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Upon Further Review- Pitt

Upon Further Review- Pitt

Lance Roffers
For the second week in a row, Miami pulled off a win over top-20 opponent; this time on the road. How did they do it? Find out with me here at Upon Further Review.

Watching live I was a little annoyed that McCloud didn’t sack Pickett here, but on the replay I see why. That’s the nasty I want to see from Miami’s OL looking for work.
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Couch tries to undercut a crossing route and loses out to a freshman TE. Couch gets bodied so often it is difficult to play him on TE’s or bigger receivers (not pictured)

RT tries a deep set on McCloud and doesn’t engage so McCloud just bull rushes him back into the QB. McCloud isn’t Phillips or Rousseau, but he has impressed me at DE for a player who has never played there previously. Leonard Taylor and JHH X-stunt and Taylor flushes him into McCloud. Marcus Clarke makes a VERY late change to the coverage and has to be calling out routes as the play is actually happening to make sure they take the crosser. Lucky that didn’t bite them.
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Frierson tries to jump the route then panics when receiver catches it. Lets this receiver get to the 20-yard line after James Williams also misses a tackle trying to go high. Flagg tries to throw him down and throws him forward. If he didn’t step out-of-bounds, this might have been a TD.
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Kam Kinchens makes an excellent play on the ball on a receiver at the goal line and knocks the ball free. I truly cannot even begin to imagine in what universe that is a catch, but here we are.

#2 is literally clapping his hands here in frustration because he knows it was incomplete. #2 literally looked shocked and then got excited, like “no way, you called that a catch and a TD? Awesome!” When the opposing team is showing frustration and mad about the receiver not catching it, you already know the truth. Any Pitt fan who complains about the officiating in this game, you just refer them here.
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TVD has been great the last couple of games, but there is no denying he drops his eyes to look at the rush and bails out of the back of the pocket too often. The next step in his progression will be to learn to slide in the pocket as Navaughn is pushing the stunt away from TVD and he could’ve stepped up and to his right. TVD gets sacked inside the 10.
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This is a throw that is quite a bit more difficult than it looks. TVD is throwing this ball out before the receiver comes out of his break, it is to the far hash and needs pace. He makes throws that are NFL throws on a weekly basis.
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Two things on this throw: 1. The slot defender nearly knocks Keyshawn down on this route, which really throws off the timing. I thought originally that the throw was a touch too far and flat, but when you see that the WR almost fell down, it is really a perfect throw. 2. TVD has his shoulders to really sell this throw. He looks like he’s going to throw this ball to Harley, but instead rips it down the seam. This is kind of a neat variation of Smash (my favorite) and it looks like Smash at this point, but instead of going to the corner route, Keyshawn continues down the seam. That outside defender expected it to be a corner route in Smash, but the variation made this a big play. 3. Bonus: this is the kind of aggression you need from a QB. That throw to Harley is open and what the defense wants you to take. They want to rally up and tackle Harley short, but TVD is going to go for the big play and hits it.
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Run Smash to the bottom of the screen with Keyshawn running the Whip and Harley the Corner. Arroyo is the outside TE who releases outside of the overhang defender. Mallory threatens the seam and draws attention. Arroyo runs a skinny post underneath of Mallory and Pitt doesn’t pass it off. Wide-open TD. Look at the OL, completely stoning the Pitt pass rushers and giving a clean pocket.
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Yeah…this is textbook holding call. He drags him down from behind like this. Not called.
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Deandre Johnson mugged, not called. Deep pass almost completed over Amari. (Not pictured)

I am surprised that Flagg didn’t get flagged for this. He stood over a guy after hurting him and yelled at him while signaling incomplete. Another display of just how dumb this team can be at times. Carter made an excellent play on this one, as he knocked the ball out of the defenders hands when he was trying to bring it in. I thought it was Flagg that dislodged it, but it was Carter prior to Flagg even hitting him.
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After the 4th stop on an excellent play by Stevenson (that was almost caught on the ricochet by Pitt), the officials call an absolutely atrocious personal foul penalty on 96 when a little Pitt player flops. Any Pitt fan who complains about officials has zero argument in this game. (Not pictured)

