Upon Further Review- Miami vs. Pitt (2nd Half)

Upon Further Review- Miami vs. Pitt (2nd Half)

Lance Roffers
Miami runs out the clock. 10-0 at halftime.

Kickoff and Blades Jr. makes the tackle and then holds his ankle. (Not pictured)

Pitt runs a dive. Miami is slanting their DL that direction and LB’s clean it up. (Not pictured)

Holding on Pitt. Something that was missed by the announcers is that Jaquan ripped the football out. The QB recovered his own fumble, but they never even mentioned it. (Not pictured)

Next play and Miami has confusion by their LB’s. Shaq is trying to take the flat when Derrick Smith already has it. Shaq is supposed to drop into the zone where #81 is coming open behind him. This goes for a 1st down.

Miami is simply too quick for Pitt. Not only is Willis beating his block immediately, Shaq has knifed through as well. It’s a savvy move that Shaq is doing here. How often do you see a defender hesitate when there is traffic, but Shaq is just using the OL to keep his balance and get through instead. Love watching him play.

Someone sent me a link to a film review from the Pitt side and I’m a film junkie so I read it. The Pitt guy said the QB needed to identify his blitz beater quicker here, M Jax came off the edge and sacked him. I do not agree that this man was ever open. Pinckney had the RB the whole way and if he throws it earlier it’s a 4-yard loss. If he throws it on-target it’s a pick-6. I’ve written this often, but it is difficult for most QB’s to identify a well-run CB blitz- not just Miami.

3rd & 24 run pops for quite a bit, but it’s punt time. (Not pictured)

On the punt, Dallas learned from the previous punt that rolled for 20 yards. He sprints up and dives for a ball right on the sideline. He doesn’t catch it, but knocks it out-of-bounds. That’s what we want to see more often is just being aggressive in catching punts to reduce the roll that teams plan for these days. (Not pictured)

Miami’s 1st down run would’ve popped if Boulware could’ve gotten to his block. St. Louis cuts #93 at the snap. Boulware is slanting away to get to the second level and 93 pushes into Boulware’s back. He still gets through the gap, but it knocks him off-stride. Donaldson gets the man in front of him, Gray gets the S over there, Boulware is to get #44. If he gets there it would’ve been a huge lane but to no avail. Goes for 2.

Didn’t notice it live, but this ball is nice. Maybe one yard further would’ve been perfect, but this is a ball that needs to be caught. I’d like to see the WR make an adjustment and leap to catch the ball with his hands rather than trying to cradle it, but no matter how he does it, this is a ball that has to be caught. I know we have stunk lately, but I can’t wait to get back to the crews of Brock Huard, Orlovsky, and other analysts who are more adept at replays and seeing things happening during the game. This crew has missed so much and never gone to any replays or wide angles or All-22 looks on the production. Sucks to be 6-5.

3rd & 7 and we run a stop-route with Langham, Cager runs a corner route to the same area. The throw is off, but this is a really difficult throw for a QB. I am still not a fan of playing Langham and Cager on the same side together. Just not enough explosion/separation there.

Blades Jr. is another gunner who does a really great job on punt coverage. He saved a big return all by myself and he was fired up about it. (Not pictured)

We stunt Tito and Garvin and they rolled to that side. We are lucky the FB has hands like feet because he tried to go to the ground and catch a pass that was right to him and he had running room. Dropped. (Not pictured)

This is one of those plays you are going to live with from Pinckney. He’s trying to make a play as the QB scrambles. I’m not sure why he’s so concerned with the RB as that man is Mike Jax’s after carrying #11 into his zone. Luckily, Pitt’s QB isn’t very good because he runs with this instead of just hitting #11 coming open on that crossing route behind Pinckney. The QB does make Pinckney miss because he overran it going for the RB so badly.

We complain quite a bit about our conservative play-calling in short yardage situations, but this was a FB dive out of I-formation the play after his QB missed his WR open for an easy 1st down. Tito blows this play up though. He takes this C well into the backfield and the FB has nowhere to go. He actually loses yards. Tito has turned into a force and I’m starting to believe he might get a shot in the league. Coming to Miami was the best decision he ever made.

I really like the thought, but Cager just doesn’t seem capable of making this block. He’s too slow off the snap to get there (he’s supposed to wham the S before he can fill this gap). S closes the gap and tackles the RB. Cager just shakes his head as he walks away from the pile. Give Jahair credit here; he dominated this block.

Scaife oversets outside, Donaldson is late to get there from the inside, DL does a good job of jab-stepping and getting inside of LT. Perry has to scramble and they have a man standing there spying him. Frustrating because this is max protect and they still get home. #3 & #36 for Pitt pick up Perry and slam him on his back. #36 screams all at the OL after doing it. Need to get tougher up-front.

