Upon Further Review- Miami vs. Virginia

Upon Further Review- Miami vs. Virginia

Lance Roffers
Welcome back to Upon Further Review, where each week we will review the film of the previous Miami Hurricanes game. This week is a week I have not been looking forward to; the week that the slim margin the Canes have been living in goes completely wrong and they lose a game they should not have.

There are reasons to be concerned as we dissect the film this week. I'm going to keep it short because it feels a bit like slamming my head into a brick wall with the repetitive issues.

1st down and UVA gets the look they want. Base defense for Miami against three-wide. UVA runs their motion H-back to turn him into a lead blocker. LB’s have to respect that play since it’s all over film. With base on the field either a LB or a S has to cover the slot. UVA is smart and puts their best offensive player there in All-ACC Olamide Zaccheaus. Fake the give, throw the slant, we cannot defend this play with this alignment if the LB doesn’t jump the slant. Easy completion.

Defensive call is there, Pinckney just overruns it for a big QB run.

Staple of UVA’s offense is motion pre-snap. Every play there will be motion and movement of players. 1st down and Willis blows up the inside dive TFL. (Not pictured)

2nd down is just smart coaching. They have split backs out of shotgun and UVA has identified that Miami is staying in base to shut down their running game. They run this split back in motion and it immediately tells you what we are doing. McCloud runs with the RB, and you know if it is man. If he stays then you know there is zone. McCloud goes and there is nothing to defend the slot slant behind him. Simple reads not only keep chains moving, keeps control of the ball, and negates the pass rush.

3rd and short and Bethel gets moved clean out of the hole for an easy 1st down. (Not pictured)

1st down and two things; The QB misses a wide-open dump off to the RB. Love looking deep to short, but this should’ve been a quick outlet pass immediately. Poor decision leads to easy pick for Bandy. Second, what kind of demon magic is going on at this field. Look at all the players having multiple shadows, no matter the direction they’re facing or moving. No wonder this game was a nightmare.

1st down after the turnover and nice return. We run the trips to the left of the QB and Wiggins is the trail WR in the diagonal alignment. They run it in a diagonal alignment so that everyone is still eligible. Perry starts things out with a poor throw. The point is to get Wiggins flowing upfield so that the LB (#33) can’t get there in time to make the tackle and the WR gets out to the S for a big play hopeful. This ball placement wrecks this whole play, forcing Wiggins to turn inside and completely show his front number to the QB (not good).

We all know Perry had a poor game in this one, and I’m sure he is being coached a certain way, but Perry has to pull this ball. #13 is crashing off the edge and Perry has two blockers to the outside for one UVA defender if he gets around the end. Scaife is releasing onto the SAM and should have the speed to get there even if Perry pulls. Scaife really doesn’t make his block for Homer, who carries the defender for 4.

3rd down and have the same diagonal alignment with trips to the other side. We run an inside give and Gauthier is completely held by the NT. Look at him pulling his jersey to the side and Gauthier is trying to get to that MLB. Does the official standing there watching this think that Gauthier just moved out of the way of the LB on purpose? That has to be called. If Perry had kept on the previous play we wouldn’t be in this predicament, but it still should’ve been called. Scaife completely misses his block on #13 off the edge.

4th down we line up in the same diagonal trips formation again (three of four plays). Perry looks to his right and it’s not there. He turns to run up-the-middle and needs to just hit Brevin here. Perry pulled it down too quickly and missed the easy 1st down. He is stopped short when he runs. Perry had a bad run where he tried to cut left into the defenders when he had a blocker to his right.

1st down we stunt and Garvin has a free run at the QB. For some reason he gets way too fair inside and leaves an easy lane for the QB to run right by him. Shaq gets squashed by the C here.

