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Upon Further Review- Alabama

Upon Further Review- Alabama

Lance Roffers
The season kicked off for the Miami Hurricanes with a matchup against top-ranked Alabama and there were some positives to see, as well as some not-so-positive things to see. Let’s walk through it together at Upon Further Review.

On 3rd & 7, Miami sends five rushers with Frierson backing out after initially faking and leaves Stevenson 1-on-1 with Metchie on the outside. This was a big play in the game in my opinion because Miami could’ve forced a 3-and-out and built a belief they could hang for a bit. Instead, it is an absolutely perfect back-should pass to Metchie just as he’s coming out of his break and Stevenson can’t quite knock it out of his hands. The ball is being released as Metchie is still going downfield and is tough to defend.
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Miami DE and LB’s all bit hard on the fake to the boundary and there is little flow to the field-side motion with lead blockers.
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You’ve got single-high with Bubba providing deep support but having to watch the post from boundary slot. Gurvan Hall is in zone with the field slot Metchie (which is suspect to begin with). CB’s are both playing sail technique and trying to get eyes on the QB because he can run. Gurvan is inexplicably coming forward as Metchie is running a post-corner right behind him. Hall has to know that his single-high S is going to be occupied with that post from the other side and has to stay deep. He is locked on watching the QB, which sucks him up and allows the WR to run right by him. TD. Route concepts made this happen, but when QB steps up Gurvan loses his head.
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First Miami play and I actually like it. We went empty with Harris split out wide, then motioned him into backfield. The route concept is called levels with a waggle because it threatens the defense at all three levels. Fake the give to Harris towards the diamond trips alignment (which is often times an excellent blocking alignment to run into), drag Harley across behind LOS, bring Mallory across the field as King waggles towards top of screen. Rambo on a comeback at the top of the screen actually gets the pass for about seven. Alabama played it so well in the secondary with communication (they use a number system to determine who to cover based on which receiver goes where). Most teams we play this year will not handle this route combination as cleanly as Bama did.
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As we go along, I hope Miami starts using quick little passes to the outside when they have leverage as pseudo run plays. This is a 1st down if King just stands up and fires it to Harley with a blocker out there.
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Run a pick play to Mallory instead and it is well-done on the outside by Rambo. Mallory lines up in-line and then runs a little out-route off play-action again. King hits him for an easy 1st down. Scaife gets beaten on the play.
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When Lashlee talks about “execution” here is what he’s talking about. Alabama has a 6-man box here. They’re playing tite though, so they’re really stealing a gap with defenders inside playing 1.5 gaps. This means that Inside Zone (IZ) run is not going to work unless you can move out one of those interior defenders for Alabama. Miami has 4-on-3 on interior of Alabama line and they are getting moved backwards. The Alabama LB’s are standing there clean as can be waiting on the RB. Mallory will not want this on his tape as #31 takes his soul and basically puts him on his back. Alabama pinches that edge and takes away the cutback better than any team in college football. #31 is not trying to get around Mallory, he wants to go through him and pinch that edge and basically try and tackle the RB with Mallory. In my view, Miami had to have a gameplan where those short passes were the running game and not try and pound the ball inside like Lashlee is often want to do.
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King talked about audibling to the media last week, but he doesn’t see the CB blitz here and tries to run a read-option right into it. Wish he had identified it and threw the bubble to slot. Zion false start really killed the drive.
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About four years ago, Larry Fedora and UNC really hurt Miami with this diamond formation backfield. Miami had hoped to cause confusion with this formation, but it did not. Running this on 3rd & 7 is questionable at best and really drew the ire of Canes fans. Throwing the ball early was working and then Miami got the false start and tried to run twice in-a-row. Harley and Mallory are the points of the diamond and expected to draw LB’s attention.
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Harley was uncovered coming out of the backfield. Expect to see this formation and play again later in the season, only this time it’ll be play-action. Instead, Miami ran right into the strength of the defense, who had an unblocked star defender (or nickel safety). I highlight Rivers because he will learn from this. He got into the DT, but really just needed to use his right arm to help Gaynor and then release to the C. This play might’ve worked if Rivers gets to that LB as Harris cut it back and Rivers then tries to get to LB who is responsible for King and just gets in Harris’s way.
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This play might’ve worked if Rivers gets to that LB as Harris cut it back and Rivers then tries to get to LB who is responsible for King and just gets in Harris’s way. Rivers climbs up to second level and look at that cutback lane for Harris. Zion is pushed into backfield and Harris has to avoid his leg as he was trying to cut this back. I believe, on this second look, that this was a designed cutback all the way and that they had it if 60 & 64 do what they’re suppose to do.
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Flagg showed some nice rush on this play. Used a quick step to get into TE’s body and take away his length, then swiped his hands away which got him off balance. Gets held here, but they don’t call holding for Miami at any point. Kendall Randolph is 6-4, 298, so he’s really an OL, not a TE. Young escapes and throws for a 1st down to the crosser in the MOF who has time to get all the way to the sideline. Getting the correct call on this one would’ve changed the drive.
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Jordan Miller and Stevenson meet in the backfield against McCellan and both bounce off of him and he picks up 3 instead of -2. Those add up. (Not pictured)