The exact same play on 3rd & long that we ran last drive. The exact same play. Outside runs a stop route, slot receiver runs a corner. It’s open though. Perry has to hit this one, but again he isn’t close. After seeing him throw this route two 3rd downs in a row, I can say pretty clearly that Perry doesn’t throw this route well. Harley is definitely open.

Pope is definitely frustrated. He gave the TD signal on the corner route earlier in the game (missed throw). He missed the throw to Cager last drive. Now Pope throws his hands up after Perry misses the throw again. Not sure if he’s frustrated with Perry or just the inability to hit this pass? Richt and Perry had a long conversation and Richt was clearly frustrated at Perry, who was motioning with his hand that he was trying to lead the receiver and Richt shook his head no.

Pitt runs a stretch play and gets 8. Willis hustles down and makes the stop. (Not pictured)

2nd down a draw gets the 1st down and then Jaquan sticks him. Shaq gets an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. That’s unusual, I’m guessing the OL did something he didn’t like. (Not pictured)

Bandy beats this block and comes down and stops Ollison before he can get outside. Bandy stops him at the LOS. He’s good.

Miami smacks the QB but Redwine gets a PI (justified).

Next play, Tito blows up the OL and gets a TFL. He’s balling. DT’s just make the ultimate difference on a DL. Tito and Willis X-stunt and Willis splits two defenders to take the cutback and the RB has nowhere to go.

Bandy gets physical at the LOS then runs the route for the WR. M Jax loses on inside routes almost every time but Bandy just fights harder to keep the receiver from getting where he wants to go. If the QB doesn’t turf this ball it’s intercepted by Bandy at the 17-yard line.

Of course, the very next play Bandy loses inside in off-coverage and the Pitt receiver with his free release runs the skinny post and has the 1st down but he just drops it. Jaquan and Bandy had an engaged conversation afterwards so I’m guessing one of them played the wrong coverage. That makes sense, because this would’ve been too easy.

We are late in the 3rd and the difference in the game is the punt return for a TD.

Screen to Homer and you see Mahoney do this a lot, but he just overruns the block on the edge. My theory is that his limited mobility causes him to have to go full bore to get out there and if the defender changes directions he struggles. To his credit he does enough to allow Homer to get the 1st down. A good block that clears the lane though might’ve resulted in something big.

Long TD run from Homer. Watch the bubble action and how it draws that LB up immediately. Without that, this is probably just a nice run.

Next, look at how Gauthier gets to the WLB and Scaife seals the Mike. The unblocked edge defender stayed outside because Perry carries out the fake off the read-option. Donaldson down blocks on the DT and you’ve got a clear lane for Homer to hit at full-speed.

S flies up and takes a poor angle. Homer cuts right here and has to avoid the referee. The other S tries to come across and Homer breaks that tackle.

But Homer doesn’t score without the block from Hightower, who didn’t just engage and try to get in the way. He hit him, then fought to knock his hands away, then engaged again, then a subtle grab of his arm to knock him off stride just enough.

Pitt runs power and Pitt gets a nice run. (Not pictured)

3rd & 4. I showed you some of the negative you’re going to get from Pinckney earlier, but here are the plays you get. Here he has already identified screen and is screaming up towards the RB. He identified it by the way the QB is drifting back and giving ground and is already all over the RB. TFL.

Pitt shanks the punt.

G’s are back to Mahoney and Donaldson. I’m guessing the play where Boulware got whipped at the snap got him benched.

1st down and Miami runs a dive to Cam’Ron for a couple. Then they run the dive again and Davis fumbled it. (Not pictured)

Pitt runs a dive and Pinckney does an excellent job of avoiding the C and makes a strong tackle. (Not pictured)

Miami runs a CB blitz for Mike Jax and the QB never sees it. QB is waiting for the second receiver at the top to clear Finley on the post, but he doesn’t get the chance before Mike Jax gets there. If Pitt had taken the first receiver he is open for a few yards, but I’d rather my QB take the deeper shot as well. Just didn’t see the blitz.

Garvin beats RT inside and he pushed the pocket. I liked that we replaced with Finley on the edge so that the QB couldn’t step through the lane created when the DE goes inside. QB tries to step up and Joe Jax comes off his man and sacks the QB. It goes in the scorebook for Jax, but it was really Garvin who made the play. (Not pictured)

1st down and we run a designed QB run. Perry steps up and runs for 41 yards. He’s quite a bit faster than you think.

We run a bubble screen to Langham for some reason and it’s a bad throw. Langham has to spin away from the LOS and then #24 is on him quickly. Njoku with a nice block though. I’m hoping we get to see more of Evidence after today.

Gauthier, you can’t see what you’re blocking my man. Looking down at the ground is going to cause you to miss your mark a lot more than it will help you. This guy comes off Gauthier’s block and makes the tackle.