Next play Pinckney and Willis get a sack. The play was made by Pinckney who was held badly before he finally got the sack. 3rd down and QB gets away from Pinckney but nowhere near the 1st down. Punt goes about 15 yards. (Not pictured)

1st down we run off-tackle and Mallory just can’t hold blocks on the edge yet. Mahoney loses to his man as well and a run that could’ve been big goes for only 4. (Not pictured)

2nd down and I just don’t understand the design of this power run. We pull Mahoney and Mallory pushes #11 inside and releases onto the LB #33. You’d think one of these blockers would be trying to take #11 but they just let him run right in and make a tackle on Dallas without even blocking him. Mahoney is purposefully going to the edge #21 here. The play had no chance unless Dallas can just make a couple guys miss. He’s running into terrible numbers here as well with UVA having 9 defenders in the screen. Modern football is about getting your playmakers into space and on 2nd & 6 we are running into a loaded box again with a true freshman who has shown he can’t block as the lead blocker. This is on the play caller. Get it out of here and find a better design. We’ve run the ball 6 times and passed it once thus far with Virginia routinely stacking the box. Bad strategy.

3rd down and Perry throws a dime to Wiggins, who makes a great play. Mahoney holds on the play and I just shake my head. He has help to the outside. Just move your hand down, Mahoney. Your LT is going to smack him right back into you. Instead he hooks that outside arm under the UVA defender and Judo hip tosses to the ground. Easy call. #91 is never going to impact this play and Mahoney panics and grabs. Get Boulware back in at LG and leave it alone.

Perry scrambles on 3rd & 16 and picks up 4. Have to burn a timeout before the punt because we do not have the proper personnel out there. Just an embarrassment for the offensive/special teams coaches thus far. (Not pictured)

1st down and Willis eats up an inside run. (Not pictured)

2nd down and they run a little pop pass off of read option where QB keeps. Joe Jackson could’ve had him in the backfield but just missed him. Auburn made this play famous in their offense and UVA incorporates it against us. Another play that we could easily add into our read-option to keep defenses off of our five plays that we run continuously. This goes for 20.

1st down and Willis whips the IOL. QB spins right into Pinckney for a TFL. (Not pictured)

Next play and Perkins just doesn’t read this correctly. He sees Bandy in bail at the top of the screen and reads this as cover-3, expecting the FS to drop out into the middle third of the zone. Redwine is not dropping out and it’s just 1-on-1 outside with Bandy. Redwine is just reading the eyes of the QB and picks this easily. Ball is intended for #2 out of the near slot who is running across the field trying to get to the honey spot behind the dropping LB’s and in front of the dropping S (who doesn’t drop).

I’m super frustrated with the decision to go back to Rosier as well, but Perry played very poorly in this game. Why is he dropping his eyes here? No one is anywhere near him and he has a perfect pocket. Stand in there and find someone Perry. Nice job by Donaldson of being aware on this play and just burying the edge defender. Getting skittish in the pocket and seeing ghosts is the second biggest thing a QB can do to lose the trust of his play caller (behind turning the ball over). By the way, we ran the diagonal trips formation again. We are barely challenging the other side of the field and making defenders have to cover much less grass. Just as Perry is pulling his eyes down, Wiggins has crossed that LB to top and is wide open. Perry tries to throw it to Wiggins as he gets to the LOS but it’s way too late.

Next play and it’s just an awful decision to throw into double coverage. Some will say that Perry didn't see the FS, but as a QB you are taught to identify where the safety is on every play pre-snap. Calling out the Mike is to set your protections, but identifying the S is to understand what route might be open versus the coverage you are attacking. At no point is this receiver open. Perry needs to come off of that and simply take the check down to Brevin who is wide open. Homer slips but still picks up the blitzing corner. That’s a 7-yard checkdown to Brevin at worst, breaks a tackle for a 1st down at best. The ball gets returned to midfield. You will never go broke taking a profit, Perry.


1st down and they roll the QB out. M. Jackson is playing way off-coverage and opens his hips far too early. Inside slot runs an out-route underneath it and the outside WR runs a deep comeback inside of the crosser. Cool play design and Jackson was roasted. (Not pictured)

Next play is such a big play in the game as M. Jackson gets tossed after a ball that was incomplete. He did it, and these guys have to start understanding to stop leading with your head. Just tackle head up in these plays where the WR goes airborne. #8 on their team comes in waving bye-bye to M. Jackson’s face and that ticks me off. If that’s not taunting a guy, what is.

Next play and I want to highlight the difference in the two different players play this play. Watch Pinckney as he is jumping in front of #46 in his zone so that he is not open. McCloud is just standing next to #8 there and not jumping in front of him. Why not? Why are you just standing there letting this guy be open like this? QB makes Shaq miss here and slides over and throws it to #8 who is still just standing there open. Easily could’ve been a pick or a sack if McCloud just actually covers the man the in his zone instead of being a parking cone. Pinckney actually runs over and makes the tackle after he catches it as well. Be active, McCloud. This game is about making plays and not just being sure you are doing your assignment.

