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Upon Further Review- App State

Upon Further Review- App State

Lance Roffers
Welcome back to Upon Further Review, where we will dive into the important plays of the game vs. App State as well as take a look at some data points to really understand why the Canes struggled, where they can improve, and some things that went well.

First drive and Miami goes 3 and out, with Mallory dropping a perfect seam throw from King. Huge drop there, as that was going to be a big play that got Miami close to the red zone. Thus far, Mallory has continued his disappointing career with drops. (Not pictured)

Wonderful punt by Headley, and a great job by Gurvan Hall of getting to the goal line, turning his back to the goal line and focusing on the bounce. Honestly, I’d prefer he catch that in that situation, but it worked out fine. (Not pictured)

One of the issues I have with our LB’ers is their propensity to overreact to play-action. Here, all three of them are still standing on the LOS and the QB is patting the football in the pocket. Chantz Williams gets his hands on the football and Carter intercepts it, so it was fortuitous in this situation, but the LB’s have to have more awareness. For simplicity, I lump the striker in with LB.

I’m not sure if this is just a handoff without an option for King, but he has to pull this ball. App State is outleveraged to the edge and he has a lead blocker in Arroyo. This is an easy five and maybe a TD. OL and Mallory get zero push. No gain.

Pull Rivers, Nelson blocks down, Arroyo leads through. Chaney TD. More counters and Outside Zone runs in the running game, please. Also, I don’t know who #82 is, but he was in as a TE on this play and had a nice block. 60 is in the game, so it wasn’t Zion Nelson.

You want to know one of the reasons Jennings misses so many tackles, this is an excellent illustration of why. He isn’t bringing his legs through the thighs of the ballcarrier at all. He is leaning and grabbing here. Instead of a TFL, he gets stiff-armed to the turf. Then, Amari Carter comes in at far too shallow of an angle and overruns it. RB breaks this for a 1st down. Sometimes, it’s not the coaches, but the players who need to simply make the play. Nesta has a serious motor. He runs this down at the 42-yard line and helps force RB into tackle.

Run fits, run fits, run fits. Carter jumps into the A-gap here, but that is not his gap. It is Jennings’ gap (who runs right into a blocker). Carter has to attack the B-gap and then attack the outside shoulder of the blocker here. Instead, he attacks the inside shoulder and cannot pinch the gap to remove the run lane. Watch App State play run fits and it’s night-and-day different.

How does the Miami defense allow this play to work? They have that slant bracketed! Couch stops his feet and doesn’t deliver any kind of jam on the WR, then S just lets the receiver right into his zone and moves away from him. The QB stared at it the whole way. I’m at a loss on this one.

I’m not trying to be harsh on Bolden here, but woof. This is bad. He actually just turns and runs the other way without any clue where the WR is. As a defensive coach you just throw your hands in the air and say “we couldn’t have had a better defensive call.”

Harrison-Hunte with a grown man play. Uses his hands to lock the OL out and control his gap, then comes off the block to make a TFL. You can’t play it better than the DL did on that side. Jordan Miller is trying, but really is out of his gap here. He needs to flow down the line, but turn that OL so he can stop a cutback run.

3rd & 7 and Miami too passive in their coverage. Couch was content to allow a 5-yard catch underneath and then come up and make the tackle. The problem with that is it brings up a 4th & 2 and offenses are going for it more and more in those situations. (Not pictured)

Here is that 4th & 2 play. When you read people like D$ talk about Nesta needing to learn to use his hands, here is what they’re referring to. If he had locked his arms out like Harrison-Hunte did earlier, he has a TFL. Instead, he lets the OL get underneath him and hang him on a meat hook. Ford gets moved out instead of resetting the LOS, which leaves an OL able to come off that duo block and get to Keontra. Ivey is slow to close the hole because the motion holds him outside. Flagg attacks his gap and gets washed. Your DL cannot allow two OL to get to your LB’s. Chantz getting blocked 1-on-1 by a TE cannot happen here.

Then they both blow the tackle as well. Sure wish we had a 6’, 215 pound CB who hits like a truck who could be in on that play to help make a tackle.

This is what you’re losing with Chaney. A guy who can make a play against an unblocked defender. I think Harris gets what blocked, and is a much better blocker than Chaney, but Chaney is a playmaker that this offense needs in the run game.

