sr LBs in there.

Really hope one of the DTs can get in the backfield regularly this season. We'll need someone up the middle to do that.

Goodbye UF.
 
Whichever team establishes the better running game has the edge or maybe not..who the heck knows what is going to determine this game.

Could be any one of or a combination of big plays, turnovers, penalties, special teams play, a key injury, play-calling.......
 
I wonder if there are possibly plans for a 'NASCAR" type 3rd-and-long package where all 4 of our DE's are standing near the line of scrimmage or in typical position reading to tee off
 
When two quality opponents line up across from each other, you can almost always point to the trench warfare as the key to the outcome of the game. With two offensive lines that are extremely green as a whole, this game on Saturday will be no different. I could have gone either way with this one, but I chose to pick the Miami D-line vs. Florida O-line because I feel that the discrepancy between those two units is slightly larger than on the other side. Jon Garvin and the rest of the Miami defensive line has a tremendous opportunity to put their stamp on this game. Pressure makes diamonds. Pressure busts pipes too. We've all heard it. The Miami defensive front is looking to burst the pipes of the young Florida o-line, flood the pocket and ultimately drown Feleipe Franks who struggles mightily against pressure.

Florida offensive line allowed a total of 18 sacks in 2018. There is no doubt that the unit was very solid, but they only return 1 starter from last year's group. That one starter, redshirt senior Nick Buchanan, was quite honestly the least impressive out of the 2018 unit. Including Buchanan, who started 12 of 13 games last year, the 2019 Florida offensive line has a total of 23 starts. Redshirt junior left guard Brett Heggie is one of the other more experienced guys in the unit. He showed promise a starter for the majority of 2017 until he went down with a season ending knee injury and struggled to find his way into the lineup in 2018. Redshirt Freshman gaurd Chris Bleich is a rather large human at 6'6" 330 pounds, but again is very inexperienced as he only saw action in 4 games last year during mop up time. 6'4" 314 pound tackle and former Texas Longhorn Jean Delance will also be making his first start. The Gators largest lineman 6'7 left tackle Stone Forsythe saw time in every game in 2018 and looks to protect Franks' blindside and hold down a fierce pass rush from the Hurricanes. There is a lot of unknowns with this group, and all of those words could have been summed up in one phrase. This Florida offensive line is raw.

Miami's D-line lost a lot of production from 2018 as well, most notably Gerald Willis and Joe Jackson. It will be no small task to fill that kind of talent. However, the 2019 defensive line room still to be one of the deepest groups for the Hurricanes. Jon Garvin is the leader in the room in terms of experience and past production. Trevon Hill, though it was not with the Hurricanes, is also a proven college football player who has shown he can wreak havoc in opposing back fields with a career total of 20 TFL and 11.5 sacks. The wily Scott Patchan has a nonstop motor and will be a larger part of the rotation this year. I pegged Gregory Rousseau as a breakout player in 2018, but obviously that never came to fruition due to injury. I think I was just a year too early on my prediction. He will be a menace on 3rd down and obvious pass situations. His get off is second to none, and his freakish frame speaks for itself. Much has been made of true Freshman Jahfari Harvey's performance since the start of spring practice. It will be interesting to see what kind of role he plays Saturday, but I believe he can already be a factor as a pass rusher. It is obvious that the Hurricanes defensive ends can get after the passer, but they will need to also be stout against the run and force Franks to win this game with his arm.

The Canes have no shortage of edge rushers, and Florida's tackle will have their plates full trying to contain them. However, I feel that the guys who really need to step up this game are in the interior. Nothing is more disruptive to an offense than consistent penetration up the middle. Gerald Willis single handedly wrecked opposing offenses last year with his penetration through the middle. Does Miami have a guy who can provide the production of Willis? Probably not. 2019 defensive tackle production will be more by committee than one guy leading the way. Jon Ford is the most obvious candidate to be the leader of the group. All reports suggest he's ready for a breakout year. He's an absolute mammoth and seems to have become a more explosive through Feely's program. He has the skillset to be an effective pass rusher from the middle of the defense. Without Nesta Silvera, others will be forced to step up. Pat Bethel, Jordan Miller and UCLA transfer Chigozie Nnoruka are all going to have to step into bigger roles in 2019. The defensive tackles will have to slow down the Florida rushing attack from the get go, and dirty up the pocket with pressure in Franks face.

Although this match-up is focused on the two lines, it extends to Feleipe Franks. He made a huge strides in the Gators 2018 campaign, especially in the final stretch of the season. Physically, there's not much more a coach could ask for in a QB prospect. He's tall, athletic enough and has the arm strength to make throws all over the field. Now the mental side of things is another story. His decision making and overall football IQ leaves much to be desired, especially against pressure. According to Pro Football Focus, Franks was an abysmal 26 percent completion and an average of 4.4 yards per attempt on 107 drop backs that resulted in pressure from the defense. There wasn't a better team in college football than creating pressure and disruption in the backfield than the Miami Hurricanes. Miami's defense got pressure 41 percent of the time against power 5 offenses in 2018. Will Franks be better in his second season under Dan Mullen's tutelage? Certainly. I still think he is who is though. With a clean pocket and good timing, he can make all the plays. With heat coming his way, he melts. I don't see that changing too much on Saturday.

Men lie, women lie, Canes fans lie, Gator fans lie but numbers don't. Franks can't handle pressure, and the Canes bring it. The new look Gators offensive line will have to be able to run the ball consistently to slow down the Canes attacking style defense. The Gators have an experienced group of pass catchers, but if the O-line can't keep Franks clean in the pocket, it will limit their impact on the game. Miami's defensive line crew is as talented as ever, but much of the group is unproven. There is no better chance to show what they are about than an in a game like this one. Hill, Garvin and Rousseau have elite pass rush ability, and they'll need to showcase that for the Canes defense to be at its best. Todd Stroud and his stable have the ability to take this football game over from the first snap and swing the outcome in the Miami Hurricanes favor. Tune in Saturday to find out who wins the battle in the trenches.

Miami 27 Florida 21
Excellent article Cory! Go C-A-N-E-S!
 
Since Florida lost most of their o-line I think they will suck and then Frank's won't be anywhere near what he was last year with an elite o-line even then he sucked when other teams got in his face.
 
I've got a lot of confidence in our front 7. If the DT's can hold their own, Shaq, Pinck, and Romeo can clean up in the run game. Gaytor OT's will be under pressure all night and I can't see them being able to run outside with much success.
 
Their fans are still drunk from the Michigan win. They honestly have no idea what’s coming.
 
since patchan is starting, i hope he gets in there and be productive when he is in.
 
09/04 @
ALA
Loss 44 - 13
09/11 vs
APP
Win 25 - 23
09/18 vs
MSU
Loss 38 - 17
09/25 vs
CCSU
Win 69 - 0
09/30 vs
UVA
Loss 30 - 28
10/16 @
UNC
Loss 45 - 42
10/23 vs
NCST
Win 31 - 30
10/30 @
PITT
Win 38 - 34
11/06 vs
GT
Win 33 - 30
11/13 @
FSU
Loss 31 - 28
11/20 vs
VT
Win 38 - 26
11/27 @
DUKE
Win 47 - 10
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