Upon Further Review: UAB

Upon Further Review: UAB

Lance Roffers
Welcome back to Upon Further Review. The wait for the 2020 season has finally ended and the Miami Hurricanes are in the win column in their season debut. The unveiling of D’Eriq King certainly had its share of excitement as well as a new uptempo scheme from Rhett Lashlee and company. Sit back and enjoy reviewing some game film from a victory.

First play on defense and someone blows a coverage. No one follows the slot receiver who runs an underneath drag route (who also happens to be one of their two receivers who has any production). Most likely the bust is from McCloud, who has the flats to the field side but he is caught watching the ball and not his responsibility. McCloud is responsible for the edge and the flat depending on play call and he gets washed by the play-action flowing to the boundary. Jennings is responsible for that B gap and the cutback lane on this play. Phillips gets trapped by the TE and washed inside leaving a throwing lane for the QB. Smart play call to use aggression against Miami early.

Defenders a step slow on this play. Phillips does his job on this play as the force player. A force player is named that because his job is to seal the edge of the defense and “force” the runner to cutback inside towards the defenders. McCloud needs to take on that inside shoulder of the OL rather than playing him head up. If McCloud plays that inside shoulder and drives the OL down, it reduces the angle the RB has and allows Phillips to help tackle if he tries to go outside and allows the SS to “tunnel” downhill and meet the RB in the hole. By playing it how he does, the RB actually cuts back in-between the two LB’s here. Jennings is too straight on with his OL here. If he turns his shoulders and runs along the LOS he can use his right arm like a stiff arm against the OL and press that hole harder and faster. Not a great play from our LB’s here. It’s called back, but it’s also on tape.

What in the world is Bradley Jennings doing here? UAB has two guys to block McCloud because Jennings is way out of position and got fooled by the eye candy. I understand a false step, but the ball has already been thrown and he’s still running the wrong way. Nesta has already started pursuing the ball and he’s a DT. Nesta has to make the tackle on this play down the sideline (what a nice effort play by him).

Run a stunt on DL and Jordan Miller gets nice penetration (I’d like to see him have his eyes up so he can find the ball, but that’s picking nits at this point). That forces the RB to go deeper to get to his landmark on the zone read. McCloud does a nice job of avoiding the OL block and then scrapes down the LOS and makes the run stop. Nice play. Violent edge set by Roche, just ragdolling a TE like he should. Jennings gets blocked into Ford as he was just a half step late to diagnose the play. Not egregious, but he needs to be a stout run stuffer for this defense to excel.

Seam as a clearout, run an angle route underneath it (nice patient route by WR). Keontra gets bullied a bit into blades and this is easy. Nice play design. Been impressed by the design of the early plays for UAB (which are scripted).

Steed shows nice burst to beat a blocker and get into the hole, but misses this tackle. Jennings and Huff clean it up. Steed was in the right gap and forced the play back inside for a gain of nothing. Would just like to see him finish that play.

I like being creative on a 3rd and long with using Brooks as a standup NT to rush the passer. This is a tough ask to ask Brooks to get all the way across and cover the B-gap in outside zone here. RG bullies him out of there. Bolden comes downhill and makes the tackle after five yards. Harrison-Hunte is quick but needs to add mass and strength to hold up on those doubles. He’s most likely going to be an interior pass rusher this year.


Miami takes over on offense. Campbell goes with an interesting technique of trying to catch the defenders’ hand. Uses his inside hand to get under left arm pit and then able to steer him wide. First priority is getting the block done, but that needs to be cleaned up against better pass rushers. Other OL look fine, though Traore needs to get his eyes up.

Designed QB run. UAB had a nice, sure tackling defense. If King gets through this hole before that LB gets there it’s a huge gain. Jarrid Williams does a nice job of pulling and getting into the 3T and opening a lane. Traore seals the NT. Campbell off-balance after originally locking on fairly well. Needs to sink and roll the hips to get finishing power and control that defender.

Can’t give a better pocket than this. NFL will want to watch this play as Brevin stones the edge defender by himself and doesn’t give him an inch of field. Cam Harris with a nice blitz pickup. Picking nits, Traore passed the DT off to LT, but needs to then bury that NT right in the ribs to his right. Instead he does nothing. Good work, protection.

Here is a good look at what the QB sees to make his read. He’s looking at that outside contain defender and making his decision. UAB is well-coached in defending the read-option and they are disciplined. LB has eyes on ball, edge is playing it outside-in but his rounding wide to play both as best he can. Seven defenders on five blockers and three unblocked defenders is going to be a difficult play to make work. Traore has to get leverage on that NT and allow Gaynor to release onto that LB. That NT is supposed to tie up both of those blockers for as long as possible to keep LB’s clean. 90 is just trying to clog that and use his left arm to push and prevent the C from releasing. Need a slant or another route behind this to keep LB’s honest.

