Nothing to argue with in this post.Uninspired. That’s the feeling I had leaving Kyle Field. It’s not the right thing to say as the owner of a fan website, but it’s the truth. It was a boring game with a familiar result. Let’s get the obvious out of the way: it's early, this is a building process, and it's way too early to make any sweeping observation about the Cristobal Era. But this was a major missed opportunity to build momentum in recruiting and within the fanbase. Some specific thoughts:
- We paid too much money for nine points. Gattis is accountable for the end result, no matter how fluky (first team since at least 2000 to have 27 first downs and zero touchdowns). Our pace was puzzling to me. Is there a distinct advantage to going no huddle when we move so slowly?
- The game was lost when we ran three times in the red zone and kicked a field goal down 17-3. You can’t say you have the best QB in the country and then show a complete lack of faith in him.
- The past few years, and this weekend in particular, really hammered a point home: WR has become a Top 3 important position in football. Look at the Dolphins on Sunday. Maybe someone who charted the game can correct me, but I can’t remember a single contested catch in 41 passes. “NFL open” does not exist in our passing game. We have body catchers, not snatchers. We should not miss guys like Rambo (undrafted), Harley (undrafted) and Restrepo as much as we do. This is Miami. The whiffs in the Transfer Portal really showed up on Saturday.
- Upon rewatch, I’m not as down on TVD. He played bad, but his degree of difficulty was off the charts. I thought back to my first time watching him at Paradise Camp. I expected a big, mechanical QB who would drive the ball but struggle to create. Instead, I saw an instinctive athlete who changed speeds and arm angles and thrived with a fast tempo. It feels like we are trying to put him back in that box with the slow-developing plays.
TVD is tough and will hang in until the last second to make the throw, but he should have more quick-hitting options to get in rhythm. It reminds me of Kaaya under Richt. There was a regression (and four losses) followed by schematic adjustment to get the ball out of his hands quicker. Those changes were in response to poor OL play, which isn’t really our problem. But they got results. I hope we see similar adjustments before the losses pile up.
- Some of our recruiting victories over the SEC showed up on Saturday. Jalen Rivers was moving people and is a huge reason for our improved running game. Leonard Taylor brings special interior rush ability, which is the best way to disrupt a passing game. James Williams missed a key tackle on the Achane TD, but otherwise was everywhere as a versatile weapon. We need more like those guys.
- The running backs ran hard and finished above their weight class. I was disappointed we didn’t have anything special cooked up for Jaylan Knighton in the passing game. He is our most explosive player and we need everything we can get.
- Happy for DJ Ivey. His game elevates when he tackles with physicality. The more he plays with a confident edge, the more he will finish at the catch point with length and timing.
- In general, this game looked very much like what we saw on Greentree. Struggles with downfield passing game, improved OL, strong DL, elevated DB play. For all the talk about Greentree All-Americans, the players generally play like they practice.
- Jacolby George needs to lock in. He’s clearly the most talented pure WR, but when Joe Rose asked Mario about him this AM the first thing Mario talked about was off-field reliability. This is a huge opportunity for George and he needs to seize it.
- Kamren Kinchens is playing faster every game. His football IQ is as good as it gets, and he is really starting to trust his instincts and pull the trigger.
- I like the way the pass rush is trending. We are 5th in the nation in sack percentage and a lot of people are contributing. That rush will lead to wins in ACC play.
- The most encouraging long-term sign is the OL. We looked strong against an SEC team and Mario is recruiting behemoths. If Miami becomes an OL program, it will raise our floor.
Overall, the improvements in physicality were apparent but we gave away a winnable game. Muffed punts, drops, penalties, missed kicks. Before the season, I expected a year like Mario’s first at Oregon or Richt’s first at Miami. That’s still the projection. This offense and pace will lead to a lot of close games where anything can happen. Time for the coaches to earn their money and make the necessary adjustments.
5 fgs and no tds in that game would still have been a disappointing offensive performance. Can’t expect to win scoring 15 pts…I wasn’t high on the gattis hire but I thought he called a good game besides RZ of course but if we dont f up 2 fgs we probably win.
Also I think the transition this offense is going thru from last year’s scheme is showing, I think it’ll click sooner than later but it’s gonna take time. Im not too worried but damn that win would’ve been great for recruiting
Who was the most visibly uninspired player on Saturday night?
I agree. But I asked for a player.The offensive coaching staff, including Mario.
1st and Goal at the 10, late 3rd quarter, down 17-3.
Run to Knighton (your weakest back between the tackles, in an area of the field that is condensed and you need power over speed)....2 yards.
Bleed the play clock down, designed QB sweep with TVD. Are you absolutely fucking kidding me with your SECOND designed QB run? Gain of 2.
Bleed the play clock down, another run to Knighton, gain of 2. See 1st down above.
4th and goal from the 4, with just under 5 minutes to go in the 3rd quarter, when the analytics are a CLEAR "go"....kick a FG. 17-6, yay. And we burned 2 minutes off the clock just on the 3 downs from inside the 10.
Just a terrible sequence here. I'm fairly certain we had a 1st and Goal from the 10 yard line, we ran 3 plays, and not a single one of the 11 kids on our side of the ball even entered the endzone at any point. Not on a drive block, not on a pass route, nothing. We didn't even threaten. If you score, it's 17-10, with 19 minutes to play against a team who is severely challenged offensively. Puzzling play-calling, and a terrible in-game decision.
On the field? Idk.Who was the most visibly uninspired player on Saturday night?