Upon Further Review- Florida State

Upon Further Review- Florida State

Lance Roffers
Lance Roffers
Welcome back to Upon Further Review, where each week I will review the film from the previous Miami game and show you key moments and evaluate plays. This week, we review the biggest of the games each year, Florida State week. Growing up, each year this game was THE game in college football. Bobby Bowden chicken-heading his way all over the sidelines against whichever Miami coach was poised to make a jump to the professional ranks at the time, this game meant EVERYTHING. Nowadays, the rivalry has shrunk to the point that a couple of mid-majors were shown in primetime over this game, but it still means a great deal to the fan bases of both programs, and to the recruiting of both programs.

On the kickoff Harley makes a mistake. Florida State kicks a satellite ball (high and to outer space) that gives the kick coverage team time to get downfield. Kick returners should always fair catch the ball unless there is a clear lane for a big return. (Not pictured)

Jarren has his pick of the stop routes on this one. Back foot hits the ground and the ball is coming out just as Osborn comes out of his break. Perfect job by Jarren and the OL. Pope is open to the bottom of the screen as well.

This play derails the drive. Your slot blocker can’t be getting bullied on a swing pass like this. Forces the receiver to bubble and he loses a bunch of yards. Harley was against a LB on this one and that didn’t work with as aggressive as FSU played it.

We’ve been running this formation more often on 3rd down over the past four games. 2 x 2 bunch out of the gun with an offset RB. Pass is off because Jarren reads it wrong (in my opinion) as the leverage of the defender dictates whether Brevin goes out or stays inside on his stick route. Punt time.

Finley absolutely blows up this WR screen but the LB is far too passive here (Shaq). By the time he decides to engage he allows Terry to split them and get the 1st down. Have to get more aggressive on this play; especially when Finley takes two defenders with him and pushes them both backwards.

Canes stiffen and then a ball right Gurvan Hall gets knocked away by Shaq trying to drop into his zone. FSU punt. (Not pictured)

Something that has fueled Miami’s offensive gains has been the screen game. This one is setup perfectly and the whole side of the field is open for Dallas. I want to call out the effort of Jakai Clark and Gaynor on this one. Clark can scoot for a big man. He makes his last contact at the Florida State 31-yard line, meaning he traveled 49 yards downfield making blocks and clearing the way. Harley makes the perfect seal block at the 30-yard line.

Roman taught me about gun-3 or gun-5 and I’m starting to see an adjustment to more gun-3 passes to protect the T’s a little more. Here, 51 has a nice 45-set, Zion has flat back, bent knees, Donaldson is looking for work, Gaynor and Clark has a nice pocket and Dallas is protecting the middle. Jarren has time to deliver a perfect ball to Thomas on the post, who has already beaten his man inside and the S jumps the post by Brevin. Touchdown.

On 1st & 25, Miami plays passive zone and the rush doesn’t get home. Hornibrook has time to pat the ball and wait for the TE to clear all the way across the field and get a nice gain on the sideline. (Not pictured)

Miami really committed LB’s to stop the run game, as you can see they are attacking downhill as soon as they see the run action. This shows Miami didn’t respect the FSU receivers against man coverage. QB gives and it’s a TFL.

3rd & forever and we line Rousseau up inside. He beats #70 so quickly he almost toppled over and then goes through the RB for a sack.

Couple nuanced touches here on this play. Start with Brevin on the out route. He runs the route hard at the defender until he gets the defender to sink his hips and backpedal. Once he does he sticks his left foot hard into the ground and goes to the out. Harley positions himself to prevent that defender from sinking into that zone and prevent any chance of a pick. Dallas has an awesome blitz pickup. Zion uses his length to keep the defender out (though he is getting overpowered). Clark is looking for work and drills this defender as he tries to engage Scaife. Donaldson and Gaynor maul their guys. Great execution of a play.