Slant timing is on point between King and Harley here. Traore loses badly on this rep and is thrown to the ground. Never want to see your OL on the ground. Brevin loses to the edge and lets him get too far into half-man but pushes him wide. So far our best OL has been 62.

Edge is left unblocked by design, Campbell is pulling to take that LB. King has to pull this and it’s a nice gain. Instead it’s a TFL. This is executed perfectly by the OL.

Bad pass by King leads the RB further outside and allows the spill defender to beat Williams to the spot. A good pass and he easily cuts inside of Williams and is to the second level. Another TFL on a play that could’ve been a big gain. UAB plays straight downhill. There is no uncertainty or timidness with their defense. They don’t have the talent of some on our schedule, but they play an excellent style of defense that tested our team.

Payton runs a stop route on 3rd & 14 and King throws a fade route. I don’t know who is at fault, but I like the stop route or comeback route more than a fade there. Note: Payton needs to run his route a yard further as he would’ve been short of the 1st down even if they were on the same page. (Not pictured)

After the punt, a quick review on the run fits on this play. LB’s have to read their keys first, which is the flow of the OL (normally you key on a G). The flow is to boundary on outside zone. McCloud has the C gap (outside LT), Jennings has the B gap (between G & T), Frierson has the A gap (between C & G) on a cutback run. McCloud is going where he’s supposed to at the start, but falls victim to the RB pressing the hole into B and the RB cuts back outside and beats McCloud around the edge for a gain of 6 (nice job by RB). The defense has this play defended as Jennings beats 52 to the spot and has the B gap. If McCloud stays outside where he should be, this is a no gain play. Nesta actually makes this tackle downfield.

McCloud reads off-tackle on next play, knifes through, but misses tackle in backfield. Tough series for McCloud thus far. (Not pictured)

Nesta was an animal in this game. Beats the block cleanly, gets into backfield and makes a play.

Frierson misses a tackle on a WR screen, but Jennings cleans it up. Then on 3rd & 10 we drop 8 and play coverage. That was something I wanted to see more of on these 3rd and longs this year. Nice job. (Not pictured)

Parrot misses his block and Pope drops the ball. The punt returner is a guy who the coaches trust to make smart decisions and never fumble. You see it often with less dynamic players getting a chance at returning punts because they will be smart and hold onto the ball. Pope probably doesn’t want to fumble again this year if he wants to keep that job.

Plays the run perfectly, then overruns it and misses the tackle. Ivey, when you don’t have a receiver to your side you are the replace player in run fits. Have to make this tackle. Luckily, Roche cleans up the mess.

So here is the UAB TD and it’s a nice play design that got the defense. Ivey is playing press with an inside technique. At the snap he immediately goes into a trail technique. He goes into trail because he has safety help on the post and deep. Plying trail revents the stop, comeback, out routes, back-shoulder throws. You are trusting your safety to cover the deep portion of the routes though. UAB runs play-action with a sprint rollout to the field. Bolden sees the crosser at the intermediate area and is watching the eyes of the QB and thinks that’s where the ball is going. Instead, the WR runs the corner route and Bubb gets caught peeking.

Ivey loses the ball after he makes a mad dash recovery because his safety isn’t there. If Bolden gets to the corner route like he should, it’s still a TD regardless to the crosser. I am certain this is on the S because there is no way you’d play bail coverage there without any help.

Traore pushed into the backfield, forcing the RB to bubble around him and the defense to attack the gap. Campbell tends to be in chase mode quite a bit but his length allows him to recover. TFL.

Here’s the long TD run. Several great parts of this execution. The DB is so concerned with D’Eriq King he doesn’t go towards the RB at all. This might be the best block of Mallory’s career. Absolutely stones the edge player here. I also want you to look at Cam Harris on this run. This is a designed cutback all the way, you can tell by how Mallory is blocking outside and the rest of the OL is crashing down. This is a 4th down play that most players get excited to get there fast, but if Cam Harris doesn’t press this hole to the left, that LB doesn’t rush to fill that gap so quickly and makes a tackle after a couple of yards. Harris eliminated the last defender with his patience and his pressing that hole. This is already a TD right here.

It is a very good thing that Silvera scraped down the LOS and makes this tackle on the cutback or this runner is out the gate. #61 throws Steed on his face on this play and there is nothing but deep safeties behind him. Silvera showed great effort in this game. Phillips makes the RB bubble by getting into the backfield so quickly. Like to see him finish that play.