I hate to sound like a broken record, but I really do not like how often we stand up our best pass rusher and then drop them out into nowhere and take them out of the play (DeAndre Johnson here). We are playing 10-on-11 on a 3rd down here. Look at our DL and how they all got just absolutely buried. QB just pitches it out to the RB here and picks up the 1st down.
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Amari Carter has a free shot on the RB here in the backfield. Missed tackle. Flagg dives at his feet and misses a tackle. Keontra is flowing down the line and misses an arm tackle. Big run. Coaches sometimes do put you in position and you just have to make a tackle. Awful.
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Amari Carter missed tackle in the backfield. He was supposed to be better as a striker. Teammates did clean it up, but you have to make that tackle. 53 here did a smart thing and took out two blockers as one was trying to pull around, which made Carter completely free to make a tackle. Remember all those pulls that UNC ran all over us, this is a way to combat those.
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Bubba misses the sack. McCloud out covering grass. Dropping your pass rushers into these zones just doesn’t work for me.
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McCloud rushes inside on a 3-man rush and forces QB to move off his spot, Harvey comes off his block thanks to the QB being flushed. Bubba drops pick in the end zone. Losing Bolden was a big loss, but he also had a couple of chances to finish plays and didn’t.
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Miami lines up in tight with three in backfield and run orbit motion. Try and go off-tackle with Harley trying to block as the TE and it didn’t work. At all. Throw that one out. (Not pictured)

Donaldson whipped before the RB even has the ball. King needs to pull this one and throw the bubble. Not sure if he really has the option to pass here, but the run was never going to work from a numbers standpoint.
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On 3rd down, Scaife gets toasted immediately. Keyshawn Smith gets the reception, but is short because the pass had to be thrown before he could get depth. (Not pictured)

Last year I often highlighted poor LB play on defense and here is another one. Flagg is in the wrong gap here and actually runs into Keontra Smith. Leaving his gap open for the RB.
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Flagg is lost in the middle again and is covering grass. QB has tons of room to scramble to his left because Flagg is out of position. (Not pictured)

Next play and DeAndre Johnson has a free shot on the QB and ducks inside for no reason at all. Allows QB to get outside of him. This should’ve been a sack, but I am happy to see Johnson is winning his battles at a decent clip.
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McCloud wins inside again (he is really quick on that inside move) and flushes the QB who hits a perfect pass to his WR for a 1st down. Ivey gave up the completion but had good coverage. Bryce Young is holy wow, good as he throws this ball on-the-run, with pressure in his face from Keontra before the WR even comes out of his break and catches the hitch. Goodness that is excellent.
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Jennings overruns a gap and misses the tackle. Steed gets held, but they’ll never call it. 1st quarter is over and I don’t know what else to say but Alabama is incredible. Size, speed, strength everywhere. A QB who is going to win a Heisman in his QB. Didn’t realize how good their QB is. Miami could’ve played this quarter a hundred times and might lead only a handful of times. (Not pictured)

Frierson jumps the run on an RPO and the slant is uncovered behind him. Big gain. (Not pictured)

It’ll never get called. He has two handfuls of jersey and is pulling it away from Stevenson’s shoulder pads. Official two yards away. This looks like a hockey fight when they pull the jersey over the guys head. At this point, I’m ready to say Miami just needs to teach this as a technique because they are not pulling jerseys on every play, but if Alabama is going to get away with it, you need to even up the odds some.
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Keontra looked absolutely awful trying to cover a TE on an arrow route. No idea why Keontra is jumping outside on that play when he has no help on the inside of the field and knows he can’t let him cross his face. That was not good.
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Scaife’s gets his lunch money taken on a bull rush and King scrambles to pick up a 1st down. (Not pictured)

Next play and Scaife lunges at his punch instead of remaining patient. #4 knocks his hands away and forces a fumble. Scaife played quite poorly in this one. This was a TD if they give King time, as the out-and-up was there for Harley as the CB jumped the out. There is a receiver on the sideline holding that boundary CB over there. That was a big missed opportunity.
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Now that we’ve gotten through the first quarter and given a good foundation of what we were seeing, I’m going to speed it up now, or I’ll never get through this.

Mallory can’t block a CB and another opportunity goes away. You have to hold this block and give your guy a chance.
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I am absolutely impressed with how hard the Alabama DB’s fill the run on the edges and take on blocks. They are far more physical than our WR’s are and it just took away those easier edge pitches that are designed to get 5-6 yards a play. Alabama just overwhelmed us on those plays and that is discouraging. (Not pictured)

Let me first say this: the officials had nothing to do with the overall outcome of the game; Alabama wins no matter what. That said, they truly could not have been worse thus far. How do you not call this? It’s plain as day. It rips his eyes away from the field and takes away any chance of throwing the ball, so it absolutely impacts the play. Announcer says, “gets enough of King to take his eyes off downfield.” Yeah, with his facemask.
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Keontra missed tackle. Drink. He gets a 1st down instead of a loss of two. As the season goes along, this defense can be much better if this is a tackle instead of a 1st.
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Alabama gets Metchie matched up on Bradley Jennings and it went exactly as expected. (Not pictured)

Yes, Steed has to still make this tackle, but you try running in full-speed and then having a guy behind you grab you from behind your jersey and on the shoulder pad and see if it doesn’t throw you off-balance. Should’ve been a loss, but because Alabama is allowed to do this every play, it’s another nice gain. This stuff has to be called. Has to be.
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Amari Carter covers absolutely no one. No idea what he’s doing. There was one receiver in his area in the MOF on a 3rd down and he was running away from him for some reason. Too. Easy. This goes for a TD and I just have no clue what Carter is doing. He’s looking to his left for whatever reason.
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This looks like a bullfighter letting a bull run by in pass protection. The next time you ask yourself why Chaney doesn’t start; here’s why.
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Pull Rivers and Justice is blocking air. Nothing hurts my soul like watching OL doing nothing. This is a mistake by #70 here.
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Next play they run a screen and Justice did a nice job on the move. He’s athletic. (Not pictured)