Next play and Gaynor gets pushed into the backfield, causes Harris to have to bubble, TFL. (Not pictured)

3rd down and we run mirrored square-in’s and Nasirildeen makes an excellent play with his outstanding length. Pocket holds, Jarren waits and deliver a ball that would’ve picked up a 3rd & 14 but the rangy defender leaps and gets a finger on it. Not sure more than five other defensive players in the country tip that pass. (Not pictured)

3rd & 3 and Gurvan is a tick late to drive on the slant from his S spot (to be fair he didn’t want to get beat deep). Look at the top of the screen where the FSU LT is left in a hilarious state trying to block Garvin. This was the biggest play, “Mr. Nothing” for FSU made on the day and it was a 5-yard reception.

Call a double-A gap blitz with a CB blitz as well. Hornibrook sees it and has a wide-open receiver on the sideline. Knowles makes a legitimately good play in getting there quickly and making a sure tackle at the 44. Can’t say enough good things about the character of Knowles. His number became a verb around Miami fans earlier in his career and he has earned my respect.

I’ll say this for Ivey; at least he tried.

Tried to block Trevon Hill with a TE. Hill whoops McKitty and gets held (not called) and still eats up the RB.

Nesta beats his man immediately and forces a bubble. Patchan sets an edge on the FSU side of the LOS and forces further bubble. Shaq sees this immediately and is aggressive (LB in void behind 70) and makes a big TFL. He also tells Akers about it. Shaq has a little edge to him. Also, on the other side I’m pretty sure Garvin killed a man. Just funny to see him holding McKitty down on the ground with one arm.

I like this blitz much better than the delayed SS blitz they have liked to do in recent years. Here, they have Amari Carter standing in the middle of the DL showing blitz. At the snap he loops around LT and comes clean for a sack.

This play is an option for the QB. He can throw the slip screen to Brevin or the screen to Harley at the bottom. I continue to be happy that Miami is starting to tap into advantages that the college rules give you in that you can block downfield if the ball is caught at the LOS or behind. It’s easy money against a lot of looks the defense gives you. Jordan gets a 1st down here.

On 3rd & 10 FSU stunts on the DL and once again Miami struggles with it as Campbell and Zion take the outside guy. The stunter comes clean and Jarren uses the block from Dallas to step up to his left.

The FSU defender drops the interception as Jarren throws late over the middle. For me, it is coaching malpractice to not being stunting against this defense at least 30% of the time because they have real trouble picking them up.

This is the fumble play for Jarren. Cam Harris makes a big mistake in pass protection and takes the far outside rusher instead of the LB blitzing in the A-gap. As a RB pass protector you have to work inside-out because the inside is the closest route. Harris actually hits Zion as he’s taking the outside guy and just knocks the defender inside for a free hit on Jarren. Donaldson did an outstanding (truly outstanding) job of handling his rusher and then coming off of him and taking the LB blitzing up the middle. The play doesn’t have an outlet and Jarren holds the ball too long.

Knowles makes this tackle or it’s a possible score. The last defender out there and FSU has a blocker with inside position. It was a great play design by FSU to get McKitty wide open.

Don’t block Trevon Hill on a dive and he completely disregards the QB scramble and attacks the RB for a 4th down stop. Patchan sets a great edge to the top of the screen (his run defense is why he plays). If they throw the bubble to the bottom of the screen he walks to a 1st down.

Donaldson played great in this game. Looked for work, showed effort, toughness. Here he crushes ribs and Jarren has time to find Harley down the sideline. It was a dime throw that Roman broke down in his series From the Perch.

Zion likes pancakes at the goal line. He’s right there at the 5 and he pancakes Marvin Wilson, the supposed All-American DT for FSU (#21). DeeJay walks into the end zone.

We run our stunt with the DT’s and Ford knifes through while Rousseau cleans it up. It’s a good thing too, because the TE was standing all alone over in the flat. Sometimes blitzes like this one look great, other times the QB sees the free man and it’s a big play. Give me the aggression.

This, my friends, is an NFL throw. On time, great anticipation, over 26, enough velocity to get there before the safety. OL picked up a blitz and Jarren did the rest.

Just your TE beating a supposed NFL CB in Levonta Taylor on 4th & 10. Throw is on-time and up where only his man can get it.