Restrepo is my guy. He is so tough and smart as a football player. He completely turns this DB outside here and allows the receiver to pick up 8. Look at his form versus the leaning and nudging form of Mallory, who never even extends his arms.
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Love this view of the play as it shows how everyone has a job on every play. Corner to bottom of screen holds deep safety. RB looks like the ball is coming to him to hold the guy who is supposed to take Mallory. Subtle look to RB by TVD to hold eyes away from Mallory until late. Mallory varied his speed to make it look like he was blocking. OL gives time again. TD.
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Steed does a nice job avoiding the G who tries to get to second level and stops the delayed handoff. He’s been playing better. (Not pictured)

Drop Harvey into coverage in the boundary flat, send Frierson on an overload blitz who comes free for the sack. But Steed getting depth where he’s supposed to be and getting eyes on Pickett stopped the pickup. Flagg recognizes the crosser quickly and shuts it down. Credit where due, the LB’s had a nice series here.
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This is such a natural run by Knighton. If you hear people say, “he’s a natural runner” this is what they’re talking about. Knighton is slashing towards Zion, who is pulling as a lead, away from the free edge defender, as he does so, he causes the MLB to commit to the outside run and makes him attack the C gap instead of staying in the A. If Knighton rushes right into the A-gap here and doesn’t press the outside, he either gets tackled in the backfield by 6, or the MLB stays in the A-gap and it’s a minimal gain. Instead, he houses this ball.
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Bradley Jennings gets pressure before the QB can throw it and forces him to throw it away. (Not pictured)

I’ll often write about how I believe Miami should “match” more often and here is another example of where I wish they would. They motion the outside guy inside here and Stevenson follows him, leaving James Williams on a shifty slot guy with tons of space. I wish Stevenson would bump the receiver here and then release onto the slot, as the rules change here. The #1 outside, becomes the #2 (who Williams would typically cover here) and the 2 becomes the 1. Miami should “match” this and have their #1 take the new #1 and leave their #2 on the new #2. This Whip route is open by like six yards on this throw. He makes Williams miss and this goes for big yards.
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Couch falls for the eye candy here. Couch is in off-coverage with eyes on QB, but you can’t just keep running and lose sight of your WR. Pickett comes off the deep ball and hits this easy underneath throw that Couch isn’t in your screen on when the WR catches it.
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Blitz Frierson again who comes clean. For some reason he runs straight at the QB instead of outside-in and Pickett gets outside of him. Thankfully he dirts the throw. (Not pictured)

Natural vision again. Knighton presses into his hole, then cuts around Scaife who puts his defender on the ground and then gets upfield for a quick 15. Knighton is better than I gave him credit for before Harris’ injury.
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This is truly an excellent throw. TVD is sprinting to his right and throwing off-platform. Restrepo is not even out of his break and catches this ball at the sideline. Excellent play on both sides when TVD knew he had a free play from the offsides.
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Motion Keyshawn into a stack behind Restrepo and run an RPO slant behind it with Restrepo clearing space and it’s a big play. Unfortunately, Donaldson got a little too far downfield at the throw and it comes back. Donaldson has to pause for one second before releasing on that play, but it’s the difficult with an RPO on keeping OL home. (Not pictured)

Get an unsportsmanlike penalty to move us downfield and then Donaldson holds. He’s having a rough drive. (Not pictured)

Pitt gets a huge play, but this is a false start that wasn’t called.
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Bring your legs, lead with your shoulder, clear your head, wrap up, drive through the ball carrier. This is your true freshman Kinchens with the teaching tape, yet they ran Gurvan and Carter and Bolden out there for weeks.
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Steed and Couch have the angle on a little dumpoff to the RB and he runs right by them for a TD down the sideline. Before that, Steed has to pass the TE off quicker, he’s calling it out here, but then Steed has to take the RB and he is either late or just loses his assignment.
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I’ve got an irrational love for Restrepo. He’s just tough, quick, energetic, and makes plays. Here he is again winning his block on the edge and allowing Rambo to get the sideline. Rambo picks up a 1st down.
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Pitt gets a warranted roughing the passer penalty, then a not-so-warranted roughing the passer penalty to move Miami 30 yards. (Not pictured)