Horrible call on kick catch interference on the punt when Miami had them at the 1-yard line. Not good, refs, not good. (Not pictured)

Alabama hands it off and Flagg runs straight to an OL while vacating the A-gap to the other side. Not sure at all what he’s seeing here, but this is bad. RB runs right through the hole with momentum. Why didn’t Flagg run through that same hole and adjust if the RB cut back? Someone on Twitter said Flagg has a gravitational pull to the OL and here is what they mean. We’d call him “Hoover” (vacuumed to the OL.) Kinchens, who the yellow line is going straight to, makes a wonderful form tackle and forces a fumble. Gurvan Hall lets it get taken away from him, of course, so Alabama actually benefits from the play with a 1st down. Sigh. Get Kinchens on the field more and Hall off the field more.
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Miami was getting beat up by Bryce Young’s mobility so they switch to more zone defense (to keep eyes on QB). Alabama shreds zone for the most part, but luckily the Alabama WR drops the ball or it would’ve been another big play. (Not pictured)

Harris needs to hit this hole faster. If he cuts it up immediately here he can split the WR and Justice in that alley for a bigger gain. He stutters and tries to go outside and gets only a couple of yards here. Hands to the face on our WR here not called. Yes, To’To is filling in backside pursuit, but if Harris hits it hard he can split it.
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Harley runs an out-and-up and roasts the CB. King is not on the same page, as he tries to throw a back-shoulder pass or an out, I’m not sure. Harley is visibly upset as he toasted Daniel Wright on this one that could’ve been a TD. Miami does have an OL way downfield here that wasn’t called.
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This is an incredible throw by King. Rocketed in there, over a defender, in-stride. Heck of a catch as well.
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If Alabama doesn’t trip the WR (and a fairly fortunate PI call), this is a TD. Miami toasted CB’s on multiple occasions and we could never make them pay for it. I believe other teams will capitalize on these double-moves and opportunities more often than Miami did in this one. Hopefully, Miami will hit them in the future.
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Mallory, not sure what are you waiting for. Go block this guy and Harris is easily within the 5. Instead, it’s like Mallory is playing zone defense on him. Harris pressed the hole really well, but Mallory didn’t engage.
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On 4th down, King sneak from shotgun. Gives him more vision and a running start, but also allows Alabama to close the distance. I just would’ve liked to see him try to go over the top with the ball from under center. (Not pictured)

Carter goes for the big play and completely vacates his gap here. Leaves no force player on the edge and it’s an easy 5-yards. (Not pictured)

This is ridiculous. McCloud has his shoulder pads ripped off. This would go in official teaching tape on what holding looks like. I’ll say this; McCloud has played really well in this game. Manny was heated over the no-call on the holding. Harvey with a really dumb roughing the passer penalty that would’ve offset the hold anyway.
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I mean, these officials really couldn’t have been worse if they had just left early. Then To’To hits him in the head/neck area and no call. Miami would be back on the cover of Sports Illustrated if they did this hit. Ball is intercepted on the mugging. The announcers are essentially screaming Roll Tide the entire game, but I digress.
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Trey Sanders walks into the end zone on an off-tackle play where the force player just quit and then Stevenson showed little effort. Walks into the end-zone and breaks the U off. (Not pictured)

Game is over at this point.

By the Numbers:
As I look over the numbers for this game, I’m surprised at the fact Miami wasn’t terrible in many areas.
  • 40% success rate on rushing plays (two of the successful rushes were QB scrambles)
  • 45% success rate on passing plays (with multiple missed chances deep)
Alabama was very good offensively.
  • 47% success rate on rushing plays (with some explosive plays)
  • 54% success rate on passing plays (with a lot of explosive plays)
Miami didn’t do enough to threaten Alabama vertically in this game, with only one pass traveling over 20 yards in the air (29-yard TD to Restrepo). Many chances to throw the ball deep were wrecked by the Alabama pass rush, mostly against Scaife. On another occasion, Miami had a deep ball open and King misread it.

Miami had a PI on another deep pass that could’ve been a TD to Rambo

Miami needs to run more play-action passes in the future. Only 11 of the 37 dropbacks involved play-action.
  • The screen game will be more successful in the future, as Alabama was far too physical on the edges for the Miami WR’s, but King was 9-10 on screens in this one and was generally accurate
  • Corey Flagg was a solid pass rusher in this game and several of the blitzes Miami used were executed well and got the QB off his spot. He had four total pressures and a hit on the QB.
  • On 22 run snaps, Flagg had two run stops, which is still a far too low 9.1%, but an improvement over last season and there is reason to believe he can improve that against non-Alabama teams. Flagg is your MLB.
  • Zach McCloud was, dare I say, good in this game. He was often times facing a 1st round OT in Evan Neal and he repeatedly gave him trouble with his inside move. McCloud also set a hard edge against a puller in the run game. McCloud had two run stop on his 22 run snaps, four pressures, and zero missed tackles. Well done.
  • Keontra Smith was a mixed bag in this one. Three run stops on 23 run snaps, but three missed tackles as well. This is the question you have with him at LB, is if he will be big enough to get ball carriers on the ground.
  • Jahfari Harvey had six pressures in this game and was generally disruptive. His roughing the passer penalty hurts his PFF grade, but he was solid.
  • Waynmon Steed had three missed tackles on 10 run snaps and zero run stops. That needs to improve.
  • Chantz Williams had three run stops on 18 run snaps and added a sack and a forced fumble. Get him on the field.
  • James Williams and Kinchens need to eat into Hall’s snaps. Both looked better than Hall out there. Kinchens got a pressure on one of his two pass rush snaps, forced a fumble, and was around the ball. Gurvan Hall was not good at all in this one.
  • Bradley Jennings tried.
  • Xavier Restrepo, Keyshawn Smith, James Williams, Kamren Kinchens all look like hits in recruiting. Hopefully they start to eat into veteran players ahead of them snap counts.
Overall
Bryce Young was simply brilliant in this game. I haven’t watched a QB this year I’d rather have than Young. He’s mobile, accurate, has an excellent arm, understands the game. Whew. I’d hoped losing their QB would help the rest of CFB, but I think they might’ve actually upgraded.

