Upon Further Review: FIU

Upon Further Review: FIU

Lance Roffers
Lance Roffers
Welcome back to Upon Further Review, where we will review all Miami Hurricanes games to see what the film tells us. This week we will take a look at the FIU game.

Gauthier initially loses leverage, but does re-anchor. He causes Homer to have to shift and go around him here, but the hole opens up because Donaldson and Mahoney kick their guys out. If Gauthier allows Homer to hit this hole hard and fast you could’ve been looking at a huge gain.

Next play is a swing pass to Jeff Thomas. Gets a nice block from Harley, accurate pass from Rosier allowed him to get upfield, and then a nice run for good yardage. Boulware got shocked at the point of attack, but recovered to make the block. Miami OL tends to struggle with that first strike. (Not pictured)

1st down and if Gauthier gets this block we are talking about a big run. He doesn’t and the run play picks up little. Look at that lane that has been created on the edge.

Same play, but above I wanted to show the hole that was there if Gauthier gets his block. Earlier in the play, this is not good. #97 has absolutely planted Boulware on his back. #91 has knocked Donaldson straight to the ground (he’s on his hands-and-knees here).

2nd down was a big mistake by Rosier. If he gives this ball he has Homer for a big gain. Look at the lead blockers on this play and that huge green zone in front of him. Yes, if he gives that backside player is going to be chasing, but he’s well behind at this point. Rosier keeps and gets tackled for a loss.

It’s all on film for why Rosier struggles with accuracy. His footwork is inconsistent. He completes this ball- and it was accurate- but in the long run this will lead to passes being just off etc. He’s stepping completely sideways here. Look where his foot is aiming. Wish Brevin had fought a little harder for this 1st down.

When the two LB’s are inside of the hash like this you have to check out of the sneak. There was no push, and St. Louis hasn’t even contacted anyone yet here, but you check to a pitch play or something outside of the hash and the LB’s can’t get there before a yard when they’re lined up like this. Rosier has made two poor decisions of the drive already.

Imagine having a plan of trying to block Willis 1-on-1 but doubling Bethel. Willis blows the play up. Garvin gets the sack after Willis flushes him right to him.

I talk often about why Malik needs to pull the ball sometimes even if it doesn’t end in a big play because otherwise ends will just ignore that threat. That’s exactly what Garvin does here. They don’t block him and Garvin doesn’t pay any mind to the QB pulling the ball here and makes the TFL.

We stand everybody but Willis on the next play and loop Garvin around. He should’ve had a sack but he came in a little tentative and the QB got the pass off for an incompletion. (Not pictured)

On the punt, Ivey makes a nice block as he gets his head in front of the defender to avoid a penalty. Thomas breaks a tackle at the 22, Amari Carter levels a guy at the 25, Nesta grabs a guy at the 50 and it was a hold. Thomas has that outside already and Homer escorting him. That guy might make the tackle on Thomas, but even if he does, they’re going to catch you when you lean and grab every time. It was still an encouraging return play.

1st down for us we throw a deep ball to Brevin down the right sideline and the ball is just slightly underthrown. The LB makes a good play to knock the ball out of Brevin’s hands. (Not pictured)

I write often about leverage and technique on the OL and here’s one of the things I often see that makes the difference on the play. Here, Mahoney has his outside shoulder turned in towards the LOS. If Mahoney has leverage and can get that shoulder turned past the LOS his man won’t be able to plug this gap. The DL controls him and Dallas has to cut back. Thankfully, Boulware and St. Louis win their blocks and it’s a nice 5-yard run.

On this play, Mahoney does what I’m talking about and has leverage to move his man out of the hole. But here, Boulware is shocked back by #91 and when the DL has extension like this he is easily able to come off a block and make a tackle. Our OL has to get that initial jolt to make our running game stronger and we are just a bit off with that. They had their S crashing hard on the play anyway. This is a 1-yard gain as FIU is playing the run all the way. If Rosier pulls this and throws the bubble to the bottom of the screen, it’s an easy 1st down. The RPO part of things is there for a reason.

1st down, Tito pushes the pile inside and Shaq fills hard behind him for a 2-yard run. Nice play by both. Then a facemask penalty on Willis. (Not pictured)

FIU tried to block Joe Jackson with a TE. It predictably didn’t work. Their QB tries to go deep to a TE and Amari Carter nearly picked it off. (Not pictured)

2nd down they tried the read option again and again our edge player pays no attention to him (Patchan). Willis destroys his guy and gets the TFL. This is beautiful. Quickness with right arm, strength and coordination with left arm (on the hip of the C to create space and clearance) and then right into the RB for a TFL. What he also does is that he is into the lane where the RG wants to pull as well. There is nothing he can do so Willis is actually freeing the other side up as well. Patchan has cutback. Dominant football. I mentioned on the podcast after Toledo that every team has changed what they do mid-game because Willis was just destroying everything when they didn’t compensate. This is what I meant, FIU is trying to run their normal stuff and block the 3-technique with a C and it’s just not going to happen. He’s too quick, too strong, too fast, too good.