3rd down and we run the mirrored concepts again. Vertical on outside, out route from inside. Perry is staring down Harley the whole time but Evidence comes open at the top of the screen. It’s truly one read passing concepts. If he comes off this and checks the other side of the field it’s a 1st down. Still not a fan of mirrored concepts on 3rd down though. Perry tries to run and gets a yard and they never did cover Evidence. Why can’t Perry just step up and throw it to Evidence here? Scaife pushed his man wide and the rest of the OL provided a pocket.


Run Wildcat and get a bit lucky as Pitt LB takes the wrong gap. Donaldson does another nice down block and kicks out his side. The rest of the OL and Gray do their jobs, but look at the Pitt defender with his hands on his own defenders back (#24). If he slides over and takes that gap he is standing right there to tackle Dallas. Too far inside and Dallas gets a big run.

Pull Donaldson, Gray leads, Jahair gets his man. Dallas follows them around and scores a TD. This is a nice play, it’s simple power with a numbers advantage outside.

Bandy flings this blocker to the side and then tackles the receiver at the 21-yard line. Unabashed love for the kid. Doesn’t make a single All-ACC team though.

This is why I can't say nice things; Bandy has this play tackled for a loss but he misses the tackle and then receiver gets down the sideline for a huge gain.

Dean holds up a block well on the same play again, only to the other side. (Not pictured)

Gotta make this tackle, Shaq. Squared up on him in the hole and Hall just shakes him. Shaq barely touched him.

Willis is strong and he just completely took this RB down with an arm tackle while being blocked. Stopped a 1st down with this tackle.

It was an important play because the next play is a toss to #2. Force him to bubble by Finley setting an edge and then Bandy- who is all the way back at the 23-yard line- sees this play now and beats #35 who is out there to block him and actually makes a TFL. Great defense and really showed the team speed.

We have Jahair and Gaynor in at the G spots. I hope we see a lot more of Gaynor in the bowl game because we are going to need him to start at either C or one of the G spots next season.

Why do I like Gaynor so much? Because I feel this OL needs a tough guy. A guy who will deliver the blow rather than receiving it. This run for Homer goes for a whole bunch because Gaynor gets out and completely seals #36 on this play. Gauthier did a nice job on his down block and Scaife turned a guy nicely, but the key block is Gaynor’s. Then Gaynor sprinted all the way downfield to try and get another dude. He’s the only OL within 20 yards of the play. Tough, strong, effort guy.

We run the same play next play and everybody does their jobs again. Gaynor buries a guy blitzing and Homer hits the hole hard. If that S at the top of the screen doesn’t tackle him this is a TD.

We ran the same dive play four plays in a row. This time it goes for only a yard. (Not pictured)

Play number five in-a-row that is the same dive. No gain. Jahair is the guy bent over at the waist next to St. Louis. The edge player splits them and tackles Dallas. This should’ve been an easy 1st down run if they get that block.

The reason not getting the 1st down when they should’ve on the play before is now you have a 4th & 1 and we try to throw a deep shot into the end zone for Langham. Perry throws it out-of-bounds again. That has to get fixed; give your receivers a chance. (Not pictured)


This was an excruciating game to review. Mistakes everywhere. There were mistakes from the receivers in their route running. There were mistakes from the QB who simply could not execute a corner route in this game and cost his team tons of points. There were mistakes from the coaches who just kept calling mirrored concepts on every 3rd & long. RB’s fumbled the ball. OL missed blocks.

Mike Jax definitely said it best when he said, “this isn’t a 7-5 defense.” No, this is an 11-1 defense and a 2-10 offense. This is about what your record reflected. Miami should’ve scored more than 50 in this game. Somehow, in a season of disappointments, what I think I’m most disappointed about is the fact that Miami allowed Pitt to actually win the Coastal. They are a dreadful football team.

Going into next year there are tons of rumors about Jarren Williams transferring out and I sincerely hope he does not. N’Kosi Perry is an upgrade over Rosier- for sure- but his complete inability to read the field and give his receivers a chance on passes down the field have shown me he is not the answer at QB either. Miami is running a cut-the-field-in-half, one-read offense currently and I believe it is because they do not believe Perry can handle anything more. On the play where we mirrored both sides of the field and Evidence was wide open is an example of how it feels like Perry lacks something as a playmaker. Great QB's are looking to throw that ball to an open receiver, average QB's are shelling up and looking to get out of there. For me, that playmaker gene is a hard one to develop. It will be imperative that the coaching staff develops him to another level this offseason and that they keep a QB who can provide meaningful competition to him.

This receiving group needs a true go-to player. Cager is a nice back-up WR, but should not be someone you run your offense through. Miami needs a true run-after-catch threat because they currently do not have anything like that on their roster. Give this group an alpha receiver and everything will fall into place for them.