Miami brought a pop-gun to a bomb fight. Alabama was so much bigger and more physical, it was striking. Where that really stood out to be was in the secondary. They were so physical on the edges and really brought bad intentions any time a screen was used. I was so impressed with how well-coached they were. There were no communication breakdowns I witnessed. Almost every opportunity was because of the defender falling for a double-move. Miami hit on zero of them, but did draw a phantom PI on one play.

In watching the game again, I strangely feel…better? Alabama was so much better than Miami at every single position. There is not one position that Miami’s guy starts over Alabama’s. Maybe Zion would start there, but not at LT. Even Zion was a lucky take away from App State. The talent difference was immediately noticeable and even their QB was incredible. Yet, with all of that, Miami had their chances for plays to change the game. Alabama made those plays and Miami didn’t and Alabama got every conceivable break from the officials in this one.

As we move forward, I expect the OL to improve and settle in. I expect some of those schemed deep shots to come to fruition, and I expect that we will see more points on the scoreboard. I’m not ready to come off my 10-win prediction, but I will say that the reality did set in during this game that Miami is destined for that top-20 area, rather than anything in the top-10 this season.

Looking forward to seeing how they respond this week because I do believe it is a talented team and has some young players who will be ready to take jobs from upperclassmen soon.
 

Comments (108)

I can’t understand how hall hasn’t gotten better. I’m curious to know if avantae would’ve taken his position if he didn’t get suspended.

So do you think we could possibly be in the ACC championship??
 
The season kicked off for the Miami Hurricanes with a matchup against top-ranked Alabama and there were some positives to see, as well as some not-so-positive things to see. Let’s walk through it together at Upon Further Review.

On 3rd & 7, Miami sends five rushers with Frierson backing out after initially faking and leaves Stevenson 1-on-1 with Metchie on the outside. This was a big play in the game in my opinion because Miami could’ve forced a 3-and-out and built a belief they could hang for a bit. Instead, it is an absolutely perfect back-should pass to Metchie just as he’s coming out of his break and Stevenson can’t quite knock it out of his hands. The ball is being released as Metchie is still going downfield and is tough to defend.
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Miami DE and LB’s all bit hard on the fake to the boundary and there is little flow to the field-side motion with lead blockers.
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You’ve got single-high with Bubba providing deep support but having to watch the post from boundary slot. Gurvan Hall is in zone with the field slot Metchie (which is suspect to begin with). CB’s are both playing sail technique and trying to get eyes on the QB because he can run. Gurvan is inexplicably coming forward as Metchie is running a post-corner right behind him. Hall has to know that his single-high S is going to be occupied with that post from the other side and has to stay deep. He is locked on watching the QB, which sucks him up and allows the WR to run right by him. TD. Route concepts made this happen, but when QB steps up Gurvan loses his head.
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First Miami play and I actually like it. We went empty with Harris split out wide, then motioned him into backfield. The route concept is called levels with a waggle because it threatens the defense at all three levels. Fake the give to Harris towards the diamond trips alignment (which is often times an excellent blocking alignment to run into), drag Harley across behind LOS, bring Mallory across the field as King waggles towards top of screen. Rambo on a comeback at the top of the screen actually gets the pass for about seven. Alabama played it so well in the secondary with communication (they use a number system to determine who to cover based on which receiver goes where). Most teams we play this year will not handle this route combination as cleanly as Bama did.
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As we go along, I hope Miami starts using quick little passes to the outside when they have leverage as pseudo run plays. This is a 1st down if King just stands up and fires it to Harley with a blocker out there.
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Run a pick play to Mallory instead and it is well-done on the outside by Rambo. Mallory lines up in-line and then runs a little out-route off play-action again. King hits him for an easy 1st down. Scaife gets beaten on the play.
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When Lashlee talks about “execution” here is what he’s talking about. Alabama has a 6-man box here. They’re playing tite though, so they’re really stealing a gap with defenders inside playing 1.5 gaps. This means that Inside Zone (IZ) run is not going to work unless you can move out one of those interior defenders for Alabama. Miami has 4-on-3 on interior of Alabama line and they are getting moved backwards. The Alabama LB’s are standing there clean as can be waiting on the RB. Mallory will not want this on his tape as #31 takes his soul and basically puts him on his back. Alabama pinches that edge and takes away the cutback better than any team in college football. #31 is not trying to get around Mallory, he wants to go through him and pinch that edge and basically try and tackle the RB with Mallory. In my view, Miami had to have a gameplan where those short passes were the running game and not try and pound the ball inside like Lashlee is often want to do.
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King talked about audibling to the media last week, but he doesn’t see the CB blitz here and tries to run a read-option right into it. Wish he had identified it and threw the bubble to slot. Zion false start really killed the drive.
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About four years ago, Larry Fedora and UNC really hurt Miami with this diamond formation backfield. Miami had hoped to cause confusion with this formation, but it did not. Running this on 3rd & 7 is questionable at best and really drew the ire of Canes fans. Throwing the ball early was working and then Miami got the false start and tried to run twice in-a-row. Harley and Mallory are the points of the diamond and expected to draw LB’s attention.
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Harley was uncovered coming out of the backfield. Expect to see this formation and play again later in the season, only this time it’ll be play-action. Instead, Miami ran right into the strength of the defense, who had an unblocked star defender (or nickel safety). I highlight Rivers because he will learn from this. He got into the DT, but really just needed to use his right arm to help Gaynor and then release to the C. This play might’ve worked if Rivers gets to that LB as Harris cut it back and Rivers then tries to get to LB who is responsible for King and just gets in Harris’s way.
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This play might’ve worked if Rivers gets to that LB as Harris cut it back and Rivers then tries to get to LB who is responsible for King and just gets in Harris’s way. Rivers climbs up to second level and look at that cutback lane for Harris. Zion is pushed into backfield and Harris has to avoid his leg as he was trying to cut this back. I believe, on this second look, that this was a designed cutback all the way and that they had it if 60 & 64 do what they’re suppose to do.
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Flagg showed some nice rush on this play. Used a quick step to get into TE’s body and take away his length, then swiped his hands away which got him off balance. Gets held here, but they don’t call holding for Miami at any point. Kendall Randolph is 6-4, 298, so he’s really an OL, not a TE. Young escapes and throws for a 1st down to the crosser in the MOF who has time to get all the way to the sideline. Getting the correct call on this one would’ve changed the drive.
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Jordan Miller and Stevenson meet in the backfield against McCellan and both bounce off of him and he picks up 3 instead of -2. Those add up. (Not pictured)