We stunted Willis on 3rd and 13, left the middle open and they dump it off. He got a little more than you want to see, but Michael Jackson makes the tackle after 12. (Not pictured)

So, the N’Kosi Perry era starts here. Thank you to Malik Rosier, but this may be the end of the line as a starter. The staff has a group text going and they will tell you that I defend Rosier more than anyone on there, but I recognize the limitations that exist with his accuracy troubles. 1st down, we have Jahair Jones and Mahoney at the guard spots. St. Louis gets beat inside immediately and you can see Jones is tripped by St. Louis pushing the defender from the side into his legs. Jones goes to the ground immediately. Gauthier and Mahoney trip over each other’s legs and Mahoney goes down. St. Louis goes down here as well. We are lucky someone didn’t get hurt here and this was embarrassing.

Something you will see at times with freshmen is they want to get out of the pocket pretty quickly. St. Louis has stoned his guy here and while Donaldson was initially beaten, he recovered and pushed the defender wide and opened this running lane. I think what really bothered Perry was Gauthier getting walked back into his lap here. I wish Jones had punished that guy from the side before releasing. Look for work, Jahair. Perry gets basically nothing and left the pocket too quickly.

Gauthier whiffs on his block or Deejay has an easy first down right in the middle of the field. You can see #74 on the ground here at the 12. Perry escapes to his right and gets a generous spot to pick up the 1st.

We run the bubble to Brevin on 1st down and it’s a solid throw. He has it bounce off his face and catches it. Gains 5. OL all did their jobs. On 2nd down we go with tempo and throw the bubble again. It was the right decision based on numbers and Brevin picks up the 1st down easily. (Not pictured)

I’m not trying to pile on, but this is the familiar pose that Jahair Jones strikes this year. Upright, completely locked out by the longarm technique from the DL, which controls him as a blocker. Dallas is such a smart, patient runner. He lets the DL pick the gap he wants to take and then ducks off to the other side behind Mahoney and Gauthier and gets some yards. The DL should’ve taken the other gap because he had a free defender on that side to steer him towards.

We run outside zone on the next play. Brevin is kind of run over here, Jahair just gets there on the pull (honestly, this was an impressive block to get that far out), Donaldson literally blocked Mahoney right in the hip and knocks him to the ground. St. Louis straight pancaked his man and I want to give him a high-five after that (he’s the rear end you see here as he slams his man to the ground). Dallas hits this tiny crease here, avoids the arm tackle by Brevin’s man, and the WR’s all block (Pope even gets two blocks). Dallas even has a man slap for the defender at the end as he goes out-of-bounds. Andre Ware actually tried to call it a punch and says it can get him thrown out. No, Mr. Ware, no.

Oh, if only Mahoney could’ve kept this block for another second. Homer has a lane here, but Mahoney loses his block after initially having leverage. Obligatory Jahair Jones bent completely over shot. He’s getting knocked to the side here and looking at the ground. You see his head just to the right of Donaldson here.

Next play we do get it into the end zone though. This is beautiful, the OL winning at the snap immediately. Mahoney with a flat back, leverage, turning that man out of the hole. Jones and St. Louis have a combo block on the DE and Jones can release onto the LB. Donaldson pulls through the hole and has a scrape on the DT as he runs past Gauthier. Homer follows Donaldson through the hole, but Donaldson really missed his block and ended up on the ground because he got too far over his toes. Homer eludes that LB in the hole and shows a nice cutback into the end zone. Pope gave him a sneaky good shield block by running at an angle into the side of a defender with his arms raised up.

Donaldson looked like a bull who just had the red curtain pulled by the bull fighter. Completely misses #3 here. Homer with a ridiculous jump cut in the hole. Donaldson never touched the defender.

Bandy slips right here or this is an interception. Look at how he’s driving on this ball already and flashing in front of the receiver.

Next play they tried a dive play and Ford clogged up the lane pretty well. He had this kind of funny paw going over the back of the OL and just snatches the RB and tackles him backwards. Couldn’t get a good picture, but it was a nice play by him. Pickney really attacked his gap as well. (Not pictured)

3rd down they tackled Willis- no call. He still hits the QB at the legs and the QB throws an out-route and the receiver stayed inside. (Not pictured)

1st down we run a bunch of clear out routes deep as they were in man and then lined up Brevin at H-back. Brevin just delays for a second before getting into his route and I think that confused the LB just enough. Brevin gets an easy release and runs away from the LB for a huge gain down the sideline. (Not pictured)

Clean mechanics for Perry on this throw. It’s an accurate ball that Harley can run with. No hesitation, just count the numbers and take the bubble when the numbers call for it.

