My Post Game Recap: Southern Miss
Tyler Van Dyke - 21/30 263yds 1TD & 1INT
Henry Parrish Jr - 24car 116yds 1TD & 3rec 18yds
Thad Franklin Jr - 11car 42yds 1TD & 2rec 18yds
Xavier Restrepo - 6rec 72yds
Brashard Smith - 4rec 53yds
Keyshawn Smith - 3rec 49yds & 1TD
Michael Redding - 3rec 45yds
Jaylan Knighton - 6car 18yds
Offense gained 451 total yards (278 passing & 173 rushing) with 78 plays at 5.9 yards per play, getting 23 first down & going 9-17 on 3rd down, with 37:00 minutes in Time Of Possession.
Henry Parrish Jr runs tough has great vision, he does a great job being patient & allowing his blockers to get to their spot & then finding a running lane while accelerating into the 2nd level of the Defense. He’s shifty with his jump cuts & has good change of direction with his footwork while weaving through traffic. What he lacks in pure speed he makes up for with agility.
No to get too ahead of myself, but we may have a 1,000yd back on our hands with Parrish, keeping him healthy will be pivotal for this season.
Thadd Franklin is a locomotive, he’s a big bodied North & South runner with nimble feet. He’s a physically imposing back that we can hammer Defenses with late in the 2nd halves of games because he once he gets to the LOS if he has a lane he mostly gets forward & makes solid plays as a big Power runner.
Xavier Restrepo is the consummate safety blanket, very much reminiscent to Braxton Berrios circa 2017, he’s always open due to his terrific route running & he’s got great hands. He’s the chain mover in this Offense, when it doubt, just throw it to X.
Good to see Michael Redding finally starting to come alive & it makes perfect sense that in this Offense he would be a good fit, because he’s big & physical. He’s the exact kind of WR that Gattis would’ve recruited at Penn ST.
Brashard Smith played well today also, he made some great catches & can be a good weapon in this Offense in order to open up the field more. He needs more one on one matchups down the seam, he’s a natural playmaker.
That was a really good playcall going with the flea-flicker to Key Smith on a Post route, very well designed & the timing of the call was perfect considering where we were on the field & how much we had lulled the Safeties in with the run game.
The Offense overall needs more tempo & pace INMHO, they’re a little too methodical & formulaic. There’s not enough explosion, it’s more Death by a thousand paper cuts vs big splash plays that open up the field. It works when all the cogs of the machine & pistons are operating at maximum level, but it can be stalled when one piece is off in terms of timing & rhythm, there’s very little margin for error in this system. It has to be perfect for it work effectively, otherwise it will sputter against teams with good Defensive personnel & team speed. It worked when it was supposed to against Southern Miss, but we’ll face much better Defenses than this, hopefully we step up to the plate as the competition increases.
It’s the perfect Offense for a team with a road-grading OL & workhorse backs, a.k.a Michigan. I still think we’re most effective we when open it up & spread the ball around, but the run game looks to be vastly improved from last year, so we’ll see how that translates against better opponents this season...
TVD looks better & more decisive in a more high-paced quick read Offense IMO. In this system where everything has to be perfect & on time it’s going to take some time for him to acclimate further & get comfortable with all his reads. The route combos on the outside are more sophisticated & longer developing, it takes more time for the WR’s to get to their spot. Which means TVD has to go through his progressions & make his decisions much more precisely/wisely, which can cause him to be late on some throws if he’s going to the Field or the Flanker. The Slot/Seam & RB’s out of the backfield will always be open in this scheme, so it just becomes a matter of deciding how often you wanna drink from that well & for a big arm stretch the field type QB like TVD it will be an adjustment for him to shorten up his game & take the checkdown.
The “eLiTe” OL that dominated the vaunted Bethune Cookman struggled against Southern Miss in the 1st half, I’m guessing this should put in perspective for yall who genuinely thought the Bethune game actually meant anything... But probably not lol
But aside from that, Justice Oluwaseun had a real nice seal block on a Pull & Pin on Thad’s 6yd run for a 1st down in the 3rd quarter & then had a very nice combo block to give Thad the open lane to score the TD on the same 13 play drive to start the 3rd quarter.
I’m guessing because we’ve played two cupcakes in BCC & USM that we haven’t opened up the TE chapters of the playbook yet, but we’re definitely gonna need them be more involved in the passing game as the season progresses. We have to get the ball to Arroyo in space, it’s a non-negotiable this season. I understand the value he & the rest of the TE group adds to the run game as Blockers, but again it’s imperative to the success of the Offense this year that we get the ball in the hands of Arroyo, Mallory & Skinner. Not a big deal today because we didn’t need them to beat USM, but we absolutely will to beat TAMU.
Corey Flagg - 6tcks 1.5TFL’s
James Williams - 5tcks 1PD 1FF
DJ Ivey - 5tcks 1PD
Kamren Kinchens - 4tcks
TyRique Stevenson - 3tcks 1INT 1PD
Darrell Jackson - 3tcks
Elijah Roberts - 2tcks
Waynmon Steed - 2tcks
Wesley Bissainthe - 2tcks 1PD
Chase Smith - 2tcks
Leonard Taylor - 2tcks 2TFL’s & 1 sack
Jordan Miller - 2tcks 1TFL
Antonio Moultrie - 2tcks
Nyjalik Kelly - 2tcks 1TFL & 1 sack
Jacob Lichtenstein - 1tck 1TFL & 1 sack
TeCory Couch - 1tck 1PD
Held Southern Miss to 240yds of total offense & just 33yds rushing at a stifling 1.4 yards per rush, with 7TFL’s & 3 sacks & forcing 3 turnovers.