All of the DT’s played well in this game. Jordan Miller is the second DT in this shot and he gets inside of the OL and brings Akers down by his jersey for a TFL. He’s really developed this year. Nnrokua also shoots his gap and forces the RB to cutback into Miller.

DJ Ivey played a comeback route wonderfully on a 3rd & 10. He then gets his hand on the ball and Bubba Bolden picks it off the carom. Unfortunately, Bolden got hurt in the celebration when Gurvan Hall did a chest bump and will miss the rest of the season. (Not pictured)

This is an example of freelancing out of your gap as a LB. Pinckney has the C gap on this play and Shaq has the A & B gaps. Pinckney tries to shoot this one and get a TFL but Akers sees it and bounces outside for a big gain. The unfortunate part is that Patchan sets a hard edge and if Pink stays outside this is a TFL. Shaq showed excellent effort to chase this down about 20 yards downfield.

A bad angle from Gurvan Hall allows this play to go for a TD. No way Miami should be giving up a TD on this play with five defenders against three blockers (with Knowles also as a deep safety not in screen), a sideline, and a backside LB in pursuit.

FSU tried to cut the DL, have the slot block the LB trying to cover the motion man, and run a deep route down the sideline to clear it out. It was going to work if Miami didn’t have freaky athletes on the DL who all avoided the cuts. Trevon Hill, Rousseau, Garvin all met at the QB and he couldn’t get the throw off. This is where the funny picture of Lucas face-down in the turf came from.

Knowles made a huge play on 3rd down to knock a pass away from FSU and force a punt from deep in their territory. Shaq loved him up big time after this play. (Not pictured)

On this 3rd down Jarren pulls the ball too quickly. He had a pocket and he kind of panicked and took off and runs right into #11. If he waits a beat longer he has Mallory coming wide open for the 1st down after the clear out route took the flat defender with him. Missed FG on 4th & 1.

Ford & Bethel meet at the QB for a sack. (Not pictured)

Miami gets the ball back after a nice return by Osborn (who had a nice game in the punt game). Zion does an excellent job with a vertical set at LT. Look at DeeJay Dallas take on this blitzer with everything he has. That’s a leader giving it all in this game. Donaldson smokes an FSU player so hard he knocks him down, who knocks Clark down. Jarren has a perfect pocket to do this.


Nesta and Ford eat up the QB and Silvera lets the entire crowd know about it. Then on 3rd & forever, Rousseau gets a shoestring sack because of his obscene length. (Not pictured)

On a 3rd & 12 inside run play Zion gets to the second level and you see these three FSU defenders? Zion is blocking all three of them at once as he turns into them and uses his length to get them all. Osborn gets the S who took a poor angle and it’s a 1st down.

Throws this up for grabs in the end zone. Bad play, Jarren. Just throw this ball away.

Canes kick a FG and that was essentially the end of the game.

  • Miami took advantage of pick plays, blocking on passes behind the LOS to essentially be an extension of the run
  • The OL has started to communicate better and definitely is protecting at a higher rate than earlier in the season. Still do not understand any defense that doesn’t stunt the heck out of Miami and FSU didn’t do that much at all
  • Jarren played an overall B game in this one. His second quarter was poor, and if he didn’t get some help from his receivers he could’ve had three interceptions in this game
  • The flip side is he was also unflappable in a big road game against a rival. He delivered some dimes on deep passes, hit passes in the intermediate area, and got rid of the ball quicker than he had been doing this season. Progress not perfection at the QB spot.
  • Defense continues to evolve into the defense we expected to see this year and there are real signs that they can do this against most anybody
  • Miami made mistakes in this one, but there was also real growth on film that should be exciting for Canes fans hoping for a hot streak to end the season

Comments (27)

Great review. Jarren definitely got away with the few throws and I'm glad you pointed that out, but he absolutely made some big time NFL throws too. Can't say enough good things about how the trenches played on both sides. Only true negative to me is our continued woes on 3rd down. My confidence in this defense has been restored & if jarren/the o line keep improving the offense will catch up to the D sooner than later.
I like the one clip of Pickney giving up the big run by Akers downfield. His coach didn't tell him to do that. He should have been in the C gap. Shaq had the B and Romeo had backside/A gap. Manny called a good game. Prime example of a player freelancing and hurting his team. Like not rotating in basketball. Like not tucking your chin in your boxing. Simple things you forget to do and bam!
Great analysis. Lance, I still struggle to understand how the same OL can look so bad against a mediocre GT defense, and look so good against a relatively talented FSU defense?