Scaife in at RT and he does something crafty here. He’s pulling while Mahoney crashes down and is supposed to move this guy out so there is a hole for Scaife to release to the second level. Mahoney doesn’t win at the snap, so Scaife actually uses his arms to move Mahoney out just a touch and then releases through the hole. If he doesn’t do that there isn’t a gap for him to run through. Instead this play picks up the 1st down easily. Always worry about a guy getting his legs rolled up when you’re pushing the pile through here and grinding, but Mahoney came out unscathed.

We do ask Jones to get pretty far here, but he’s obviously slow to pull and while he falls on the guy who is trying to blow up this play, he also completely tackles the other puller and wipes him out. Look at the wide angle that Dallas has to take here because Jones didn’t get there and open a lane. Loss of four.

Big. Boy. Throw. He anticipates Cager clearing here, fits it into a tight window, and because of his absolutely lightning quick release and strong arm he doesn’t leave the defenders time to react. This is one of those times that it’s hard to do this throw justice, but what a dime. Cager takes it in for a TD. Second still is of Perry looking the route off because he knows he has the “Bang-8” behind it. A Bang-8 is just a fancy term for a post route where you "bang" your foot into the ground and turn to the post at exactly 8-yards. He freezes #3 & #5 just enough to leave a window to throw. This is just perfect QB’ing.


DL all dominate the OL. No gain. 2nd down and they throw a swing pass to the RB. Romeo Finley is a lot faster than I originally thought. He ran that play down in a hurry. He dinged his shoulder on the play. (Not pictured)

I am sure Knowles is a very hard worker and he does a nice job on special teams, but at some point the staff has to see that this SS blitz from a long ways away is not working. Here he is actually blocking the DE for FIU and nowhere near pressuring the QB. WR actually had a step, but it was a poor throw by the QB.

Punt. Nesta is very good at pressuring punts. Nearly blocks this one and takes a great angle so as not to rough the punter. (Not pictured)

1st down and we threw a bubble to Harley. It was a bit behind him. (Not pictured)

3rd down and St. Louis gets blown by. Just a poor pass set early then he couldn’t recover. Perry fumbled on the play, but Miami recovered.

1st down they tried an inside give and Willis and Bethel stand up the OL and allow Patchan to pursue down the LOS. Their QB has to keep on one of these. (Not pictured)

Here is Mike Smith literally running into his own DT on a run fill. Charles Perry makes the stop.

3rd down and Patchan does a beautiful step-and-dip move to get past the LT and hits the QB as he throws. Redwine shows some nice range and intercepts the pass deep in Miami territory. WR had gotten a step on Michael Jackson. Andre Ware said Redwine is in his first year playing S after moving over from CB. That is false. (Not pictured)

1st down and you see some of the eagerness of a freshman in Perry. He should give this ball. There are running lanes for the RB. Instead he pulls and tries to get around the edge. They push him out after a gain of five simply because he’s an excellent athlete.

Mahoney has leverage on this play. He has to take a step with his right leg and turn his hips so that he is rooting the DT out of the hole. Instead, he tries to lean on him and the DT recovers after this initial crash and flicks Mahoney to the side and buries the RB. The numbers don’t call for it, so it’s not a mistake, but if he throws the bubble he probably gets the first down instead of a gain of one.

This throw should go to #7 here. He takes Harley instead, who is covered on the play. Perry has a good enough arm that he gets it there before the defender. It’s only tipped, Harley catches it and gets the 1st down. When Perry looks at this though, he’ll see that there is an easy throw to 7 rather than 3. On film, Perry just “looks” so much more like a QB than Rosier does. Motion, release, mechanics.

Gauthier on skates at first, but he re-anchors with the help of Mahoney. One thing I really like about Mahoney is he always looks for work. He drills the NT in the ribs on this play and that softens them up over the course of the game and saves your QB. Perry takes the safe throw on the shallow crosser here. As they say, you’ll never go broke taking a profit. He could’ve tried to hit that square-in to Hightower at about the 40, but that LB is dropping back into that zone and it would’ve been a more risky pass to go for the deeper route. OL gave him time though.