RPO and TVD throws a strike to Rambo, who drops a walk-in TD. (Not pictured)

TVD missed this one. Mallory has his head around and is open if TVD flattens this throw and has some pace on it. He floats this ball out of the back of the end zone for some reason. That’s one of the great things about the spot they’re in with TVD. He has played excellent football and there is still so much meat on the bone as far as pocket awareness, throwing with pace/touch, understanding game situations etc.
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Miami kicks a FG on a drive they absolutely should’ve had a TD. (Not pictured)

On the Stevenson interception it’s Crosser to the interception side, with a deep route to the field side. That deep route is a pre-snap read generally and Miami had the MOF closed with a single-high safety, so the QB with normally come off that read quickly. Luckily, Pickett did because the CB slipped and the single-high S cheated towards Smash corner route and that would’ve been a TD.
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Play-Action with a bubble/slant combo. Pitt jumps the bubble and Rambo catches a Slant in stride to get to the 2-yard line. (Not pictured)

You really have to find a way to get more speed at MLB. Pickett just runs away from your unblocked MLB here. Flagg never touched him. Even in pursuit as Pickett picks this up.
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I give Ragone a lot of credit here, this is a big play in the game. Ragone covers the RB here (though the QB could’ve thrown it), then comes off this and makes a square-up tackle in space to get him down. You saw Flagg just a few plays ago completely whiff on a play like this.
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Amari Carter gets just enough of the RB on 3rd down to get him down. It was truly a toenail tackle. (Not pictured)

At some point, it’s on the coaches and not on Mallory. They lined him up on the end and asked him to block Pitt’s DE 1-on-1 and that is just not going to work. Sack. (Not pictured)

Couch misses a tackle as the gunner on a punt, McCloud misses a tackle on the return. Big return. (Not pictured)

If Pickett saw #28 in coverage he was going at him. Hits his big WR on a slant. Clarke throws his hands up ticked off about something, but they blitzed the LB’s so he had no inside help on the slant and he has to know that. (Not pictured)

Most egregious non-call of the game here. Harvey whips their LT inside and he pulls the jersey so hard it pops his shoulder pads out. How this is not called is beyond me. This has to be called 100% of the time. Completes it on Clarke again.
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I respect Carter and appreciate what he has done here, but this is the sort of thing we have seen all year from him. You cannot let this QB get outside of you and throw a TD. He’s free for the sack and never touches him. TD goes to the guy Clarke was on.
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Flagg on the crosser- a quick WR- is a bad idea, but it doesn’t help when the WR on the rub route is literally holding him as well. Again, you see a Pitt fan whining about the officiating costing them this game, you send them this link.
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Couch gets roasted on a seam route and never finds the ball in the air. Pitt is playing the “where is the CB opposite Stevenson” offense. (Not pictured)

Whoever is Miami’s special teams coach is needs to go (*cough* Patke *cough*). Miami consistently returns those satellite kicks from the 1-yard line and get tackled at the 18 or whatever. Fair catch the ball. Get it at the 25. There are “Hidden Yards” throughout every single game and Miami loses them every week. (Not pictured)

Knighton just took an unblocked Pitt LB’s soul. He drop footed him to the outside and the guy fell over like he’d been shot. Picks up 8 on 1st down instead of a loss. He has transformed the offense, honestly. (Not pictured)

I did not appreciate this pass live during the game, but wow. Smith comes underneath inside WR on this ball and catches it on the 0 of the 40. The anticipation and quick release to get this pass off is next level. I say it again for impact, this was an outstanding throw.
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Rambo gets tackled on a deep throw and it’s an easy pass interference. I don’t think anyone is disputing that one. (Not pictured)

One of the big differences in this game that made the offense look so much better is how often they made the first defender miss. On most plays that were swing passes, screens, check downs, Miami made that first defender miss. Against Alabama, Miami had almost zero broken tackles, but against Pitt they stayed on schedule with them. Knighton makes a guy miss on a dump off and picks up 7 instead of a loss of 1. (Not pictured)