I don’t know that it picks up the 1st down, but this play has a chance to work if King makes a better throw that isn’t tipped. Donaldson didn’t get out there to the block though.

Again, the coaches did everything they can do here. This is a perfect blitz call that hits the QB as he’s throwing and you’ve got three defenders, basically unblocked out there, and the RB easily picks up this 1st down. Bolden just keeps running straight into a block. No idea what he was seeing here, but not a fan of those long S blitzes we do.

Woof. Nesta overruns it, Keontra overruns it. Bolden runs himself into a block. Think of the game script difference if they have to punt from their own 10, instead of getting this out to the 25 with a fresh set of downs.

Bolden with an excellent run fit for a TFL. (Not pictured)

Thankfully, App State snapped the ball out of the end zone and Miami didn’t pay a price for the poor tackling on 3rd down previously. (Not pictured)

Rhett Lashlee has had a rough game calling plays at this point. App State has run defense’s that are perfect for the play call we are running. On the last play before the 1st quarter end, Miami is hurrying to get the snap off and App State runs a corner blitz because they know when they can start running because the clock was under one second. It was essentially a two-man route as they rolled the pocket and it had no chance. (Not pictured)

On a 3RD & 3 Miami plays soft coverage and App State just runs double slants and has an easy conversion. Why have this monster CB in Stevenson if you’re going to ask him to play 10-yards off-coverage on 3rd & 3? (Not pictured)

Nesta puts the puller on the ground with his hands when App State runs Outside Zone and makes a TFL. You see the model of this defense is to make enough negative plays for the offense to get them off-the-field.

This is how Tyrique should be used on 3rd downs. He easily defends this pass and gets his defense off-the-field.

Someone slides the protection the wrong way, as the defender that Gaynor has his right arm on comes straight free and demolishes Chaney in the backfield. I don’t understand why they don’t throw the bubble. Donaldson blocks no one, but that doesn’t mean it was his fault. There was definitely a poor line call somewhere.

Pass interference on a long pass to Keyshawn. (Not pictured)

This is an example of what looks like a LT getting beat, when in reality he does exactly what he should and push the blitzer wide, which creates a huge running lane. King slipped or he takes it to the house.

I talk quite a bit about the DL helping your LB’s by creating a mush pile that prevents the OL from getting to the second level. You have all five OL blocking two players here and no one to the second level yet. You’ve got an unblocked guy on the edge (purposefully, as the read player), but then a guy right behind him and two LB’s filling gaps. Harris ran hard to convert this one. You can see this is a read-option all the way as the OL are all run-blocking.

Pulled Arroyo across the backfield after-snap and dump it to him. He breaks a tackle, which is maybe one more than I’ve seen Mallory break in two years. (Not pictured)

Run a slip screen to Rambo and he gets a 1st down. If defenses give this, keep taking it. Always, “find the bruise and press on it.” Arroyo with a nice block on the edge to spring him. I want that kid to play more.

Poor communication on the OL. Justice and Donaldson take the inside guy and the outside guy stunts inside and smacks Harris for a TFL. If Justice takes DT and Donaldson takes the stunter, this is a pickup of 5. The right side of the OL has really been poor thus far.

Five men in the backfield. It’s a legitimate penalty. You always see the outside WR pointing at the official to get a thumbs up that you’re in good position and he didn’t do that here. Takes a TD off the board.

Carter gets caught too far inside on the kickoff return. Blades takes a bad angle and get outrun.

Smith needs to see more targets. Too talented and makes too many plays.

Gaynor messed this one up I believe. He lets the DT go and no one blocks him. He trails the RB, but when he pitches it to Harley, he just goes after Harley who pitches it to King and he goes right to King. If Gaynor blocks him, this play might go differently. Execution is so poor for this team. Got bailed out by a personal foul penalty. Rough game for Gaynor thus far (and I’ve been a supporter).

I think Justice misses this assignment. I believe he is supposed to go straight to the Mike, but does a combo block first and the Mike jumps his gap. Mallory takes OLB and no one is there to take the Mike, who makes a TFL. Since I don’t know the line call, it’s also just possible that Justice was supposed to combo first and then get to Mike and was just too slow to do so.

Harley drops a 1st down on 3rd down pass in red zone. Sigh. (Not pictured)

FG blocked. Sigh. (Not pictured)

Gurvan Hall makes an excellent tackle on 3rd down drag route. (Not pictured)

Gaynor doesn’t block anyone. Harris gives his all and blocks hard, but gets knocked down. Defender gets up and sacks King. Not many things hurt my soul more than a picture of five OL blocking defenders. Gaynor and Rivers finding no work. Awful game for Gaynor. Awful.