The 2nd down play really irked me when I was watching live. Deejay gets the swing pass here (which was a nice, soft pass in stride) and instead of sticking his foot in the ground, lowering that shoulder and really powering into this defender, he just stops. He was running full speed one yard prior and easily could’ve gotten this ball to the 35. Instead, he is tackled right here and makes it a more difficult 3rd down. Be big, play big.

This play was broken down quite well by QB guru, @romancane, in his fantastic series, From the Perch (you should read it). I agree he has that swing pass wide open for a 1st down and should throw it here. That said, there is more risk involved with a throw. Bad pass, drop, tipped by DL etc. The OL does an excellent job of controlling the initial push and then a Red Sea opens up for Perry to run through.

1st down we have Jones at LG and Boulware at RG. Jones gives up initial push, re-anchors, but then his man tackles Homer. Tough run by Homer nets six yards as the carried the DT. 2nd down inside give and Jones releases to the second level. He never actually blocked a defender. Homer gets three. (Not pictured)

3rd and 1 is the same FB give we have been doing. Donaldson absolutely caves a guy in off the edge. I think Brevin blocks the wrong guy because he was supposed to block the edge player I believe (he’s looking back like, “whoops”). Luckily, the edge player steps up due to the fake pitch to Homer. I can’t imagine the play design is to leave two guys unblocked. Gray bursts for seven yards.

Perry knows he has Harley right here. He’s just coming out of his break and he knows he has him. Already setting his feet and getting his release ready to throw the ball. This is great stuff right here and shows the anticipation that Perry brings that we may have previously lacked. Perry has to see this route now and have the arm strength to beat the S coming up the field off-the-screen here. Nice catch by Harley as well.

Something Boulware does really well is use leverage to turn defenders or crash down on defenders and give a lane for RB’s in zone blocking. He’s an ideal zone-blocking G and he’s an asset at either LG or RG. Donaldson leads here and the LB he’s trying to block absolutely levels him and throws him to his back and stood over him flexing. Not a great look for #55.


Next play and Boulware gets beat right off the snap. You can see #50 with his arm around the side of the DT who is swallowing Homer. You can see Donaldson wants his revenge on #5 for the last play. Instead, Donaldson completely whiffs on the block and #5 eludes him.

3rd down and Boulware shows off his athleticism. He initially crashes down on the DT at the LOS and helps Gauthier. Then he sees that Donaldson is going to get beat inside and he comes off that block and cleans an edge rushers clock inside. Perry gets flushed on the play, but he would’ve gotten smashed if Boulware doesn’t react quickly inside. For me, Perry can slide to his left and stay in the pocket and buy time for the receivers to work open but that’s going to take time with a young QB who can run. The pass falls incomplete. FG is good.

Comments (34)

FIU doubles Ford on 1st down and Willis gets into the backfield and forces a cutback. Garvin is there along with a host of others for a TFL. Announcers correctly pointed out we have our Striker inside of the hash and off while their slot is outside the hash. A bubble is open all day in that alignment for easy yards. I never did see them take it, which must be what the coaches saw as well and why they decided to go with that alignment until FIU forced them out of it. (Not pictured)

Next play is a mess. We stunt Joe Jackson inside and he runs into Pinckney who was going to replace him on the edge. Allows the puller to easily seal the edge. The slot is what I was referencing in the play before. That’s free yards if they throw that bubble screen until we change our alignment but they just haven’t taken it yet. This run goes for 10 yards because the edge is given up, but that bubble is there as well. Carter crashed down and made a nice tackle to stop a first down.

Miami is crowding the LOS, has the edge sealed, and LB’s filling gaps. If it’s me, I’m taking my chances with that bubble screen to the slot with a blocker in front and a S having a lot of grass to cover before I get two yards. The QB keeps it and loses yards as he’s tackled by three defenders (Willis, Garvin, McCloud).

Look at this beautiful anticipation on the seam route. Harley is just now clearing that zone LB and the ball is coming out. It is in stride, on-time, and perfect. He runs with this ball down to the 26-yard line.

Next play and they rip Perry’s helmet off. Donaldson got walked back a bit, but he did re-anchor. Perry saw a lane and was going for it before the penalty. (Not pictured)

Next play and it’s a designed QB run. Donaldson oversets on this play and #94 immediately dives inside of him. The design was for Mahoney to initially engage, then release, Donaldson to push #94 wide and then come downhill on the defender that Mahoney was engaged with. Donaldson gives up that inside lane and then switches to Mahoney’s guy, which leaves #94 free to nail Perry. Gotta be better.

This is perfect touch, a quick release, and then strong hands from Brevin to make the catch. TD.