The season was full of regrets. There was no reason they should have lost more than one game this season, honestly. Not because they were a great team, but because they didn’t play any great teams and they had the defensive talent to beat everyone on their schedule. I do commend the staff for moving away from putting backup defensive players into the games on meaningful snaps in the second half of the season, but the offense never did hold up their end of the bargain.

I will leave you with my opinion once again: Miami needs Coach Richt to agree to bring in a true offensive architect to oversee the offense. If he refuses to do so, Coach Richt should be removed as the coach of the Hurricanes. Coach Searles should be removed from his position and a coach who is ready for this level needs to be brought in. Miami needs to bring in a special team’s coach who has real experience overseeing a successful special teams group. To do this would require the removal of two coaches from the staff. Add to it my belief that Coach Searles needs to go, that would mean three new staff additions next year are needed. It will be interesting to see where they go from here but those are my thoughts.

Thank you for being with me this year at Upon Further Review, it has been an honor to have been chosen for this post.

Comments (27)

gonna call you 'Nas' with that ether you dropped at the end
Solid, solid review. Nothing to disagree w here.

This will be the season of what ifs, but it previewed itself at the end of last season. I think it may have been brought out either during the Pitt game or the VT game; but it was commented on Richt is trying to play his smash mouth brand of football w/o the smash mouth OL or RBs. It was stated that he either needs to adjust his scheme like other successful coaches or recruit players that fits his scheme.

As of now, neither r happening, so I have little faith in to next yr.

P.S we had that alpha WR; his name was Jeff Thomas.
Thanks Lance...I believe the staff and most on here think/thought Pope would be a nice after the catch guy...For whatever reason hasn't happened.

Your comment on mistakes everywhere on the offense is so true and so disappointing for a veteran coach like Richt. And you didn't even mention the drops in your mistakes...I believe there was 6 or 7.
3 years, 3 different QBs with issues. It simply does not work to have the HC's son as the QB coach, because Jr. will only parrot what his dad says. If Rick is going to leave his Mini-Me as the qb coach, then he might as well not have one at all. It's a waste of a valuable position coach spot.
Thanks for the time and effort you put into all of these breakdowns this season. These are solid posts that really contribute some meaningful content.
Lance wins again.

Sad thing is I feel we rolling into next year same staff and everything else the same. Motto or excuse used will be Richards injury. Hopefully Richt is fires after next season because that’s the only chance we have of change. Sucks but that’s what it looks like.
Interesting to see Gaynor get in there at the end and completely agree that we needed his nastiness. I hope he redshirted this year, I think he did.

I think our OL next year still has a lot of promise even if Searels hangs around with the influx of athleticism. I loved watching Donaldson pull in the second half. For the life of me I didn’t understand why we didn’t do this more. I know he had some poor play pass blocking and zone blocking at times, but always felt his strength was using his freakish size and speed to pull and destroy. Hope we see more of that.

I have a hard time believing Jarren won’t be the QB next year. Richt has to be frustrated to high **** with NKosi behind the scenes. Play design aside, which I don’t support, I hope that the dumbed down play book is a reflection of his trust in the QB and that we will see a true QB competition which I think Jarren will win.

Jarren has more arm talent than NKosi and hopefully he has more of what we need upstairs to read plays, not to mention leadership. I can’t remember the last QB we had since #11 who was widely respected as a leader.
I enjoy reading these quite a bit. It helps in reviewing the offensive line as it’s not something I can pay close attention to while watching live.
dont understand the Gaynor redshirt, been saying it all year, he was in on some of the biggest moments last year, makes no sense,

agree on the cut the field in half situation, I was watching Mark Pope a lot of the game and Nkosi woulkd never look his way
OL, QB- one can be a real OC

ST- I think a non-Coach position could work here so long as they can spend time with the players during the week and be in the box or on the sidelines during the game. Bama has 97 on staff, we have 30. Go find 1 ST coach and 1 punter/kicker coach that can work just those kids.
OL, QB- one can be a real OC

ST- I think a non-Coach position could work here so long as they can spend time with the players during the week and be in the box or on the sidelines during the game. Bama has 97 on staff, we have 30. Go find 1 ST coach and 1 punter/kicker coach that can work just those kids.

HCMR can take over this duty.
This is truly superb work, thanks for doing these every week. It's an absolute crime how our offense let a very good defense down this year.

Loved watching this defense play, what a refreshing change. I can remember sitting at the GT game during the Golden years with my son telling him that's not a Miami defense out there. They may be wearing the jersey but that's not a Miami defense. We at least have that part fixed.
These is awesome! Not many guys have the patience to breakdown film. I have down it several times being a former basketball coach. You truly have to love the game and the X's and O's to do this.