Willis pushes the pocket, QB tries to run, Ohenigbo and Shaq smack him after he dodges Willis. (Not pictured).

Canes continue to have issues with getting the QB on the ground. Joe Jackson stunts inside and is never touched. All he has to keep him in the pocket and get him to the ground at the 22-yard line. Instead, he escapes and takes the ball inside the 10. Look at how Virginia forces the defense to cover all of the field. WR vertical on outside, WR comeback out of slot, WR shallow cross out of other slot, WR vertical on near sideline.

3rd down designed QB run is eaten up by Miami. Great defense. Virginia has done absolutely nothing on offense outside of a pop pass and a couple QB runs. Get a targeting penalty to get into FG range and have thrown two interceptions and yet are winning the game. Unreal. (Not pictured)

Always difficult to fault a play that goes a 1st down, but Jeff Thomas should be your primary read on most plays and he is going to come wide open on the outside route if Perry just holds this ball a second longer. I would’ve loved to have seen Perry pump that to Cager and then throw that ball to Thomas for a huge gain here.

1st down we line up with 4-wide and run a bubble to Jeff Thomas for 4. Cager isn’t a good blocker or it would’ve been 6 or more. It’s easy money and you’re going to pop one of them if they continue to stack that box. (Not pictured)

2nd down and Homer breaks a tackle on OZ. Poor blocking but he gets 5 with a hard run. We run “Belly” to Gray on 3rd & 1 and get it easily. (Not pictured)

1st down and Perry sees the blitz to his right but he just panics. Homer stones this rush easily. Perry has to see that the out route to Harley is covered (they dropped into a zone behind the CB blitz and took this throw away). Perry needs to take off running, honestly. If he’s going to come off to another receiver though, Brevin is coming wide open on the out route to the other side of the field. Perry has easy yards in front of him if he takes off. This ball is intercepted and returned to the 8-yard line. Our offensive players are trying to get the chain rather than tackling on this return. Perry is forcing everything and playing scared. Just take the free yards when they’re there and never force anything on the road.

Virginia takes over and on the first play runs a dive into the end-zone. RB runs over Jaquan at the 2. Woof. Shaq attacks the C with the wrong shoulder here. If he is attacking with his left shoulder he is in his gap where he should be. You see the LB next to him has the gap that Shaq slides into by attacking with his right shoulder. Willis is pushed out of the gap and the RB hits this hard.

Rosier comes into the game at this point and truthfully, Perry was bad on film. He missed a bunch of things that would’ve kept the chains moving and put points on the board. Jahair Jones in at LG. You’re telling me they’re playing Jones over Boulware? Woof.

1st play we run power, pull Donaldson, try to cut the DE with Scaife, who completely whiffs. Gauthier is walked right back into the backfield by the NT. This is a TFL. Putrid blocking, but not sure why the RB isn’t following Donaldson here. He had the edge if he follows him.

You tell me Jeff Thomas is not frustrated. He’s just standing there on the 40-yard line as the ball flies through the air at the top of the screen. Brevin is just uncovered down the middle. It’s a total bust right from the snap and Brevin knows it and is already looking like throw me the ball. How do you miss this, Rosier? This concerns me that Rosier is simply doing one read and throwing it or running it. Brevin easily takes that into UVA territory and might even score. Instead it’s 3rd & 10. By the way, it was not a good read even if he and Thomas were on the same page. CB was 10 yards off, FS in the middle of the field. No way that gets completed even if Thomas does run a 9-route. This is particularly bad QB’ing on this play. Look at the CB at the 40 in the third shot. He’s got his arms out like who is covering him?!?!
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Miami burns their final timeout of the half at 10:26 in the 2nd quarter. Had to burn one because they couldn’t line up on a punt. Had to burn one because the dejected team didn’t get back to the LOS quickly enough after a just terrible deep pass by your new QB. You tell me there aren’t problems with this team on offense right now.