Kickoff and Finley destroys a block, then makes the tackle as well. Nice play. Inside give for a couple yards sends us to halftime. (Not pictured)

To sum up the dominance of the defense in the 1st half, FIU had seven plays for positive yardage and six plays that lost yardage. This without one of the best defenders in Jaquan. Nice work, fellas.

1st down and it’s an inside give. Garvin stunts and beats his man. The RB tries to cut back behind him and Pinckney has filled that gap. Gain of one. 2nd down and Willis blows up the play for another TFL. 3rd down we sent the house. The QB is rushed but we have Pinckney 1-on-1 with a WR over the middle and the QB throws a bit early and hot. Had a huge play if he puts a bit of touch on it. (Not pictured)

Cam’Ron Davis is in at RB for the next series. Miami takes a timeout to avoid an illegal substitution penalty. This second half will have some learning experiences for young players. On the play, there is a lot going on. Boulware has a nice re-anchor on this play and there is absolutely a hands to the face penalty that should’ve been called here. Next, Ezzard runs a square-in with purpose. He didn’t round this route and take it a yard too far. He hit his marker and was coming straight across. Perry is throwing with anticipation and expecting Ezzard to be where he’s supposed to be and he is. This is completed for 8. Good job OL as well.

FIU has some ends who are quick off-the-ball. Both get a burst upfield, the T’s push them wide and Perry dumps it off to Davis on a swing pass. Davis slips a tackle in the open field and gets the first down. Nice play by the youngster. When I watched him on film, something that stood out is his ability to catch passes out of the backfield. (Not pictured)

Next play and St. Louis is beaten around the edge. Boulware is getting stood up like a blocking sled in the middle, but that is hands to the face again. Mahoney and Gauthier combo-block the 3-technique. Perry pulls it down and gains a yard.

2nd down is very similar to 1st down from a play call standpoint. Perry throws too much of a line drive to the flat and Davis can’t catch up to a poor pass. (Not pictured)

3rd down and I guess technically you can’t say that St. Louis didn’t get a hand on him, because he does right here. Perry has to throw early here. It’s incomplete and wouldn’t have been close to the 1st down either way. One thing I liked in this picture is the awareness of Boulware. He knows he has help inside and has seen that St. Louis is beaten here and that Perry may step up. He has his head on a swivel ready to react if Perry pulls it down.

21-yard punt out-of-bounds. Not good. Feagles was shaking his head and you feel bad for the kid. You can see that he’s like a golfer almost afraid to hit the next shot because he’s spraying it everywhere. Andre Ware tells the crows who is booing to get a life. Richt seemed to have a different take on that after the game. (Not pictured)

1st down incompletion. 2nd down and Garvin slants inside to the dive play that they’ve called about 20 times already. TFL. 3rd down and Joe Jackson is initially pushed outside, QB tries to step up, Jackson comes off his block and makes the sack. Shaq had a nice rush when he saw the QB step up, he tried to slide, ran right into Jackson who was tracing back down. Something that caught my eye on this play: Nesta was in at NT and they blocked him with a G, a C, then the RB trying to release got a chip on him. He was unphased, chased the ball, got into the pile as they were wrapping up the QB. When that guy gets a little stronger and experienced, he’s going to be real good. He also was the first one talking to Joe Jackson, helped him off-the-pile and had real excitement for his teammate. A lot going on that play, but you see some real positive things. (Not pictured)

Scaife in at LT, Jones in at LG, Boulware at RG, Donaldson at RT. We actually slant our OL and have Scaife cut block from the side (wish this was illegal). Donaldson does a good job of really trying to keep his feet moving in an outside zone play. Boulware doesn’t get to his block but does just enough to keep the LB engaged that Homer just outruns him around the corner for 15. Cager with a nice block on the edge. (Not pictured)

Scaife slides well on a zone-block and get his man controlled. He was smart on the play as well. Rather than grab and hold after the defender was getting leverage, he opened up and let the defender turn with him (#96). Mallory gets to his block. Huge hole for Homer, but look at Harley at the second level on the 42. He keeps this block and allows Homer to run right behind him for a 1st down. Good job by Jones to get that far downfield and reach that defender at the 43.

Pull Boulware and Gauthier. Boulware moves so well, he gets there and buries his man. Gauthier gets his block, Mallory does just enough to get in the way (you are going to need to get a base with wider feet here, young man). Hightower puts this man on his back on the outside (though the defender was flopping trying to get a call). Homer runs for another 1st down, but it all started with Boulware burying his man and opening the edge.