Ford getting absolutely bullied 1-on-1 out of the hole. Has his head down, can’t see the ballcarrier and not holding his ground. This goes for a 1st down.

Come out of half and roll King to his right. Dime to Smith running full-speed. Mallory did a nice job blocking. Then on a 3rd and 7 they hit Rambo deep down the sideline. Nice throw and great catch. (Not pictured)

Nelson gets beaten inside, but sticks with it and rides the defender past. Gaynor was burying a guy on the ground here, so it was a good play, not like it looks there. King weaves through and cuts this back to the sideline and picks up a 1st down. Love his legs and playmaking, wish he’d keep his eyes downfield to throw on some of these though instead of instantly tucking it. I need my linemen to find some work here.

Harris does a great job of staying patient here instead of running into the back of his OL. Eventually, the OL creates a hole and Mallory holds that block. Rivers gets his block at the second level. Harris walks into the end zone.

I’m guessing there is an alternate reality where officials actually call holding penalties on opponents of Miami. I want to live there. Harvey getting owned by a TE on the edge can’t happen. He just ran into him with his shoulder instead of using his hands to control the blocker. That’ll be ugly in film room.

Easy edge given up by this defense repeatedly. Edge stunts inside and the T just washes him inside.

Offense expected Jordan Miller to run himself out of the play upfield here and he did. Bolden comes down and takes a poor angle and misses the tackle. This run somehow goes for a 1st down.

This was a lucky play for Miami. Trips to boundary and backside receiver stops as though it’s going to be a screen (generally, when tips are TE’s it’s a good formation to run a screen out of so the TE’s can block. All three Miami defenders look into the backfield and the TE runs right by them and if he doesn’t trip himself he scores standing up. Not sure who was the culprit since I don’t have the call, but Bolden looked lost.

Canes hold with nice pursuit, a good edge set, and a nice tackle by Stevenson. (Not pictured)

Cam Harris turned this run into a three-yard gain. You have to just hit that hole hard and at least get the 1st down here. Coaches will be quite unhappy when they watch this play.

Justice gets destroyed. Look for work, Donaldson. King scrambles but gets nowhere. If Donaldson looks for work her out of there. Either by helping his RT and keeping a pocket, or by helping his C and letting King escape. He chose, “neither.”

Steed, you have to make this tackle. Misses the tackle in backfield, 1st down.

Flagg lets the TE go and he catches an uncontested pass in the flat for a 1st down. How does he not see he’s going out in a pass route and adjust?

Coaches always want length in CB’s. This is one of the reasons why, as his length at the stem of the slant keeps him engaged and without separation. Great pass breakup by Stevenson and an excellent change from when they had him in off-coverage on this exact same down-and-distance earlier. Stevenson is the best CB by far and the “OR” stuff needs to stop.

It’s almost all game, every game, but the OL have to look for work on every play. Every single play you have to be blocking your assignment or finding someone to hit if you don’t have a rusher. Here, both Donaldson and Rivers are standing around. King gets out of this for a 1st. Far too often Miami’s blocking scheme is relying on Gaynor to block 1-on-1 while the G’s are getting wasted on the play. This needs addressed, because it is making Coach Justice look awful.

Edge crashes and you give on the read outside. Harris takes this for almost 20. I’d like to see Miami attack the edges more often rather than trying to line up and attack inside. Especially once Knighton get back. Mallory did a great job on reaching that block and sticking with it to move his man away from Harris.

King knows he has it on the hitch to Keyshawn right here. Once that slot CB turns to bail, it’s man coverage and that much separation will allow Smith to run the CB and then have the deep comeback. Wide open. Great job all around.

Donaldson can’t get to these blocks. Second time they’ve asked him to get out there on a screen that would work if he could get his block, but he’s not capable of this. It’s a big reason I believe they’re starting to look at Justice at RG. He can get to this block and if he does, this is a huge play.

Not sure what Mallory sees here. He tries to cutback to the sideline and literally runs into the defender. If he cuts off Rambo inside, it’s entirely possible you can try a FG.

Gotta make this catch, Stevenson. Good players cover, great players take it away.

