Opponent Film Review: North Carolina

Opponent Film Review: North Carolina

Lance Roffers
Miami is coming off of a relatively easy portion of their schedule and piled up some lopsided wins along the way. Now comes a new animal; ACC play begins. The Hurricanes will take on Larry Fedora and the North Carolina Tar Heels in their ACC opener. North Carolina is coming off of a surprising victory in their ACC opener against Pittsburgh, 38-35. UNC piled up 486 total yards and 313 passing yards in springing the upset. How did they do it? Let’s take a look at the tape.

On Pitt’s first possession, #12, Soph. Tomon Fox beats the LT and the QB can’t get rid of the ball before the sack. At 6-3, 250, he looks the part of a solid edge rusher. He was a terror in this game as a stand-up rusher. #36 Cole Holcomb looks like an instinctive LB but limited athletically. These are the two main playmakers on defense for UNC.

UNC runs a spread offense, with primarily 11 personnel (One RB, One TE, Three WR). They do the check-with-me line calls from the sidelines on each play and like to play with tempo. This is 11 personnel, but they’re using the TE as an offset H-back and use him as a FB. It’s a neat little variation of a shotgun I-formation. This is a bunch of eye candy to try and get numbers to run the ball. I’m sure there are pass concepts out of it as well.
1.png


And the very next play shows some of that pass concept out of it. They motion the TE back into this quasi-FB role and throw the swing pass. This is a fairly inventive play and is difficult to defend.
2.png


The very next play they go for the deep shot out of the same look. Showing three variations of the same play. The RB and H-back fake as though they’re going to run the same little swing pass, but this time Elliott throws it deep into double coverage. UNC wants to get you stuck with a personnel package on the field that they believe this formation can exploit and keep the tempo. It’s simple, but pretty effective in forcing a defense to stay disciplined. If that S tries to anticipate the run or the swing pass he’s going to get burned down the seam.
3.png


Next couple of plays UNC went with different personnel groupings (after the long incomplete pass allowed Pitt to substitute, UNC did also). Went with split backs out of shotgun, ran the ball across the face of the QB and used the RB to the play side as a lead blocker. On 3rd down they went to 10 personnel (No TE’s, 4 WR’s) and threw a swing pass to the RB with clear outs from the WR’s.

On 4th & inches they run another neat little formation. It’s Pistol formation with 12 personnel (1 RB, 2 TE’s). They lined the TE right behind the in-line TE and had the RB behind the QB (which is basically shotgun with a RB coming downhill named Pistol). They pulled the LG around and used the TE’s as decoy’s for the LB’s to key on. Ran the RB right behind the pulling LG and he housed it. Inline TE did a kickout block, they left the edge unblocked, offset TE released onto LB and LG lead. TD. Like the design of this play.
4.png

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Pitt is having success with Ollison, a 225-pound RB similar to a DeeJay Dallas. They’re also not extremely fast at LB and the QB run is hurting them. Pitt scored a TD after picking up two 4th down tries. QB runs to the edge and inside zone to Ollison gained all yardage except for a swing pass.

UNC’s top WR is #17 Anthony Ratliff-Williams. They use a lot of window dressing and will take deep shots if the S’s come into the box. This offense is effective because of its simplicity. Basically, it’s a numbers game and they use personnel to get an advantage and keep that advantage on the field.

Defensively, UNC is a bit of a slower unit. They really had a hard time dealing with misdirection plays and when Pitt would get on the edge. Pitt gashed them repeatedly with jet sweeps, end-arounds, and deep passes. This should be something Miami can exploit with their speed offensively.

I noticed if you pressure their QB he tends to panic a bit. Right before halftime you have to think he’s been told to be safe with the ball and he throws late over the middle when he’s pressured and falls away from the hit. This should’ve been a pick-6.
6.png


UNC isn’t going to do anything especially complex on offense. They pretty much run a couple of offensive formations and use motion to hold LB’s and edge players. Here is the breakdown of what they ran against Pittsburgh, when they scored 38 points:

11 Personnel- 11-17, 185 yards (10.9 yards per pass), 20 rushes for 65 yards (3.3 YPC), Two Wildcat for 20 yards, One Option out of shotgun for 14 yards. Of the 11 passes completed, 7 were screen or swing passes. When they run Jet motion they like to give it to the RB on the dive. They were sacked twice out of this formation (one was a bad snap). The big key to this formation is where does #80 line up. They like to use him in motion and offset from the RB or line him up out wide into the slot. Where #80 is lined up is a big key as to what the play will be. They scored one TD out of this formation.