Also, everyone seems to praise Knowles for this game. Am I wrong to think he was a step behind the receiver, and a better throw by the FSU QB would have resulted in him getting smoked? I know he showed great technique on the PBUs, I'm just questioning his speed. Seems slow to me.

Dallas is our MVP on the offense, Shaq and Bandy share that title on our defense. They played like animals against the Noles... Why does Pinckey still freelance as a senior? I just don't get it.
Great write up. He was an easy target earlier in the season but I’ve really liked what I’ve seen out of Zion in recent weeks. Kid’s going to be a stud.
Young players improving.
Growth as an offensive line unit, especially Zion.
Young, accurate QB who doesn't get rattled.

All great things to hear as the season goes on.

Thanks for the write up.
My recap. We hit deep balls. Was that Gino to Lamar, Walsh to Irvin, or Dorsey to Johnson? I was waiting for the old Keith Jackson comments about Miami being a threat to score on any play. A ball rolling downhill. It was fun. Thus, I wouldn’t give Jarren a B.
Two of JW's deep connects were directly set up by DJ picking up the blitzer effectively, bc LT - presumably Zion has his contain finally.
Play action Penos strikes! LOL. So glad to see DJ doing DJ things and Zioin starting to emerge a bit. Good on JW for stepping into the deep balls.
Few things..

*Unless Knowles singlehandedly loses us a game the rest of the season, time to leave him the F alone. Buddy has been steady and had a **** good game against FSU and we will need him big time now that Bolden is out. I trust him more then I trust Carter and who would have said that 6 months ago?

*JW can settle into the pocket now because this OL might have finally come into its own before our eyes. No more thinking as soon as he drops back that 2-3 guys are going to be in his face immediately. He can remain calm in the pocket and you see what can happen when he does that. He can be **** good. Talk about a coach who might have saved his job in the last few weeks when everyone wanted his head on a stake. (Butch Barry)

*Unless McCloud is better then we all thought, I think we are going to miss Shaq big time next year in the middle of that defense. Nothing comes through that middle without him taking its head off. Akers and the FSU fans were reminded quickly that he aint Dalvin Cook. He was rendered average by the middle of that D (Ford, Miller, Bethel, Nesta) with Shaq cleaning things up.

*Time to leave Banda and Rumph alone officially. Are they great recruiters? No. But those two step up when faced with adversity and never make excuses when **** happens. (Bolden getting hurt and Knowles being thrown out there) The entire secondary has played well and will only get better. For those CBs to be on an island against those WRs practically the entire game and not have given up one big play? That's coaching folks.
We may very well be seeing why the coaches have stuck with Zion. He seems to be coming into his own. This by far was the OL's best game. A few mistakes for sure but overall, they are getting better. Totally neutralized their best DL in Wilson.
It also seems like Enos has adjusted by keeping an RB in to help in pass pro.
Lance, I have another question -- it feels like FSU guys were open in several of your screenshots, but the QB just couldn't get it to them in time given our pass rush. What conclusions can you draw when thinking about Louisville's mobile QB?
Is there a full game replay..I'm in Cuba and can't get on watch ESPN ..the condensed version is good..but I want to see the WHOLE thing..can anyone help me!!!
Is there a full game replay..I'm in Cuba and can't get on watch ESPN ..the condensed version is good..but I want to see the WHOLE thing..can anyone help me!!!

@damazioo Get a norton vpn, change ip address tk US and you can watch. Check with norton first about any issues in cuba