Next play, Lingard is in. Boulware tries to release to the second level and pushes Gauthier to help him move his man a bit. Boulware doesn’t really get to his man in time because the timing of the play was off at the beginning. Lingard gets three. (Not pictured)

Mallory is going to score on this play if Donaldson can hold this block. Mallory is already on top his guy. Hightower is running that square-in at the 9 that is going to hold that defender. Mallory will go to the corner and Perry will have a chance to loft it out there. Donaldson barely gets a hand on his guy and Perry has to step up. He steps up into the void and the scramble drill is on. Cager does the smart thing, breaks his route off and goes to the back of the end zone for a TD. This might be the best play I have seen a Miami QB make in several years. Once he steps up, instead of running the ball with his eyes down, he slides out to his right and gets his eyes immediately back downfield. You see where Cager was, but he identifies that he has broken off his route for the scramble drill and Perry throws with perfect touch over a defender and away from the S. That is big-time.

Welcome to college football Gurvan Hall! He absolutely laid the wood on this hit, but what I really got excited about was the range he showed on this play. He was decisive and fast. FIU finally took the bubble to the inside slot receiver and got some yards out of it. This hit would be a fumble if it weren’t right on the sideline. Hit stick…

Next play and Dean opens up way too early. He’s in press-bail coverage and while you bail at the snap, you do so to help protect against being beaten deep, but also to allow you to see both the QB and the WR. Poor eye discipline and technique by Dean here. You can see his helmet at the top of the screen. A simple stop route should not create this kind of separation in this coverage.

Nesta blows right by the C on this play. Willis has been a star this year, but his understudy is getting prepared to take on the starring role next season. They leave Joe Jackson unblocked and he smashes the QB.

Next play is an inside give to the RB and Ford is moved far too easily down the LOS. That young man has to learn to anchor to play snaps at this level. LB’s fill and it’s only a gain of 3, but this wasn’t a great rep for Ford. (Not pictured)

3rd down and we run the FS delayed blitz. Michael Jackson was beaten on a good throw. Luckily, the WR lost sight of the ball and it fell right in front of him. (Not pictured)

On 1st down it was probably PI as he shoves Wiggins to the ground, but it’s a bad throw by Perry. He threw it far too far inside and out-of-bounds. Wiggins has to be tougher in his route and leave more room down the sideline and not get forced wide like this. Perry has to leave this a little more inside so his WR has a chance. Be a good teaching tape for both WR and QB.

First down run and Scaife fails to hold his block on the edge at LT. Jones loses his battle at LG. No gain. (Not pictured)

Scaife is beaten badly on the edge. Has to make contact first and not let the defender get this edge. Perry sees it and hits this hole on the wide edge hard and gets the 1st down. He finishes the run as well and not just sliding. Love the toughness, but also wouldn’t mind him getting down and staying healthy. Great job by Gauthier to bury his man and by Jones to control his guy. Donaldson forces the edge wide and leaves a running lane. Perry has me excited for the things he can do for this offense.

Scaife and Jones win their blocks, but Gauthier can’t quite hold his and the run goes for 2. (Not pictured)

Pope is going to have trouble blocking on the edge and just gets run over. Pope actually gets driven back and tackles the receiver. Needs big Gus to have a full year with him.

Next play and Mahoney gets forklifted and walked right back into Perry’s lap. Scaife needs a stronger anchor as well. Perry spins out of this- which was impressive- but when he gets onto the edge he makes a poor decision trying to force a ball. Maybe he thought the interception would be better than Feagles punting. Poor decision and I’m quite certain he will learn from it.


1st down and Michael Jackson does what he does. He eats up an outside block on a bubble screen and makes a tackle for a 6-yard loss. NFL scouts will absolutely show this to their GM’s when they’re advocating for a CB. He’s come so far in this regard. 2nd down they run the swing pass to the other side and Romeo Finley fights through a block, takes a great angle, and makes the tackle after only 2. He’s been really impressive thus far. (Not pictured)

3rd & 13 and we run a double blitz with the Striker and CB off the same side. We play robber zone behind it expecting the blitz to get home in time. Dean takes a really poor angle right here. Often times I’ll write about needing to go where they’re going and not where they are and here is an example of that. Smith is blitzing to the outside and Dean is running the exact same line as Smith. Dean needs to be two yards further to his right and rushing to that area where you know the QB is going to step up into. If he does, this is a sack. Instead he has to round off and chase to that spot and the QB hits the square-in behind this LB for a big play. Like being aggressive, but we’ve had a lot of success in this game without needing to blitz. Bad play.