3rd down and Jahair overextends on a stunt. He’s a full two yards further downfield than the other OL who are all backing into this pass protection kickslide at this point. Jahair is supposed to be the inside help for St. Louis here. Dallas has the outside. Jahair is too extended and therefore can’t get back inside on 11 who gets into Rosier’s face. Wiggins on the outside has this if Rosier has more time and/or throws a better ball on the stop route outside.

Here is my commentary here. This is an NFL throw. The anticipation required, the precise nature of the route required, the protection needed. It’s all an NFL throw/play. You’re asking a true freshman, a notoriously inaccurate QB, and a very poor OL to all be in concert on this play to be successful. I talk often about forcing a team to defend every blade of grass. Does this look like that to you? Where is the threat in the middle of the field? UVA just busted coverage on Brevin, but there is nothing there to attack them again.

Miami defense gives it right back to the offense again. Trajan Bandy is just such a dog. My ball.

Run a bubble to Brevin and Wiggins is straight bullied out on the outside right into Brevin before he can even go. In reality, the throw is too far toward the LOS in my mind. They call it a “bubble” screen because the receiver generally steps back and rounds it forward like a half circle (or bubble). No gain. (Not pictured)

No, Cager is not fielding a punt. This ball was late and had way too much air. At least it was completed, which is the most important thing to give your guy a chance. Cager was wide open down the sideline. UVA is not respecting the WR’s on the outside at all. They are putting a S over the top of Thomas and a LB underneath him believing no one else can beat them. Thus far, they’ve been correct.

Pope has to fight harder to get back to this ball to get the flag. Pope just keeps back pedaling on the throw. If he fights back towards the ball the defender tackles him here. You can’t just run yourself out-of-bounds. Richt has to help the offense a little more though as this is another all-verticals pass play. Brevin released late after chipping the edge rusher.

Miami continues to run the same stuff throughout the rest of the game and the defense continues to give them a chance (except until Tito makes an incredibly dumb penalty late in the game). It is frustrating to me to watch and review so I am going to stop here and offer some commentary on what I'd like to see.

Play Charting
I tend to chart certain things throughout the game reviews for my own personal information and I decided to chart what we are asking Perry to do in the passing game as well as the success of certain play types. Here are the results of that charting while Perry played:

Inside Zone- Two carries for 3 yards.
Outside Zone- Two carries for 5 yards.
Power Run- One carry for zero yards.
Off-Tackle- One carry for four yards.
QB scramble- Two scrambles for 5 yards.
Passing- 3-6, 20 yards, 2 Interceptions.

Results- 14 plays, 37 yards, 2.64 Yards Per Play

Pass 1- Trips left, diagonal alignment, screen to Wiggins from slot for 4 yards.
Pass 2- Trips left, diagonal alignment, two verticals, slot crosser, TE wheel deep, HB checkdown. Incomplete.
Pass 3- 3-wide, TE offset, HB to right out of shotgun. All verticals. HB & TE checkdown in middle of field. Interception.
Pass 4- 3-wide, TE inline, HB to right out of shotgun. Out route, deep corner, HB checkdown, TE out. Complete for 10 yards.
Pass 5- 4-wide slots to both side, bubble screen to Thomas for 6 yards.
Pass 6- 3-wide, TE inline, TE seam vertical, Boundary out, Outside stop, Slot deep out. Interception.

Comments (58)

I would like to see the staff take time during the bye week to do some self-scouting and reflect on what is causing Miami problems on offense. The goal would be to pick three things that are issues for Miami and focus on fixes for those three serious areas. You can't install a new scheme during the bye week so you have to narrow the scope of your adjustments. I'll offer three suggestions here:

1. Miami has struggled with CB blitzes all season. LSU caused problems against Rosier and Virginia caused problems against Perry. An adjustment that would help the QB's with this issue would be to align our WR's further outside. Both in the slot and to the outside of the formation. The reason is simple; it's basic math. The further away the DB is from the QB, the more time the QB has to make decision with the ball. Increasing the distance that the DB has to go also creates more space on the field the defense has to cover. I've spent some time during the bye week reviewing different offenses that are having success this year and reviewed Houston in college, Kansas City and Los Angeles in the NFL. All of these teams are succeeding for lots of reasons, not the least of which is putting the defense in a bind with speed and space. Miami can easily do that if they allow their speed to play in more open space. Move the receivers further out, Coach.