I hate to sound like a broken record, but I really do not like how often we stand up our best pass rusher and then drop them out into nowhere and take them out of the play (DeAndre Johnson here). We are playing 10-on-11 on a 3rd down here. Look at our DL and how they all got just absolutely buried. QB just pitches it out to the RB here and picks up the 1st down.
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Amari Carter has a free shot on the RB here in the backfield. Missed tackle. Flagg dives at his feet and misses a tackle. Keontra is flowing down the line and misses an arm tackle. Big run. Coaches sometimes do put you in position and you just have to make a tackle. Awful.
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Amari Carter missed tackle in the backfield. He was supposed to be better as a striker. Teammates did clean it up, but you have to make that tackle. 53 here did a smart thing and took out two blockers as one was trying to pull around, which made Carter completely free to make a tackle. Remember all those pulls that UNC ran all over us, this is a way to combat those.
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Bubba misses the sack. McCloud out covering grass. Dropping your pass rushers into these zones just doesn’t work for me.
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McCloud rushes inside on a 3-man rush and forces QB to move off his spot, Harvey comes off his block thanks to the QB being flushed. Bubba drops pick in the end zone. Losing Bolden was a big loss, but he also had a couple of chances to finish plays and didn’t.
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Miami lines up in tight with three in backfield and run orbit motion. Try and go off-tackle with Harley trying to block as the TE and it didn’t work. At all. Throw that one out. (Not pictured)

Donaldson whipped before the RB even has the ball. King needs to pull this one and throw the bubble. Not sure if he really has the option to pass here, but the run was never going to work from a numbers standpoint.
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On 3rd down, Scaife gets toasted immediately. Keyshawn Smith gets the reception, but is short because the pass had to be thrown before he could get depth. (Not pictured)

Last year I often highlighted poor LB play on defense and here is another one. Flagg is in the wrong gap here and actually runs into Keontra Smith. Leaving his gap open for the RB.
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Flagg is lost in the middle again and is covering grass. QB has tons of room to scramble to his left because Flagg is out of position. (Not pictured)

Next play and DeAndre Johnson has a free shot on the QB and ducks inside for no reason at all. Allows QB to get outside of him. This should’ve been a sack, but I am happy to see Johnson is winning his battles at a decent clip.
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McCloud wins inside again (he is really quick on that inside move) and flushes the QB who hits a perfect pass to his WR for a 1st down. Ivey gave up the completion but had good coverage. Bryce Young is holy wow, good as he throws this ball on-the-run, with pressure in his face from Keontra before the WR even comes out of his break and catches the hitch. Goodness that is excellent.
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Jennings overruns a gap and misses the tackle. Steed gets held, but they’ll never call it. 1st quarter is over and I don’t know what else to say but Alabama is incredible. Size, speed, strength everywhere. A QB who is going to win a Heisman in his QB. Didn’t realize how good their QB is. Miami could’ve played this quarter a hundred times and might lead only a handful of times. (Not pictured)

Frierson jumps the run on an RPO and the slant is uncovered behind him. Big gain. (Not pictured)

It’ll never get called. He has two handfuls of jersey and is pulling it away from Stevenson’s shoulder pads. Official two yards away. This looks like a hockey fight when they pull the jersey over the guys head. At this point, I’m ready to say Miami just needs to teach this as a technique because they are not pulling jerseys on every play, but if Alabama is going to get away with it, you need to even up the odds some.
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Keontra looked absolutely awful trying to cover a TE on an arrow route. No idea why Keontra is jumping outside on that play when he has no help on the inside of the field and knows he can’t let him cross his face. That was not good.
View attachment 153817