King picks up 15 on the designed scramble. (Not pictured)

Then on next play App State overload blitzes and they sack King on the read. I think King has to get out of that play pre-snap. When you hear about “walk-up late” blitzes, this is what that means. Just at the snap, App State is walking a defender up to LOS to blitz. Miami doesn’t have this accounted for in their protection. I’d like to see them do that “clap” to simulate the snap and then do a “check with me” more often to stop this from happening. Why is King not throwing this bubble to the slot WR, who is uncovered?

King has awesome protection and decides to leave the pocket and bring pressure to himself. Throws it short to Rambo. Not good by King there. (Not pictured)

Nesta says, “it’s time to leave the club” to #75 here and tackles the RB with him. He has legit grown man strength and if he ever realizes his hands are weapons he can make money playing this game.

Bolden jumps the post to the middle of your screen and lets a WR get deep behind him. Hall makes the tackle, but Bolden was the problem here.

A lot of Canes are confused on the mesh action at the goal line, but it looks like Bolden loses his eyes and stares down the TE at goal line and lets the crossing WR run right by him. It is possible the CB trailing the WR at corner of your screen is supposed to pass him off and follow WR, but that doesn’t make much sense. Carter is spying the QB.

Mallory gets just enough on the edge to get Harris through there. Harris almost broke this one. If #31 here by 43 doesn’t hustle, that’s a TD. (Not pictured)

Miami was lucky here. They go back to bail coverage and App State throws the hitch. Wide open. Dropped. (Not pictured)

3rd down was dropped. Stevenson blankets the guy on 4th down. Incomplete. (Not pictured)

By the Numbers:

  • Offense: 53% Success Rate on Rushes
  • Offense: 39% Success Rate on Passes (dreadful)
  • Defense: 41% Success Rate on Rushes
  • Defense: 47% Success Rate on Passes (Not great considering how bad their QB played)
On 45 Dropbacks:

  • King was pressured on 16 of them (36%) but he did have an average of 3.24 seconds to throw (an excellent number)
  • Miami ran play-action or a screen on 17 of the dropbacks (38%)
On 36 Dropbacks Miami’s defense:

  • Pressured on 9 (25%) this is a low number, but App State had only 2.26 seconds to throw (anything under 2.5 seconds on a play is considered a win for the pass rush)
  • When Miami pressured, App State averaged only 3.3 Yards Per Pass
  • When not pressuring, Miami’s defense gave up 6.7 Yards Per Pass (not a poor number)
Roman will tell you that App State buzzed the flats and then walked-up blitzers late and Miami didn't have adjustments for it, and that's true. It's also true that Miami didn't execute at all in this game. Almost to the point you wonder if they were overlooking the opponent.

It was an ugly win, no doubt about that. A positive outlook would be to see all the mistakes and missed chances and think this should’ve been an easy win over what is considered a good team. A pessimistic view might tell you that Miami continues to play a game like this almost every week. Mistakes, missed opportunities, “almost” plays have become a staple of this program.

The defense only gives up 17 points? Well, the special teams gives up a TD return, allows a FG block, and has a really poor return day overall.

Offense struggles to score TD’s in the red zone? Get an easy TD and it’s called back because a WR didn’t line up on the LOS.

All of these things add up to a story that paints Coach Diaz and staff in a poor light. This week is a big game for the tenure of Coach Diaz as there are rumblings that Board of Trustees has some prominent donors who are not happy with the state of things and want to see improvements immediately.

How does Miami respond against Michigan State in the face of adversity? History tells us they will come out sleepwalking, King will make a few super plays and Miami grinds out a win that Coach Diaz calls a “character win.” When, in reality, it is just another in a long line of disappointing performances against teams with far inferior talent.


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Comments (90)

I hope we see a youth movement this weekend. Leonard Taylor cannot be worse than Miller.

Al Blades Jr. needs some reps as Ivey is just not the guy to hold people off for jobs.

Stop the “OR” stuff with Stevenson. It’s insulting.

Bolden needs to see his reps in obvious passing situations go away. He’s not a capable defender against the pass. He can fill on run plays, but I see far too many mistakes in the passing game to be keeping Kinchens and Williams on the bench. I do wish I had more All-22 to review, as safeties generally need that for a great feel.

Donaldson needs to sit for Justice. Jarrid Williams needs to start at RT.

If they’re going to continue getting games like that from Gaynor, you’re going to have to do something there as well. I saw a bunch of communication issues on the OL, which is supposed to be his strong suit.