Several starters back in on the DL and there is nothing on the inside run on two consecutive plays. 3rd down and Blades covers the out route from the slot very well and it’s punt time. (Not pictured)

4th quarter. Run a screen to DeeJay Dallas and the OL gets out to the flat nicely and lead him down the sideline for 37 yards. Nice touch and patience on the throw. Young QB’s have a tendency to get excited on plays like this but Perry remained calm. Play gets reviewed and Dallas stepped out a long way before. (Not pictured)

1st down and Boulware moves his man out of the hole at RG, Donaldson gets to LB and gets just enough of him to let Cam Davis through for a gain of 6. I’ve been impressed with the burst of Cam’Ron. 2nd down and Donaldson again leads through a hole and Davis gets a nice gain for a 1st down. (Not pictured)

Oh Jahair Jones. He gets tossed to the side like a ragdoll here. If Jones holds this for half a second longer it’s a TD to Cam’Ron Davis. He has him, but Perry has to let it go just a beat before he wants to because Jones was smoked on the play. This DT obliterates Perry and the ball has great touch. You can tell that Perry really throws a “soft” ball that’s easy to catch. Cam’Ron looks just a touch too early on the route (which slows you down) and it’s about a foot too far. You can see Jones turned back to his QB at the 45 and his man about to smash Perry here. Jahair went right up to Perry afterwards and apologized. Perry patted him on the arm and was nodding his head like, “I’m ok, I’m ok.” Little things like that will earn the respect of his OL. He didn’t berate him or tear him down, just encouragement. If you watch enough film, you can pick up leadership traits.


OL leverage! Donaldson and Boulware both are working to get that leverage to the outside zone and turn their defenders out of this hole. Mallory leads him and Lingard shows the pop you see with him. Whew we have some young weapons on this offense.

2nd down and Perry throws the post into the end zone. It’s overthrown. Ware says that Perry has Harley wide open on a square-in, but it looked to me like the S was coming down to get that route and that there was so S help on the post and it was just overthrown. (Not pictured)

Here is something I want to see more of. We all know Lingard has a ton of pop with his speed, but I want to see a lot more contact balance from Lingard. Here he breaks a tackle in the backfield of a DT. Yes, it was Jahair Jones beaten on the play as you can see he is looking back at his man from the 19-yard line. Lingard runs this to the 7-yard line.

Next play we do a combo block where Gauthier and Jones take the NT. Jones is supposed to scrape off of the NT and get the LB. Instead he stays stuck on the NT and the LB is free to hit Lingard in the hole for no gain. (Not pictured)

Have to catch this Evidence. This is a perfect throw.

We run the reverse on the goal line and the announcers didn’t like that. Went for it on 4th down and Scaife is beaten around the edge. Sack on Perry. (Not pictured)

Nesta again blowing up a play inside. He causes this RB to bounce and it’s another TFL. Blades gets this one.

Couple of things here. Blades knows he’s in zone and this receiver is leaving his zone. He needs to come off this a second faster and he has this interception on the out route. Next, you want to see a lot better effort from Terry McCray here, who is really just going through the motions at the 6-yard line.

On 3rd down, Nesta gets thrown to the ground on a screen. This is a technique OL use where they let you have your burst upfield and then shove you in the back as you run by and it causes DL to get off-balance. If he can keep his feet here he probably bats the pass down. They run that inside slip screen that we had trouble with last week as well. Mike Smith comes over from his LB spot and misses a tackle. Blades overruns it and misses a tackle. Derrick Smith wants the kill shot and misses a tackle. Gurvan runs it down from the back end, but Patchan is hustling and runs all the way down the sideline to help get the tackle. He was on the opposite side as a DE.

Next play and the QB throws deep into double coverage. FIU had a WR wide open at the top of the screen where Ivey was just whooped. QB missed on there. (Not pictured)

This is Mike Smith’s gap right here. What is he doing way over where he is? They stunted McCray inside here and Blades is setting the edge. Knowles has contain of everything outside. Mike Smith needs to fill this cutback lane and just doesn’t. RB runs for a big gain on this play. Joyner tracks it down for the tackle.

Obviously Gurvan is still learning where to be all the time. He needs to be about two yards to his left here. No defense has a zone defense with one defender a yard behind the dropping LB. Easy flat completion but Hall shows his range to get out and make this tackle after a gain of 5.

I don’t know who makes the mistake here. Whether it is Ivey, who does a CB blitz, or Knowles, who does the dreaded SS blitz, but no one covers the outside WR and it’s the easiest TD in history.

I could spend the next seven minutes of game-time breaking down all the mistakes from the backups, but that’s really not what’s important from this game. What’s important is the absolute dominance that the 1st and 2nd teams had in this game. The young guys got game experience and got to learn from the things they did wrong with actual game tape moving forward. A great thing for everyone. N’Kosi Perry has me legitimately excited for the rest of the season and to see what he can do with a game prep week and a team game planning for him.
I fear what clemson is going to do to our O line if they dont get it together. That was tough to read and see.