12 Personnel- 4 rushes for 41 yards and a TD.

21 Personnel- 6 rushes for 26 yards and a TD. This was their main goal line formation.

10 Personnel- 9-11 for 126 yards and 2 TD’s. They ran the first two times out of this formation after passing all six times out of this formation in the first half. When they stack WR’s to one side out of this formation they threw a swing or screen pass to the other side every single time they threw the ball (one of the times they lined up like this they ran the ball).

20 Personnel- 3 rushes for 17 yards.

Miami has a decided advantage with this team if they can maintain their assignments. UNC wants the defense to get out of their lane and miss an assignment. When they do that they hit big plays. When the defense stays sound they tend to really struggle running the ball inside. If Miami avoids big plays from UNC while on defense, they should be able to score a lot of points on this defense and win this game easily.
 

Comments (21)

Another great write up by the stud muffin himself Lance Roffers.

Just what I needed on this gloomy Wednesday evening in Trenton.
 
As always, you've done some great work @Lance Roffers! Gives us excellent insight on our team and the opponents we can't get ANYWHERE else.
 
"UNC wants to get you stuck with a personnel package on the field that they believe this formation can exploit and keep the tempo. It’s simple, but pretty effective in forcing a defense to stay disciplined. If that S tries to anticipate the run or the swing pass he’s going to get burned down the seam."

Please sweet baby jesus dont let Robert Knowles in the game...or else RIP
 
"UNC wants to get you stuck with a personnel package on the field that they believe this formation can exploit and keep the tempo. It’s simple, but pretty effective in forcing a defense to stay disciplined. If that S tries to anticipate the run or the swing pass he’s going to get burned down the seam."

Please sweet baby jesus dont let Robert Knowles in the game...or else RIP
One of those guys where the consensus is why they hell he plays, yet coaches keep putting him out there.. This is not middle school...

As usual great stuff lance, love it
 
Nice write up, Lance. After reading that, I took about 15 Percocet and I’ll be flying down in my imaginary jet and suit up for the Canes, at safety! Knowles will never KNOW what hit him...
Good job, thanks.
 
Appreciate the work again Lance.
 
I read some information from Unc's board. They feel like he is very erratic and the QB has a tendency to have sloppy footwork which translates into bad decisions. I hope we mix up our pre snap looks.. feels like this could be a blowout our way. Especially after having an easy game vs. FIU and them having a dog fight versus Pitt.
 
Miami is coming off of a relatively easy portion of their schedule and piled up some lopsided wins along the way. Now comes a new animal; ACC play begins. The Hurricanes will take on Larry Fedora and the North Carolina Tar Heels in their ACC opener. North Carolina is coming off of a surprising victory in their ACC opener against Pittsburgh, 38-35. UNC piled up 486 total yards and 313 passing yards in springing the upset. How did they do it? Let’s take a look at the tape.

On Pitt’s first possession, #12, Soph. Tomon Fox beats the LT and the QB can’t get rid of the ball before the sack. At 6-3, 250, he looks the part of a solid edge rusher. He was a terror in this game as a stand-up rusher. #36 Cole Holcomb looks like an instinctive LB but limited athletically. These are the two main playmakers on defense for UNC.

UNC runs a spread offense, with primarily 11 personnel (One RB, One TE, Three WR). They do the check-with-me line calls from the sidelines on each play and like to play with tempo. This is 11 personnel, but they’re using the TE as an offset H-back and use him as a FB. It’s a neat little variation of a shotgun I-formation. This is a bunch of eye candy to try and get numbers to run the ball. I’m sure there are pass concepts out of it as well.
View attachment 64898

And the very next play shows some of that pass concept out of it. They motion the TE back into this quasi-FB role and throw the swing pass. This is a fairly inventive play and is difficult to defend.
View attachment 64899

The very next play they go for the deep shot out of the same look. Showing three variations of the same play. The RB and H-back fake as though they’re going to run the same little swing pass, but this time Elliott throws it deep into double coverage. UNC wants to get you stuck with a personnel package on the field that they believe this formation can exploit and keep the tempo. It’s simple, but pretty effective in forcing a defense to stay disciplined. If that S tries to anticipate the run or the swing pass he’s going to get burned down the seam.
View attachment 64900

Next couple of plays UNC went with different personnel groupings (after the long incomplete pass allowed Pitt to substitute, UNC did also). Went with split backs out of shotgun, ran the ball across the face of the QB and used the RB to the play side as a lead blocker. On 3rd down they went to 10 personnel (No TE’s, 4 WR’s) and threw a swing pass to the RB with clear outs from the WR’s.