LB play was awful in this game.

Chase Smith needs to get on the field somewhere.

Restrepo has to play. No matter where you get him on the field, he’s always making plays. Can’t continue the seniority stuff. Get playmakers out there.

Arroyo might be the starter for me. He looks better than Mallory in the passing game already.
Great review as always. Saw very little mention of DE,s. In your eyes did they perform well?
Stop the “OR” stuff with Stevenson. It’s insulting.

Bolden needs to see his reps in obvious passing situations go away. He’s not a capable defender against the pass. He can fill on run plays, but I see far too many mistakes in the passing game to be keeping Kinchens and Williams on the bench. I do wish I had more All-22 to review, as safeties generally need that for a great feel.

It is insulting and screams beta and something Al Golden would do to try and show the player who runs the show and “motivate” them if the player doesn’t go hard in practice (not saying that’s the case here).

And the screenshots about Bolden were brutal. Unless he makes a miraculous turnaround he isn’t getting drafted and may not make a practice squad.
Where are the people who told me Bolden was great because he had 8 tackles?

Where are those who think Carter is good because of the INT play?
While watching the game in person, I swore I saw a lot of easy $ left on the field on offense that we just didn't take....whether the fault was with Lashlee or King. This confirms it.
It is insulting and screams beta and something Al Golden would do to try and show the player who runs the show and “motivate” them if the player doesn’t go hard in practice (not saying that’s the case here).

And the screenshots about Bolden were brutal. Unless he makes a miraculous turnaround he isn’t getting drafted and may not make a practice squad.
Great stuff here. With respect to bolden, at what point during the week would his position coach go through this film with him frame by frame and point out these obvious mistakes? How much leash do you give these guys?
Ooff. I mean it was pretty much what I expected, but still. The confirmation is rough.
Crazy how bad are our O line is, these dudes have like 200 starts and still making freshmen mistakes. It’s appalling how bad Donaldson has looked. I hope we come out and beat down Michigan State, I need a great victory this weekend I am tired of being a mope.
Great analysis as always. The very first screenshot is infuriating. 3rd and 7 and we have 3 LB's standing at the LOS guarding nobody.
Yall saying the LBs need to be in this gap or that gap. Maybe the reason they are hitting the wrong gap is because they don't know which gap the DL is gonna hit and simply reacting to what the DL does instead of knowing what the DL will do on each play. Some of these guys are simply not smart enough to process plays quick enough to then react to where they need to be. That's what it seems like to me. Maybe Diaz needs to lower the movement of the DL, maybe thats confusing the LBs.
Coaches need to do this to Bolden and some of the other players that continue to do stuff that makes you throw your hands in the air.

NOBODY wanted the multiple clicker treatment in film the next day.

You’d break out with your group and the position coaches, who spend a lot of time with you, will just be brutal in those sessions.

I promise you it made you want to do it right just to avoid that feeling of wanting to crawl under the desk.
Yall saying the LBs need to be in this gap or that gap. Maybe the reason they are hitting the wrong gap is because they don't know which gap the DL is gonna hit and simply reacting to what the DL does instead of knowing what the DL will do on each play. Some of these guys are simply not smart enough to process plays quick enough to then react to where they need to be. That's what it seems like to me. Maybe Diaz needs to lower the movement of the DL, maybe thats confusing the LBs.
I won’t act like I know Miami’s calls, because I don’t. I don’t even have All-22 of every play, so we are doing the best we can with what have.

That said, generally any defense I’ve ever been around will have rules for defenders in the back-7 to follow. Whether coverage or run fits.

On run downs, it depends on the gap responsibilities of the D-line. If the D-line is playing one-gap, they’re responsible for just that (one gap). That means the LB’s are responsible for the remaining gaps. On some defenses the SS will be responsible for the C gap (outside tackles). Depending on offensive alignment, the force player may be responsible for that gap. Regardless, every player has a run fit on every play.

With the style that Miami plays on defense, it’s pretty clear on most downs what the responsibilities are. Then when you watch the play and you see the way the players react, it’s abundantly clear which gap responsibilities are present.

I have written repeatedly that the DL can do more to make the lives of the LB’ers easier by keeping them clean of OL getting to second level, but at this point, I do believe we have a LB problem. Either in ability or in confidence to see it and attack it (or worse, both).

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