Scaife’s gets his lunch money taken on a bull rush and King scrambles to pick up a 1st down. (Not pictured)

Next play and Scaife lunges at his punch instead of remaining patient. #4 knocks his hands away and forces a fumble. Scaife played quite poorly in this one. This was a TD if they give King time, as the out-and-up was there for Harley as the CB jumped the out. There is a receiver on the sideline holding that boundary CB over there. That was a big missed opportunity.
View attachment 153818
View attachment 153819

Now that we’ve gotten through the first quarter and given a good foundation of what we were seeing, I’m going to speed it up now, or I’ll never get through this.

Mallory can’t block a CB and another opportunity goes away. You have to hold this block and give your guy a chance.
View attachment 153820

I am absolutely impressed with how hard the Alabama DB’s fill the run on the edges and take on blocks. They are far more physical than our WR’s are and it just took away those easier edge pitches that are designed to get 5-6 yards a play. Alabama just overwhelmed us on those plays and that is discouraging. (Not pictured)

Let me first say this: the officials had nothing to do with the overall outcome of the game; Alabama wins no matter what. That said, they truly could not have been worse thus far. How do you not call this? It’s plain as day. It rips his eyes away from the field and takes away any chance of throwing the ball, so it absolutely impacts the play. Announcer says, “gets enough of King to take his eyes off downfield.” Yeah, with his facemask.
View attachment 153821

Keontra missed tackle. Drink. He gets a 1st down instead of a loss of two. As the season goes along, this defense can be much better if this is a tackle instead of a 1st.
View attachment 153822

Alabama gets Metchie matched up on Bradley Jennings and it went exactly as expected. (Not pictured)

Yes, Steed has to still make this tackle, but you try running in full-speed and then having a guy behind you grab you from behind your jersey and on the shoulder pad and see if it doesn’t throw you off-balance. Should’ve been a loss, but because Alabama is allowed to do this every play, it’s another nice gain. This stuff has to be called. Has to be.
View attachment 153823

Amari Carter covers absolutely no one. No idea what he’s doing. There was one receiver in his area in the MOF on a 3rd down and he was running away from him for some reason. Too. Easy. This goes for a TD and I just have no clue what Carter is doing. He’s looking to his left for whatever reason.
View attachment 153824

This looks like a bullfighter letting a bull run by in pass protection. The next time you ask yourself why Chaney doesn’t start; here’s why.
View attachment 153825

Pull Rivers and Justice is blocking air. Nothing hurts my soul like watching OL doing nothing. This is a mistake by #70 here.
View attachment 153826

Next play they run a screen and Justice did a nice job on the move. He’s athletic. (Not pictured)

Horrible call on kick catch interference on the punt when Miami had them at the 1-yard line. Not good, refs, not good. (Not pictured)

Alabama hands it off and Flagg runs straight to an OL while vacating the A-gap to the other side. Not sure at all what he’s seeing here, but this is bad. RB runs right through the hole with momentum. Why didn’t Flagg run through that same hole and adjust if the RB cut back? Someone on Twitter said Flagg has a gravitational pull to the OL and here is what they mean. We’d call him “Hoover” (vacuumed to the OL.) Kinchens, who the yellow line is going straight to, makes a wonderful form tackle and forces a fumble. Gurvan Hall lets it get taken away from him, of course, so Alabama actually benefits from the play with a 1st down. Sigh. Get Kinchens on the field more and Hall off the field more.
View attachment 153827

Miami was getting beat up by Bryce Young’s mobility so they switch to more zone defense (to keep eyes on QB). Alabama shreds zone for the most part, but luckily the Alabama WR drops the ball or it would’ve been another big play. (Not pictured)

Harris needs to hit this hole faster. If he cuts it up immediately here he can split the WR and Justice in that alley for a bigger gain. He stutters and tries to go outside and gets only a couple of yards here. Hands to the face on our WR here not called. Yes, To’To is filling in backside pursuit, but if Harris hits it hard he can split it.
View attachment 153828

Harley runs an out-and-up and roasts the CB. King is not on the same page, as he tries to throw a back-shoulder pass or an out, I’m not sure. Harley is visibly upset as he toasted Daniel Wright on this one that could’ve been a TD. Miami does have an OL way downfield here that wasn’t called.
View attachment 153829

This is an incredible throw by King. Rocketed in there, over a defender, in-stride. Heck of a catch as well.
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If Alabama doesn’t trip the WR (and a fairly fortunate PI call), this is a TD. Miami toasted CB’s on multiple occasions and we could never make them pay for it. I believe other teams will capitalize on these double-moves and opportunities more often than Miami did in this one. Hopefully, Miami will hit them in the future.
View attachment 153831

Mallory, not sure what are you waiting for. Go block this guy and Harris is easily within the 5. Instead, it’s like Mallory is playing zone defense on him. Harris pressed the hole really well, but Mallory didn’t engage.
View attachment 153832

On 4th down, King sneak from shotgun. Gives him more vision and a running start, but also allows Alabama to close the distance. I just would’ve liked to see him try to go over the top with the ball from under center. (Not pictured)

Carter goes for the big play and completely vacates his gap here. Leaves no force player on the edge and it’s an easy 5-yards. (Not pictured)

This is ridiculous. McCloud has his shoulder pads ripped off. This would go in official teaching tape on what holding looks like. I’ll say this; McCloud has played really well in this game. Manny was heated over the no-call on the holding. Harvey with a really dumb roughing the passer penalty that would’ve offset the hold anyway.
View attachment 153833

I mean, these officials really couldn’t have been worse if they had just left early. Then To’To hits him in the head/neck area and no call. Miami would be back on the cover of Sports Illustrated if they did this hit. Ball is intercepted on the mugging. The announcers are essentially screaming Roll Tide the entire game, but I digress.
View attachment 153834

Trey Sanders walks into the end zone on an off-tackle play where the force player just quit and then Stevenson showed little effort. Walks into the end-zone and breaks the U off. (Not pictured)

Game is over at this point.