Defensive line looked good on the interior, particularly Darrell Jackson, he’s a NFL caliber DT, he gets immediate push with his natural strength & is a disruptive force that helps shut down the run game while taking on multiple blockers in the A&B gaps.
Leonard Taylor had some good plays getting a sack & beating a double team with a nice under-hook swim move & using his arm length to keep the QB from escaping the pocket. We need more of that from him, he’s got all the talent, he just needs to bring it more consistently & more frequently.
Lichtenstein had a good play getting a sack, he works as a situational rusher on 3rd & long.
Elijah Roberts played really well in Run Defense, he’s really a position-less DLineman in that he can play all 4 spots along the line & transition perfectly between each one. He’s primed to finally have a breakout season this year.
The Run Defense overall looks good IMO...
But the issue is EDGE rush; without Akheem Mesidor we don’t seem to generate a lot of pressure against the Pass. DE’s have played well the run game, but collapsing the pocket & getting after the QB just isn’t there yet. Mesidor is our best pure pass rusher & we’ll need him healthy for the majority of the year. Might be time to get Nyjalik Kelly some reps & see what he can do.
Again it’s still early, but we need more from Agude & Harvey is what he’s always been, at best we just need him to flash when it counts.
Corey Flagg played very well, he was active in the run game & did a great job reading keys & diagnosing. He’s the quintessential undersized LB, plays with good IQ & can get to his the spot when the play is in front of him. Good day for him overall leading the team in tackles.
Wesley Bissainthe has IT; he’s still raw & learning the game, but he has the IT factor, we’re seeing our next great Miami LB with this kid as he continues to grow & maturate. By the time we get into the thick of the ACC schedule I suspect that he’ll be playing quite a bit if not starting. He’s got the capability to play Will or Mike backer, it’s simply a matter of how Steele wants to comprise the personnel groupings. But we finally got one with Bissainthe.
James Williams showing that versatility again today, on the first drive he lined up at Strong Safety, Sam Backer & covered the Slot making a nice PBU on the out route to the sideline, he also showed very good closing speed tracking down the ball carrier on the first drive. On the Forced Fumble he caused in the 4th quarter he did a phenomenal job with gap integrity & tracking down the ball carrier, he didn’t over pursue & did a great job using his eyes to diagnose the gap & meet the RB in the 2nd level, that was textbook LB play. Aside from one missed read in the 1st quarter, he played a great game, grade A IMO.
Stevenson had a good PBU earier in the 2nd quarter & a good INT in the End Zone, he played well today. I think he’s more of a Safety than pure Corner, but he’s the best we got.
Malik Curtis got completely routed on an Outside-In release, he lost the rep in the first 3 steps of the route & as soon as Brownlee got inside without contact it a was a guaranteed TD.
Darryl Porter Jr got Mossed by Brownlee on a 33yd catch in the 3rd quarter, he was in good position to make a play on the ball & just didn’t.
Couch had a good Pass breakup to start the 4th quarter, he’s looked good at Nickel thus far, that’s his natural position. He’ll have his hands full vs TAMU because they have some very good speed at the Slot, that’s a matchup we’ll have to win next week.
Overall our CB’s are not there yet IMO; Whenever we play a team with Speed on the outside we’re going to be in for a long day because there’s a ton of exploitable plays to be had vs this group. Addae’s coaching was ballyhooed about all Spring/Fall camp, maybe it was just much easier to do at UGA when you have a DB room full of 5-stars, but there’s some things that can’t be coached/taught & that’s natural fluidity in your footwork learning how to track the ball in the air & we still have a long ways to go in that department.
North Carolina is going to really put this CB group to the test, they’ll have to be at pique performance for that game...
Overall, the 1st half wasn’t a good performance by any stretch of the imagination, USM is not a good football team, this was a 3 win team with a TRUE Freshman QB making his first start ever against us & this team normally doesn’t even throw the ball that often, but of course against us they decided to open the KC Chiefs chapter of their playbook lol
But it’s a typical Noon kickoff in Miami, it usually takes us til the 2nd half to wake up whenever we play early in the day like this. We looked lethargic & slow, but things picked up in the 2nd half because once you adjust to the heat & humidity due to us practicing in it daily & being significantly more talented than USM it was only a matter of time before we began to separate.
It’s just game #2 & there are going to be growing pains throughout the seasons. We underwent a total transformation as a program from January - August & it’s going to take some time for us to be remade in Mario’s image. You don’t go from being a finesse team predicated on explosive plays to being a tough physical B1G team overnight, it takes about 3-4 years to completely transition into a new identity as program & a team.
This was a classic come down to earth moment after all the offseason hype & way overselling a scrimmage against a FCS team like BCC. The reality is, we’re going to be in some dogfights this season coming down the stretch of our ACC schedule, the key will be if we’re a team that plays our best ball in the 4th quarter & what our team is made of when we get down by a couple scores & how we respond. That will tell you where we stand in terms of this rebuilding process.
Long way to go this season & a lot to clean up for TAMU, hopefully we can pull it off...