On 4th & inches they run another neat little formation. It’s Pistol formation with 12 personnel (1 RB, 2 TE’s). They lined the TE right behind the in-line TE and had the RB behind the QB (which is basically shotgun with a RB coming downhill named Pistol). They pulled the LG around and used the TE’s as decoy’s for the LB’s to key on. Ran the RB right behind the pulling LG and he housed it. Inline TE did a kickout block, they left the edge unblocked, offset TE released onto LB and LG lead. TD. Like the design of this play.
View attachment 64901
View attachment 64902

Pitt is having success with Ollison, a 225-pound RB similar to a DeeJay Dallas. They’re also not extremely fast at LB and the QB run is hurting them. Pitt scored a TD after picking up two 4th down tries. QB runs to the edge and inside zone to Ollison gained all yardage except for a swing pass.

UNC’s top WR is #17 Anthony Ratliff-Williams. They use a lot of window dressing and will take deep shots if the S’s come into the box. This offense is effective because of its simplicity. Basically, it’s a numbers game and they use personnel to get an advantage and keep that advantage on the field.

Defensively, UNC is a bit of a slower unit. They really had a hard time dealing with misdirection plays and when Pitt would get on the edge. Pitt gashed them repeatedly with jet sweeps, end-arounds, and deep passes. This should be something Miami can exploit with their speed offensively.

I noticed if you pressure their QB he tends to panic a bit. Right before halftime you have to think he’s been told to be safe with the ball and he throws late over the middle when he’s pressured and falls away from the hit. This should’ve been a pick-6.
View attachment 64903

UNC isn’t going to do anything especially complex on offense. They pretty much run a couple of offensive formations and use motion to hold LB’s and edge players. Here is the breakdown of what they ran against Pittsburgh, when they scored 38 points:

11 Personnel- 11-17, 185 yards (10.9 yards per pass), 20 rushes for 65 yards (3.3 YPC), Two Wildcat for 20 yards, One Option out of shotgun for 14 yards. Of the 11 passes completed, 7 were screen or swing passes. When they run Jet motion they like to give it to the RB on the dive. They were sacked twice out of this formation (one was a bad snap). The big key to this formation is where does #80 line up. They like to use him in motion and offset from the RB or line him up out wide into the slot. Where #80 is lined up is a big key as to what the play will be. They scored one TD out of this formation.

12 Personnel- 4 rushes for 41 yards and a TD.

21 Personnel- 6 rushes for 26 yards and a TD. This was their main goal line formation.

10 Personnel- 9-11 for 126 yards and 2 TD’s. They ran the first two times out of this formation after passing all six times out of this formation in the first half. When they stack WR’s to one side out of this formation they threw a swing or screen pass to the other side every single time they threw the ball (one of the times they lined up like this they ran the ball).

20 Personnel- 3 rushes for 17 yards.

Miami has a decided advantage with this team if they can maintain their assignments. UNC wants the defense to get out of their lane and miss an assignment. When they do that they hit big plays. When the defense stays sound they tend to really struggle running the ball inside. If Miami avoids big plays from UNC while on defense, they should be able to score a lot of points on this defense and win this game easily.

Agreed we have the advantage will our offensive and defensive staffs take advantage of this.
 
D
I think either Finley or Smith is going to feast today.
 
Great write up thanks. They moved the ball well against us at times last year, think they will have some success tonight. We need to be efficient on offense to win
 

2021 Commits

S
6'5"
220
Fort Lauderdale, FL
DT
6'4"
255
Miami, FL
OG
6'2"
295
Miami, FL
DT
6'4"
290
Miami, FL
DE
6'5"
210
Miami, FL
WR
6'2"
180
Miami, FL
RB
6'0"
225
Hollywood, FL
TE
6'4"
210
Frisco, TX
STR
6'3"
190
Melbourne, FL
S
5'11"
200
Miami, FL

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2020 Schedule

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