Edit: obviously if we play them.
Great work as usual, thanks. As usual our OL play is disconcerting. Question, why are our blitzes so ineffective? Drove me insane on Saturday to watch us go to a 3 man line and blitz with such little effectiveness
Great as always. Seems like Donaldson is constantly getting beat at RT. Do you think Scaife has shown you enough to slide him out and kick Navaughn back in at guard?
Lance - question for you - I know you don't analyze the plays for other teams, but do you think many other good/great teams are having the same types of OL breakdowns that we are? It seems like on almost every play, at least one of our OL is getting beat, showing bad technique, etc. Even with that, we're still able to make positive plays on some of the plays with OL breakdowns. Do you think our OL mistakes/breakdowns/bad technique is pretty common across college football, where we'd find the same things when breaking down even teams like Alabama, Georgia, etc. (with maybe those mistakes being less frequent), or do you think that our issues are pretty unique for a good team?
Good **** OP, thank you.
I fear what clemson is going to do to our O line if they dont get it together. That was tough to read and see.

Edit: obviously if we play them.
5 Negates some of that a bit. If you look at the ACCCG Richt had Rosier rolling out and changing the launch point. The plays were there. He just didn't make them.

If we do face em, it might end up being a shootout.
This is a great write up, Lance!

By the way I love your avatar, you are a very handsome man.
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So our best performing linemen in this game (Boulware) has been coached the least by Searles? Ouch
Lance - question for you - I know you don't analyze the plays for other teams, but do you think many other good/great teams are having the same types of OL breakdowns that we are? It seems like on almost every play, at least one of our OL is getting beat, showing bad technique, etc. Even with that, we're still able to make positive plays on some of the plays with OL breakdowns. Do you think our OL mistakes/breakdowns/bad technique is pretty common across college football, where we'd find the same things when breaking down even teams like Alabama, Georgia, etc. (with maybe those mistakes being less frequent), or do you think that our issues are pretty unique for a good team?

You know what, this is a good thought. I might just do a mini-breakdown for Alabama and see what they're looking like.
This is a great write up, Lance!

By the way I love your avatar, you are a very handsome man.

You know what...I'm gonna take it. Thank you, I'm actually holding my son at the zoo just before getting on the train in this picture. :ROFLMAO:
You know what, this is a good thought. I might just do a mini-breakdown for Alabama and see what they're looking like.

I suspect for any college football team, there's something wrong on just about every play.

I find the frequency of the same mistakes along our OL to be alarming.

Would be an interesting comparison.
@Lance Roffers Great stuff bro. Who would you start on the oline and at what positions after breaking down the tape?

The OL doesn't have any easy answers at the moment. Each of them have their own strengths and weaknesses present. Keep in mind, this is just my opinion and I could be completely off-base, but here's how I would evaluate them.

LT- St. Louis. He struggles with extreme speed on the edge and sometimes over sets. I'd put him as an average LT at the ACC level. If you think about it, that's pretty good.
LG- Boulware. Boulware is the most athletic OL in the rotation. He struggles with size and probably needs another year to get his weight and strength up. He will do the best on outside zone plays of anyone and is a perfect zone-blocking G.
C- Gauthier. He struggles with strength first and foremost. He is never going to be a pancake type guy. He will be a guy who provides help, makes the line calls, and is steady. Haven't seen enough from Gaynor to move him ahead.
RG- Donaldson. I believe Donaldson has shown enough tape at this point to prove he is not a RT. Imagine Donaldson crashing on those drive blocks that we have our RG do so often. I believe he would get more movement, but Mahoney has improved this season and probably had the best or second-best grade in this game. Donaldson probably graded the worst in this game and was clearly benched after a couple of particularly noticeable gaffes.
RT- Scaife. Scaife is going to struggle with strength right now. He's a mobile RT and can handle speed better than Donaldson. I think he also understands the nuances of the position more than Donaldson. If you play Scaife more, you're going to have to accept the fact that he will get walked back to the QB at times and may not blow people off the line in short yardage.

I wouldn't play Jahair Jones much. I'd try and see what I have in Gaynor at the G spots. He's another limited athlete who will struggle with strength, but I think he will be more active, will look for work on plays he is not a primary blocker in zone, and I think he will provide some toughness that might not be readily evident on film right now. The OL is a position that has a long way to go to get to the championship level in my opinion.
So our best performing linemen in this game (Boulware) has been coached the least by Searles? Ouch
In their defence, I don't think Donaldson is an OT and St Louis is a marginal RT.

Jones shouldn't really see the field. Gauthier is the one that worries me - he keeps getting beat in these games. We're not even in ACC play yet.