2. Studies have shown unequivocally that the most efficient area of the field to throw the ball is between the hashes. Miami has created an offense that lives outside of the hash marks. (Side note: This is most likely a large reason we run narrow spacing to the outside, so that WR's can run a full route tree outside) Too many times and I am reviewing plays and stopping the game to see that the defense does not even have to cover the middle of the field on a particular play and it really frustrates me. Having routes over the MOF also allows the QB running game to have another blocker available should they break the pocket. The QB's are missing plays over the MOF, but we are also not making it nearly enough of a focus on game day. It is not only WR's or TE's who can threaten the MOF, our RB's can be true weapons in this area as well. Deejay Dallas was a WR just last year and would be a weapon in this area if utilized more often.

3. RPO's- If you are going to run RPO's you have to force the defense to actually respect the QB run and the pass option of the play. Miami has fallen into a pattern of handing the ball to the RB on the dive out of this play and it has seen diminishing results of the play. It is obvious the coaching staff was working to protect Perry, as he kept the ball on the read far less often than Rosier. Edge players are crashing on this hard and Miami is not punishing them for it. Rosier is going to need to make this read a tougher play on the edge defender AND he is going to need to throw the ball early in games as well. There are two side benefits to this; it gets Jeff Thomas involved much more often, and defenses are not going to crash nearly as hard if they know that edge is threatened. If Miami were to take my advice on number one, the basic math doesn't just apply to the yardage to go to get to the QB on a blitz, it also applies here, as the defender has further to go to crash on the edge run as well. Give more space, Coach.

4. Bonus item! In my time watching Houston, Los Angeles, and Kansas City one constant that I saw from them was using motion to attack and confuse the defense. Jeff Thomas is the ultimate college weapon to threaten a defense. Using him on a jet sweep motion would get the defense moving before the snap even occurs and would open up several plays. How about an inside shovel pass to Brevin off of jet sweep motion keeping eyes on Thomas? Or, maybe a Gray shovel pass with the same motion and Brevin coming across from the other side for a wham block. Thomas motion across the face of the QB who could throw a "pop pass" to him and threaten a defense on the edge that way. H-back motion across a formation gets Brevin running before the snap and allowing him a two-way go to either run across the MOF, threaten the seam, or go outside. Purdue gets the ball to Rondale Moore with constant motion and then having him cut across the MOF from all areas of the field. Miami does not do this. I can almost guarantee this one doesn't happen because Coach Richt believes if you execute his plays to perfection they will work and therefore does not see the need to make things more complicated with motion. The results of the offense seem to suggest it is time to change.

The performance against Virginia left many opportunities to win the game out on the field. I will not deny that, but it is time for the coaching staff to rise up and start creating plays that do not require perfect execution to be successful. It is time for the coaching staff to create a situation where the Miami speed is in space and not requires NFL routes and throws to be successful.

I mentioned that I want the coaching staff to self-scout over the bye week. That isn't just for their own performance, but also the performance of the personnel. The OL is having issues with blocking speed, I would like to see changes to reduce the times this is asked of them. It is up to the coaching staff to make changes that address this rather than going into another game expecting different results with the same stuff.

What is Rosier good at? He is good at running the ball. He is good at reading one half of the field. It is time to design safe plays that allow him to get playmakers in space and not require him to read the whole field to find an open man. This is not working and it needs to change.

What do the receivers do well? Thomas is a HR hitter and the defense is focusing on taking him away. It is time to force the ball to Thomas on pitches, pop passes, screens, outside gives. Get him involved early. Harley is a great blocker but a limited route runner and has a small catch radius. Do not expect him to be a threat on intermediate and deep passes. Cager cannot catch, so do not rely on him to make contested catches all game. He also cannot block, so stop calling plays that require him to make sustained blocks to have a successful play. Asking players to do things they aren't good at in this point of the season is a failure of coaching moreso than a failure by the player.

Deejay Dallas and Travis Homer are both excellent receivers and the goal should be to get a LB isolated on them as often as possible. These throws are efficient and are intercepted at a very low rate.