By the Numbers:
As I look over the numbers for this game, I’m surprised at the fact Miami wasn’t terrible in many areas.
  • 40% success rate on rushing plays (two of the successful rushes were QB scrambles)
  • 45% success rate on passing plays (with multiple missed chances deep)
Alabama was very good offensively.
  • 47% success rate on rushing plays (with some explosive plays)
  • 54% success rate on passing plays (with a lot of explosive plays)
Miami didn’t do enough to threaten Alabama vertically in this game, with only one pass traveling over 20 yards in the air (29-yard TD to Restrepo). Many chances to throw the ball deep were wrecked by the Alabama pass rush, mostly against Scaife. On another occasion, Miami had a deep ball open and King misread it.

Miami had a PI on another deep pass that could’ve been a TD to Rambo

Miami needs to run more play-action passes in the future. Only 11 of the 37 dropbacks involved play-action.
  • The screen game will be more successful in the future, as Alabama was far too physical on the edges for the Miami WR’s, but King was 9-10 on screens in this one and was generally accurate
  • Corey Flagg was a solid pass rusher in this game and several of the blitzes Miami used were executed well and got the QB off his spot. He had four total pressures and a hit on the QB.
  • On 22 run snaps, Flagg had two run stops, which is still a far too low 9.1%, but an improvement over last season and there is reason to believe he can improve that against non-Alabama teams. Flagg is your MLB.
  • Zach McCloud was, dare I say, good in this game. He was often times facing a 1st round OT in Evan Neal and he repeatedly gave him trouble with his inside move. McCloud also set a hard edge against a puller in the run game. McCloud had two run stop on his 22 run snaps, four pressures, and zero missed tackles. Well done.
  • Keontra Smith was a mixed bag in this one. Three run stops on 23 run snaps, but three missed tackles as well. This is the question you have with him at LB, is if he will be big enough to get ball carriers on the ground.
  • Jahfari Harvey had six pressures in this game and was generally disruptive. His roughing the passer penalty hurts his PFF grade, but he was solid.
  • Waynmon Steed had three missed tackles on 10 run snaps and zero run stops. That needs to improve.
  • Chantz Williams had three run stops on 18 run snaps and added a sack and a forced fumble. Get him on the field.
  • James Williams and Kinchens need to eat into Hall’s snaps. Both looked better than Hall out there. Kinchens got a pressure on one of his two pass rush snaps, forced a fumble, and was around the ball. Gurvan Hall was not good at all in this one.
  • Bradley Jennings tried.
  • Xavier Restrepo, Keyshawn Smith, James Williams, Kamren Kinchens all look like hits in recruiting. Hopefully they start to eat into veteran players ahead of them snap counts.
Overall
Bryce Young was simply brilliant in this game. I haven’t watched a QB this year I’d rather have than Young. He’s mobile, accurate, has an excellent arm, understands the game. Whew. I’d hoped losing their QB would help the rest of CFB, but I think they might’ve actually upgraded.

Miami brought a pop-gun to a bomb fight. Alabama was so much bigger and more physical, it was striking. Where that really stood out to be was in the secondary. They were so physical on the edges and really brought bad intentions any time a screen was used. I was so impressed with how well-coached they were. There were no communication breakdowns I witnessed. Almost every opportunity was because of the defender falling for a double-move. Miami hit on zero of them, but did draw a phantom PI on one play.

In watching the game again, I strangely feel…better? Alabama was so much better than Miami at every single position. There is not one position that Miami’s guy starts over Alabama’s. Maybe Zion would start there, but not at LT. Even Zion was a lucky take away from App State. The talent difference was immediately noticeable and even their QB was incredible. Yet, with all of that, Miami had their chances for plays to change the game. Alabama made those plays and Miami didn’t and Alabama got every conceivable break from the officials in this one.

As we move forward, I expect the OL to improve and settle in. I expect some of those schemed deep shots to come to fruition, and I expect that we will see more points on the scoreboard. I’m not ready to come off my 10-win prediction, but I will say that the reality did set in during this game that Miami is destined for that top-20 area, rather than anything in the top-10 this season.

Looking forward to seeing how they respond this week because I do believe it is a talented team and has some young players who will be ready to take jobs from upperclassmen soon.
Awesome breakdown Lance!
 
I can’t understand how hall hasn’t gotten better. I’m curious to know if avantae would’ve taken his position if he didn’t get suspended.

So do you think we could possibly be in the ACC championship??
It's going to be tough, but there are some marginal teams in the Coastal. I imagine several of the Coastal teams beat each other up, but UNC already has a loss and VT is going to be a tough game as well as Pitt and NC State.