You set this play up all game thus far and get exactly what you want from the defense. King has to make this throw. It’s an easy throw and he airmails it.

Ivey bites on the stop-and-go and it should’ve been a long completion. Got lucky here. UAB has a really nice offensive scheme where they hold those safeties with lots of play action and lots of middle intermediate routes which keep the safeties from giving a ton of help deep.

This is a nasty arm-over to beat the G immediately by Cameron Williams. Young man has some talent. He is beating this G before most of the linemen have even engaged yet.

Traore pushed back immediately. Look at how easily Traore allows this defender into his chest and he stands straight up. You lose your base and power when you let the defender get your chest. To his credit he did re-anchor and keep him out. Scaife steps outside and the defender crosses his face and goes inside. If your inside hand is trying to steer away an inside move like this you are toast. This is the play King reverses field and hits Wiggins on the sideline.

King has to pull this. You ride it and when he commits like this you pull and take the edge. Jarrid Williams was playing great out on the edge and getting to the second level in this game.

Pick your head up and you might make this block Traore. Instead, Knighton has to break the tackle of the LB. This was a good give by King. The other edge player defends this much better than the opposite side does.

I showed you earlier Harris pressing a hole and forcing a LB to commit in the run game. This is a freshman doing it. Look at how he is immediately bouncing this ball. No attempt to press the hole or suck the LB’s up. This is an easy run to the edge for a tackle at the LOS. Young man needs to show a little more patience.

Traore literally shoves the LB into the path of the RB. This isn’t even his man, this is Scaife who is supposed to get this LB and Traore is supposed to get the other one. Messed it up for both of them. Thankfully the RB breaks the tackle and gets outside. King goes and blocks on the play. Love the effort, but get out of the way my man. Too important.

Great play by King. The defense knows exactly what is coming and jumps this short route to the outside here. King sees it, pulls it down and that middle of the field is wide open for the TD run. UAB with a clever defensive design and King was just a superior talent. Campbell with the key block to seal the defender inside. Harris takes the blitzer and does a nice job.

Nesta stunts and finds the ball. He really played well.

This is what it looks like when your LT reads a blitz and your LG sees a standup Brooks over him at NT. LG helps C on Brooks, no one takes Roche and it’s a free rush to sack. Really like this look of having Brooks utilize his pass rush skills at NT on 3rd downs.

King missed Brevin wide open in the middle of field here. There’s a safety back there, but he can throw this over the LB and he has a nice gain. It’s incomplete outside. Brevin was frustrated after the play.

Jarrid Williams’ worst play thus far. Whiffs on the outside speed rush. The edge rusher to that side of the field is a decent player. King picks it up with his legs.

Traore is a puller on this play and is supposed to get out to the edge rusher here. Instead, he veers off and hits the guy that Williams is down blocking on. He really just hits Williams and takes them both out of the play.

Traore pancakes a guy on a decent run by Chaney. (Not pictured)

Ford knifes into the backfield, Jennings does a nice job of staying clean and makes a TFL. Nice run fits and DT play by Ford. (Not pictured)

Ivey has played this technique perfectly the whole way. He played inside, forced the WR to go outside on his release, close distance and forced to the sideline, hip-to-hip, but here is where he loses. The WR has turned to look for the ball, now you turn to look for the ball and use your inside hand (right arm here) to create contact so you know where he is when you look for the ball. He doesn’t and it’s a perfect catch-and-throw. Not bad coverage, just didn’t find the ball.

You want to pull your G and ask your C to reach the NT? Silvera needs to shoot that gap as soon as the G steps back to pull. He does, the C can’t get out there and Silvera forces the throw-away.

That’s how you turn and find the ball. Just wish he’d finish the play more often. Nice job, Blades. Just feels good to write the Blades name in a Canes review.


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Comments (91)

Punt return is where Pope catches it inside his 10, retreats to the two-yard line and then gets upfield. Don’t do that, Pope. Don’t do that. (Not pictured)

UAB played safe contain pass rush and were just trying to push the pocket and then spy him if he tries to run. King tries to get outside of the pocket and is sacked by the spy.

3rd & 15 and Campbell is initially beat but does a good job of using his length to push him wide again. King has a checkdown for about 10 in the middle of the field but tries to get the 1st down on a throw to Brevin and is off. UAB dropped 8 into coverage and made it difficult to have any open throws. I like their defensive scheme and the way they are coached. (Not pictured)

Good thing Phillips tips the 1st down pass because they had an open receiver outside. Hall got caught peeking into the backfield and lost his man in coverage. (Not pictured)

Jon Ford beats his block and eats this run play up. Brooks does a nice job of knifing into the backfield but gets knocked off by the OL. He needs to gain a little mass to hold up against the run.