I recognize that this article featured just as much commentary as it did film review, but I felt the need to identify issues I've seen to this point in the season and offer my thoughts. The coaching staff on offense has gotten a lot of heat for the results. In my experience that is generally due to players failing to execute on plays and therefore think coaches get too much blame. That is not the case with this year's Miami offense. The Miami coaches are getting exactly the amount of criticism that they deserve because in my review they have failed to meet expectations of what a coach is expected to do during games; give your players the best possible chances to win. Asking players to continuously do things that are not their strengths because the offensive system is rigid and not willing to change to your personnel is a failure of coaching. It is time for a change. It is time for Mark Richt to overhaul this offense and give his players a better chance to use their positive skills and to reduce the frequency of times they need to utilize their lesser skills. It is time for Mark Richt change or it is time for Mark Richt to fire Mark Richt the OC.
it is time for the coaching staff to rise up and start creating plays that do not require perfect execution to be successful. It is time for the coaching staff to create a situation where the Miami speed is in space and not requires NFL routes and throws to be successful.

Asking players to continuously do things that are not their strengths because the offensive system is rigid and not willing to change to your personnel is a failure of coaching. It is time for a change. It is time for Mark Richt to overhaul this offense and give his players a better chance to use their positive skills and to reduce the frequency of times they need to utilize their lesser skills. It is time for Mark Richt change or it is time for Mark Richt to fire Mark Richt the OC.

God bless you sir. Excellent post per usual. I hope the few people who are still defending this atrocity of an offense can read this and realize Richt is failing as a coach right now.
Upon further review, our QBs are ******* trash.
1000% percent in agreement with these comments. I for one defended Mark Richt last year mailnly because he didn't have the weapons, however this year he doesn't have any excuses to keep trying to do the same thing without results it is stubborn and borderline stupid. If we all keep on expressing our disapproval maybe he will be pressured to change. After all the school doesn't want to see an empty stadium like before
So Perry butchered every single play. Wow.
Thats a tough read.. Ill prbly finish the abuse later on...

I hope Richt is doing some soul searching because as much as I blame the QB development that Jon Richt is doing

Mark isnt doing the QBs any favors either
So four things, right? A QB that can throw accurately and read a defense, an OL that can block, special teams becoming special and better play calling. Next year unfortunately.
Awesome job! I don't know how you had the stomach to do this..
I have been in denial all week... trying to distract myself doing other stuff

Now please send a copy to Mark and Manny..
Would you say this offense would work with a QB like Kaaya? Or a guy like Kelly Bryant
Wow. That was fun! :: Pulls whiskey from desk drawer::
This must have been excessively painful to write.
In all seriousness what was wrong with Perry, I knew it was bad, but not that bad. Was he shook, unprepared....?

and this is not about Rosier, so don't start that siht.
Good stuff, Lance. Regarding #2 on your commentary, isn't the fact that QBs are holding vs keeping and reading the DE, a staple of read/zone rather than RPO? I see very little passing out of that formation. If I'm understanding correctly, I'd even say we're not even running that much RPO.
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Brutal. I get that both QBs were beyond awful but this is a kick to the nuts:
Modern football is about getting your playmakers into space and on 2nd & 6 we are running into a loaded box again with a true freshman who has shown he can’t block as the lead blocker. This is on the play caller. Get it out of here and find a better design. We’ve run the ball 6 times and passed it once thus far with Virginia routinely stacking the box.

The play calling is just as much to blame as the QB play.
I'm honestly watching more NFL football this year than usual, just to see what an offense is SUPPOSED to look like. Anyone watch that Falcons game last night?? going from a standard "pro-set" I-form alignment to a 5 wide look with the FB out wide, RB in the slot left, TE and two WR's lined up right.

I mean, how badly could we have abused UVA's defense running high tempo and switching back and forth between base I (21), or even power I 22 personnel and empty set?

Why haven't we seen Dallas and Homer on the field at the same time this year more than maybe three plays all season? Even Choc is a better receiver than he gets credit for. Who wants to be the 5'10" 175 CB trying to bring that guy down in the open field??

Has Brevin had a single rushing attempt yet this season? If not, this is a fireable offense, in my opinion.

My goodness there are so many simple ways to get your playmakers the ball and manufacture yards and TD's, and put the defense in a situation where one undisciplined play, missed read, or missed tackle can result in a long gain or TD. Watching the KC Chiefs, Rams, etc, it's like, this is so simple.

It just makes me mad and sad.