Could see Miami finishing anywhere from 7-5 to 10-2. Will be up to Manny to get more out of them than we saw in this one.
 
Lance, I’ve been dreading your post this week. Not because you do a bad job (far from it), but because it’s usually a stark reminder of how far we have to go to return to any semblance of a “great” team. With that said, your efforts are amazing and appreciated.
 
Really well done. I too am left feeling oddly better. We had quite a few stops on D or shots open that we simply didn’t execute that get lost in mid game anger as a fan. Slightly better to be in a position to succeed and fail than to not even be in the spot.
Also wondering how much these refs made from bama in this one. Worse than Tobacco Road refs
 
Keontras coverage on the te was abysmal , when you're backed up like that the one spot you can't get beat is inside , it's a layup. The one thing he couldn't do he did. That's pop warner level stuff, never ,let them cross your face
 
Its just not fair that Bama gets a 2nd shot at another Tua. That is who Bryce Young reminds me of somewhat. Hes only 6'0 but man that kid can play some QB.

Glad that you concur that McCloud actually played a solid game. Posters on here want to give him $hit but he played alot better than I expected.

I was thinking of this yesterday and you can tell that Bama had been preparing for this game for the last 8 months and our coaches were preparing for the last 8 days for "Bama prep week" as Diaz called it. It showed. Bamas players were not only talented but extremely confident that whatever we threw at them, they could handle and answer. That is just tough to deal with.

Great writeup!! I am not down in the dumps at all. Time for the real season to start and to see what this team can do and how they can recover knowing that they just played the best of the best and won't face anything like that again this season.
 
Fantastic, as usual, Lance.

I've watched the game twice now, in addition to live, and I simply become more amazed by Bryce Young each and every time. You hit the nail on the head, he might be the best QB in the country already. By the way, he is the odds on favorite right now to win the Heisman. 4/1, nobody else is below 8/1. Incredible. I, like you, preached for months that Alabama simply MUST have a small drop off, at least early on, on offense. My god was I wrong. Young honestly might be better now than Jones was last year as a Senior. He was simply breathtaking.

I think we will be fine on offense. I was actually encouraged somewhat by the play of the line, I thought that of course they are nowhere near as physical as Bama's front, they held up pretty decently. There were absolutely plays to be made. I was very encouraged by King's arm, he looks much improved from last year, and he was a polished passer then as well. He looks to have taken the next step in the passing game, and with the upgrades at WR, I think we're going to be very explosive throwing the ball.

The tackling and the inability to read plays from the backers and safeties was nauseating. Simply terrible. We can't tackle ANYBODY. And our kids run themselves out of plays far too often. I noticed the same thing you did, that not only does Bama have the best front 7 in the country, their DBs fill run lanes properly and VIOLENTLY. Our kids play patty-cake and then miss a tackle. Farrrrr too passive on defense for my liking.

And the officiating, my god. I really hate saying this type of stuff, because every single team thinks the refs are out to get them. I'm sure there were Bama fans complaining about the refs. It's hard to see every call. But this stuff is really getting out of control. If they don't hold a single time, don't interfere with a single receiver, and don't pull a single facemask, they probably win by multiple scores. But you literally cannot beat Bama's roster with Miami's if they're allowed to do what they did all night. Was there a single hold called in the game either way? You're telling me two FBS teams played 60 minutes, 150+ plays and not a single kid held anyone?! Watching some of these plays back really makes me sick.

Bottom line, outplayed, outexecuted, and outcoached by a MUCH better team. Which was probably the inevitable outcome all along, even though we're always going to be optimistic. I said 10-2 before the season, I saw absolutely nothing Saturday or back on TV that gets me off that number. Anything less than 9-3, and Manny should be fired (I know he won't be, just saying it's hopeless for him here because this roster, while miles away from Bama, should easily be able to win 9-10 of the next 11 with competent coaching).

I just need to see better tackling. If you're bigger at the point of attack, OK. If your QB is the 2nd coming of Christ, OK. But our kids work-out, too. Come up and make a fucking tackle. I'll bet they were credited with at least 10+ broken tackles, that's insane. We have to be MUCH better tackling, and much more physical overall.
 
Keontras coverage on the te was abysmal , when you're backed up like that the one spot you can't get beat is inside , it's a layup. The one thing he couldn't do he did. That's pop warner level stuff, never ,let them cross your face
Yeah I don’t understand that. I seen someone say “no one coulda covered the te in that position” on here. Dawg literally drop your ass and put hands on him and don’t let him cross your face
 
Yeah I don’t understand that. I seen someone say “no one coulda covered the te in that position” on here. Dawg literally drop your ass and put hands on him and don’t let him cross your face
No lies told. Coaches didn't give him an easy ask, but you live to keep fighting if you get beat on an out. You let him cross you like that with zero resistance and it is curtains.
 
Our atrocious tackling has been a problem for a while now. Is it simply coaching? Recruiting the wrong kids? Soft culture leading to lack of physicality?

We all know we're a terrible tackling team and it's been that way for at least 2 or 3 years now. The question is why? And how do we fix it?
 

2022 Commits

WR
6'2"
185
Nashville, TN
CB
6'0"
160
Lexington, MS
QB
6'4"
205
Valdosta, GA
CB
6'1"
175
Fort Myers, FL
CB
6'2"
180
Alabaster, AL
S
6'1"
170
Orlando, FL
WR
6'1"
185
Mandeville, LA
MLB
6'1"
210
Manvel, TX
OT
6'7"
275
Sandersville, GA

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