This is probably the throw that rivals the throw to Keyshawn above (same drive TVD’s two best throws after Pitt tied it, that says a whole lot to me). You see Keyshawn at the yellow line, but there is a defender off-screen coming downhill. With pressure in his face, without an ability to step into it, he throws off-platform, over the defender, into an area only his man will get it. Keyshawn adjusts his route to the ball (he gets a lot of credit here as well) and snatches it. Man’s game yitch.
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Huff gets an unsportsmanlike penalty on the kickoff and gives them great field position. Let’s go, Huff. (Not pictured)

Pitt flipped their LT to RT because he was struggling and McCloud greets him with a huge sack (while being held I might add). (Not pictured)

Very next play had me so frustrated. Pitt goes to a simple tackle-lead play, McCloud gets moved out by 77, Flagg gets out of his gap and gives up contain, force player takes too upfield of an angle. It picks up a 2nd & 23. Cannot happen. Flagg is a hoover for blocks. (Not pictured)

Look at your true freshman S reading this pass to Pickett and jumping it immediately. Love me some Kinchens. FG.
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There are some big plays from here, but no more scoring and Miami hangs on for the win.

Overall
  • Donaldson struggled mightily in this game and had several drive changing plays that he gave up or penalties
  • Kinchens/Williams should be your safeties as long as they are in school
  • TVD throws off-platform, in the face of pressure, in big moments, you name it
  • Lashlee improved in this game, but a lot of the second half was sort of meh and trying not to lose. Anticipate their counters and be more ready to roll.
  • The CB opposite Stevenson was eaten alive all game. Marcus Slarke was unplayable in this game and Couch just got bodied repeatedly. The best second CB in this game was Ivey.
  • Flagg is just too slow. You’ve got to make a change there, even if it’s TAC, or moving Chase Smith there. Some like the idea of Carter there, but he doesn’t tackle well enough for me to use him in that spot.
  • Missed Nesta’s motor and physicality in this game
  • Headley had probably his worst game at Miami, but got away with several shanks that had decent roll
  • Steed played a steady game
  • Harvey was good and should’ve drawn several holding penalties in this one
  • Everyone has seen the non-safety a bunch of times and didn’t need me breaking it down, but I will say I need Knighton to work to lean to get that ball out without question next time. Better yet, skip the inside-zone dive in that spot and either sneak it with TVD or run something else.
  • I thought Miami was going to lose when Pitt tied it up, but they closed out the game with the ball and that means something. Give Manny quite a bit of credit for keeping the players engaged and playing hard. Take a lot of credit from Manny for being stubborn with the upperclassmen and then saying silly things like “you take a win away from your record for every freshman you start.”
  • Play the kids
 

Comments (45)

@Lance Roffers

Overall
  • Donaldson struggled mightily in this game and had several drive changing plays that he gave up or penalties
  • Kinchens/Williams should be your safeties as long as they are in school- TRUE
  • TVD throws off-platform, in the face of pressure, in big moments, you name it
  • Lashlee improved in this game, but a lot of the second half was sort of meh and trying not to lose. Anticipate their counters and be more ready to roll.
  • The CB opposite Stevenson was eaten alive all game. Marcus Slarke was unplayable in this game and Couch just got bodied repeatedly. The best second CB in this game was Ivey.- We miss Blades and he hasn't been very good as of late
  • Flagg is just too slow. You’ve got to make a change there, even if it’s TAC, or moving Chase Smith there. Some like the idea of Carter there, but he doesn’t tackle well enough for me to use him in that spot. - It would be more of the same with Carter, with an occasional big hit. #FREETAC
  • Missed Nesta’s motor and physicality in this game
  • Headley had probably his worst game at Miami, but got away with several shanks that had decent roll- Agreed. He was not very good this game.
  • Steed played a steady game
  • Harvey was good and should’ve drawn several holding penalties in this one
  • Everyone has seen the non-safety a bunch of times and didn’t need me breaking it down, but I will say I need Knighton to work to lean to get that ball out without question next time. Better yet, skip the inside-zone dive in that spot and either sneak it with TVD or run something else.
  • I thought Miami was going to lose when Pitt tied it up, but they closed out the game with the ball and that means something. Give Manny quite a bit of credit for keeping the players engaged and playing hard. Take a lot of credit from Manny for being stubborn with the upperclassmen and then saying silly things like “you take a win away from your record for every freshman you start.”
  • Play the kids
 