Frierson does a perfect blitz and gets into the backfield for a TFL. (Not pictured)

This can’t happen on the next drive. Gaynor and Scaife have a miscommunication and allow the NT to split them immediately while looking the other way. King just dumps it off to Harris for a nice play. One of the receivers had to run the wrong route at top of screen as you wouldn’t want both that close out of trips to boundary.

UAB fooled the OL on this one. They walked five up and dropped the white LB out, then did the delayed SS blitz that Miami likes to run. Gaynor slides right, which I’m sure was the line call based on the look UAB gave. That left Scaife and Williams to block three defenders and the RB is on the other side. Free rusher hits King and forces incompletion. King saved a sack that probably prevents points on this drive.

More games by UAB gets a sack that King caused on himself. Only three rush but King feels the pressure and steps right into a sack when he had time to take a shot. I do believe Scaife set way too deep into his backfield when he had no immediate threat and the rusher came from the LB unit. I’m impressed with the UAB defense in how they are coached.

I’m going to pickup the pace in the 2nd half, but there are so many things I want to highlight on each play. Campbell is telling Traore on this play to get the LB and Traore whiffs on this block. If he makes this block, this is maybe a TD. Instead the LB runs right in-between these two OL and tackles Harris.

Miami OL is out of sorts right now. UAB rushes three from the same side and Traore goes outside and Campbell goes outside. Gaynor has to slide and take that rusher when three come from that side, but you’ll remember earlier Gaynor went that direction on a three rusher look and they backed out and got a sack. He guessed wrong again and there is a free rusher. I also believe Knighton released too early and needs to be in to block when they send an extra rusher. King spins out and gets the 1st down but this was bad.

Traore has struggled mightily in the run game with the NT and loses again on the next play. (Not pictured)

Just nice inside zone blocking and running on this play. Traore keeps working down, Scaife gets a guy in the backfield. Harris shows patience and picks his way into the hole and takes this to the 10. Excellent run. Nice grit from the OL.

They saved this play on a sprint right for the red zone. They had it perfectly. Immediately sprinted and the CB left his man immediately to come up for the QB. This is an easy throw to Payton. Can’t miss the layups.

Unblocked. Shoots the gap on a nice play honestly, but then takes a bad angle and doesn’t lay a hand on the RB. Have to make this tackle, McCloud.

Their big wheel route that Couch forced a fumble on should’ve been offensive pass interference. Ball was thrown past the LOS so you can’t block or shield like this. UAB executes their plays so well on both offense and defense. I think they are going to be a tough G5 team if their backup QB plays decently (starter got hurt in this game).

Big props to McCloud for diagnosing this throwback TE screen when he was going the other direction due to the action of the OL. He almost intercepted it and how many times did this play hurt us against Virginia Tech last year?

The 4th & 4 offsides on Roche was a really clever play by the TE, who sold it as though he was moving on the snap, but he is allowed to shift. This lay never happens if they don’t get gashed on a run of 11 yards on 3rd & 15. The three-man rush, dropping eight only works if your striker is willing to play run defense. (Not pictured)

From here, Miami just ground the game out and scored on their next two possessions to put the game away.

By the Numbers:

There are several measures of offensive/defensive efficiency that can tell a story about the game and most of them add value. Expected Points Added is probably the best one because it doesn’t fall victim to weighting big plays the same as a short yardage conversion, but it is more complicated to derive and understand, so I’m going to use the second-best metric in my opinion, which is Success Rate.

Success Rate is fairly simple in that it takes the yards to go on specific downs and the yards you gained and determines if the play is successful or not. Five yards on 1st & 10, 70% of 2nd down, or a conversion on 3rd or 4th down is a successful play. The team that has a higher Success Rate wins the game more than 80% of the time, making it a simple, yet highly descriptive metric.

  • Miami finished with a rushing success rate of 38.0% and a passing success rate of 57.1%
  • UAB finished with a rushing success rate of 28.0% and a passing success rate of 36.1%
This is a decent rushing rate and a very good passing rate for Miami’s offense. These are strong metrics for both on the defensive side.

  • The OL allowed pressure on nine out of 36 pass snaps (25%)
  • Last year, the OL allowed a pressure on 186 out of 557 pass snaps (33.4%)
Defensively, Miami did not rush the passer to the level of last season:

  • 21 pressures on 72 pass snaps (29.2%)
  • Last year, Miami got pressure on 36.2% of pass snaps

Jarrid Williams-
Very good in his first game with the Canes and was their best OL in this game

Cam Harris- Showed patience to press the hole, burst to make big plays, and had a few nice blocks

D’Eriq King- Not quite the dynamic performance we hoped for, but King made some marvelous plays in this game that Miami hasn’t seen at that position in quite some time

Nesta Silvera- Was very active, played with a motor, and made his presence felt

Borregales- Not because he did anything special, but just because you didn’t worry when he was out there


Osuman Traore-
It was a tough game in his first career start. Miscommunication, inability to make blocks at the second level, and letting blocks slip off too easily all night long

DJ Ivey- CB’s have to make plays, not just almost make plays or be in a good position but still allow the catch

Run Fits- For the most part, no LB played especially well. In a game where you watched the Kristopher Moll for the opponent, it was painfully obvious the difference. Too often players were choosing the wrong gap, attacking the wrong shoulder, or just slow to diagnose the play. I said before the game that UAB had two players who would start for Miami and it is definitely three after the game, as Moll would definitely start for Miami.

Passing Game- Several miscommunications on passing routes, WR’s not getting separation, Brevin being absent from the game plan, open receivers missed by King. It was an ugly night for the passing offense against a solid secondary.

OL Communication- Especially in the first half, the OL struggled to communicate and pass off rushers from various places. UAB walked defenders to the LOS and then rushed some and backed out others and Miami struggled to adjust and communicate effectively.


Miami scored 31 points, rushed for over 300 yards, and won convincingly against a well-coached team. Yet it still felt like a marginal performance from our Canes. King can, and will, be better. The passing offense will definitely need to step up to reach goals, and the pass rush we have all heard so much about needs to be unleashed in future weeks.

A C+ game in a victory is acceptable, but I’m looking forward to seeing what an A performance resembles for this group.
@Lance Roffers how do you think Campbell performed?
Fine. Perfectly reasonable LT in ACC.

I’d expect him to time his punch better, be more patient, get a better slide as the year goes on.

Hand placement is an issue as well as timing. UAB had a lot of length on the edge that Miami has less of in their standup players. I think in the First half the length of stride and punch was an adjustment because he was better in 2nd half.
I think the o line can fix lots of those communication issues with experience playing as a unit. The linebackers should be fine if they start giving the better athletes (steed, brooks, huff) more PT. Not worried about King. The receivers timing should improve but we don't have a dominant, alpha go to guy right now. The corner room is just a mess and its hard to foresee it getting much better, we're gonna be vulnerable vs high powered passing teams. Overall, still more pros vs cons on this squad IMO.
@Lance Roffers I understand Bolden needing to be over top on that TD pass. However, Ivey is there, no other threat in the area, and he just again fails to locate the football. I just can't understand why this is a constant issue
I want to crack a brew with @Lance Roffers @LuCane

and watch film.

I wish we had copies of the ALL-22 film.

Watching games on that for the experience is great. I hate not seeing the corners and safeties that well on live TV.

I’ve got a stockpile of about 300 games on All-22 (not all Canes, of course).

You bring something tasty to eat, drink etc. and we will settle in.
@Lance Roffers how do feel the technique of our OL looks. I know you have been hyper critical of our technique in the past. Namely the waist bending and such
So this is interesting…

The two star athlete playing for UAB, could “definitely start for Miami“ (ahead of the linebackers that play for Miami) according to @Lance Roffers ? And the player, Kristopher Moll, is from … Coral Gables? The kid‘s high school is 2 miles from Greentree?

The holy hell that would have rained down on this board had Miami offered a 2-star — much less accepted a commitment.

So which is it?
- A miss evaluation by Miami?
- Poor coaching of Miami LBs?
- great development by UAB?
So this is interesting…

The two star athlete playing for UAB, could “definitely start for Miami“ (ahead of the linebackers that play for Miami) according to @Lance Roffers ? And the player, Kristopher Moll, is from … Coral Gables? The kid‘s high school is 2 miles from Greentree?

The holy hell that would have rained down on this board had Miami offered a 2-star — much less accepted a commitment.

So which is it?
- A miss evaluation by Miami?
- Poor coaching of Miami LBs?
- great development by UAB?

We’ve had poor coaching at the LB spot since Manny got here. Shaq and Pinck were decent, but too often they made the wrong reads, filled wrong gaps etc. and we got burnt bc of it. The splash plays they made were more based off instinct than coaching IMO.

That kid has been developed by UAB. If he would’ve gotten a shot here, he wouldn’t be that good.

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