I echo your sentiments about Restrepo. Brings tremendous intensity and focus on EVERY play. You can see significant growth every week. This kid is a true football player and poised for a break out game.
I am a huge fan and see a great future for him at UM and potentially beyond.

Just one man's opinion though...
 
We need Blades to get back up to speed here. were really missing him
 
Nice write up as usual!

If I were Lashlee I’d be studying any and all plays that run 2 TE sets. That play with Arroyo coming underneath Mallory’s route and it’s variations are unstoppable with our personnel.

Good shout out of Key Smith for changing his route on that beautiful TD throw. He deserves some credit for that and the way he catches with his hands. One of the best throws by a UM QB in a long time.

Shoutout to DeAndre Johnson for coming on and flashing this game. He and Harvey took a well timed and needed step forward.

Silvera was clearly missed in the interior of the line, that was a Nesta appreciation game.

Mallory almost through the game with his fumble. Dude is kinda soft.

I’m sorry but Amari Carter is bad and it stood out glaringly for me in this game. Warning ⚠️ Do not key on him while watching our defense play. Blood pressure will rise.

Restrepo is living up to his Greentree hype. He deserves to be targeted.

Our OTs Nelson and Williams have stepped up and are going unsung after these last few games. Not gonna even mention Jakai Clark’s contributions with leadership and performance.

Jaylon Knighton wants it more than defenders. Where talent is equal and comparable, that’s how I’d choose who gets reps if I were our coach. Who wants it more. Knighton wants it more than Cam Harris so these same plays are looking much different.
 
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Lance, great write up as usual, thanks. Great to see the improvement on offense with TVD. The defense is still an abomination, no playmakers at DE or LB in particular. The lack of speed at LB is unforgivable, Manny should be fired solely for his awful recruiting at that position.
 
Mallory’s porous blocking would be enough for me to cut his snaps in half.

He can be a solid receiving TE when he’s focused, but his lack of physicality & lack of effort in blocking is cost worthy on drives. The sack on TVD in the 3rd quarter vs Maldonado was specifically because of him & was really really bad.

He consistently gets tossed & shredded on those Bubble screens by CB’s & Safeties routinely. It’s actually a surprise our guys get 7-10 yard+ gains on those screens when Mallory usually fcks up his assignment & barely even gets an arm on his man.
 
For Donaldson to have a noticeably bad game when overall it actually seemed like the OL played pretty well goes to show buddy just doesnt have it. Hes lucky we have nobody else to replace him.

It looks like we are in big trouble next year at CB if we lose TS.

Great writeup as usual. TVD looks like he is the type of QB that can singlehandidly win you games and we werent expecting that after DKing went down. For all the people who say we will most definitely lose one of the next four..well..just because..I say TVD will win us 3 by himself and we need the entire team to fight hard as an entire unit to win the 4th one. (I have a feeling that game will be the VTech game)
 
I echo your sentiments about Restrepo. Brings tremendous intensity and focus on EVERY play. You can see significant growth every week. This kid is a true football player and poised for a break out game.
I am a huge fan and see a great future for him at UM and potentially beyond.

Just one man's opinion though...
X looks like the dude you don’t want guarding you in a pickup hoops game. The kind of guy that is up in your face as soon as you cross half court. You can tell he hates to lose at anything.
 

2022 Commits

WR
6'2"
185
Nashville, TN
OLB
6'1"
195
Miami, FL
CB
6'0"
160
Lexington, MS
QB
6'4"
205
Valdosta, GA
CB
6'1"
175
Fort Myers, FL
S
6'1"
170
Orlando, FL
WR
6'1"
185
Mandeville, LA
OT
6'7"
275
Sandersville, GA

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