Upon Further Review: UNC (Offense)

Upon Further Review: UNC (Offense)

Lance Roffers
Welcome back to Upon Further Review, where we will review the plays for each Miami game this season. This week we focus on the ‘Canes ACC opener against North Carolina (UNC). Miami comes out in my favorite uniforms in sports; their ‘Miami Nights’ black uniforms. What does the film tell us about this game? I’m trying something new this time and splitting it into offense/defense posts. Feel free to leave any feedback.

Kickoff is made and Miami missed several blocks, leaving little room for Thomas to run. We had a return Right on and Thomas had to go Left after free defenders came into his area. (Not pictured)

We come out in 11 personnel with initial Pistol. We motion Homer over behind Brevin in an I-formation out of shotgun look that UNC used a ton on film. The OL gives Perry adequate time, but Donaldson eventually is beat with a speed rush and has to reach. If Donaldson wants to stay at RT he’s going to need to get more flexible and not be a waist bender. Gauther trips over the NT. Perry delivers a seed to Harley over the middle-of-the-field who makes a nice catch. Big play.

1st down we try a stretch play off LT out of the Pistol. Donaldson immediately misses his reach block on the DT and is chasing. Gauthier gets to his man and this would be a nice run if Donaldson gets his block.

I believe Perry makes a mistake on this play and should’ve kept the ball rather than giving it to the RB. The Edge is crashing here and not respecting the QB. This isn’t the man Boulware is supposed to be blocking, they leave him unblocked and Boulware is supposed to get to the LB (which he does). Donaldson is supposed to engage this DT and then release onto the MLB behind him. He overextends and falls down instead. Jeff Thomas runs right by the slot defender and doesn’t block him, instead going for the S. Brevin has the SAM. The guy running by Thomas just comes up and tackles Homer for a loss along with the Edge player. Really, this play in the way they blocked it, had no chance.

UNC runs a zone blitz, slant their DL, drop their RE into coverage and send their SAM LB and Donaldson is slow to recognize it. He recovers and pushes him just wide. They run a CB blitz off the boundary and Perry sees it and throws to the man vacated in Langham. The S does a good job of coming down and making the tackle. Perry had to get rid of it.

Spicer with a poor punt. Low and short. (Not pictured)

UNC takes a 3-0 lead and Miami gets the ball back.

Generally, I have a couple of concerns with Mahoney; he tends to get overwhelmed with size and strength, and he tends to be on the ground a lot. Here he is immediately on the ground after losing initial contact to the DT. Rush goes nowhere.

DT slants here and uses quickness to beat the double-team. You can see Gauthier is looking back immediately after losing initial contact. If they had called this a hold on Mahoney I probably wouldn’t have contested. Donaldson has to adjust to a stunt and while it takes just a second and he is leaning, he recovers here and pushes the defender to the side so it doesn’t impact Perry. This route takes a while to develop, so give the OL credit. The throw from Perry here was excellent. His key is his back foot once it hits the ground at his marker (7-step drop here) and then a throw all the way to the other side of the field on a line. He puts it low and away so that only Hightower can get it as well. 1st down.

UNC is slanting their DT’s a lot, which makes it a very difficult block for Mahoney. On the play above, it looks like Mahoney was late, but really Gauthier was supposed to push the DT with Boulware and then react to hit the DT and was late. Here, Mahoney just has to try to get there. Again, I could see a holding call being made here. Homer sticks his foot in the ground here and hits that cutback lane hard. #36 LB overruns the play. Brevin gets that leverage on his combo block and seals the backside for Homer to take this to the 3.

UNC did a lot of guessing early on in this game defensively and again tried to guess on an inside run. We pulled Boulware, he gets his man sealed easily, Gray actually misses this block, but #7 didn’t want any contact and tries to go around the block. LB crashes into the A gap guessing wrong. Dallas walks into the end zone.

Miami scored a defensive TD to make it 14-3. UNC scores to make it 14-10.

Jahair in at LG and Boulware over to RG. Run a little swing toss to Thomas and he gets 6. (Not pictured)

N’Kosi Perry just has a different feel in the way he operates out of the pocket. His mechanics are crisper, he can use his eyes to move defenders, and he understands throwing lanes. Here he is in perfect concert with Langham on bang-8 where as soon as the receiver hits that 8-yard marker the ball is out. It was a tad behind the WR, but some of that was to find a lane to throw and not have it batted down. Part of being a great QB is just having the trust and patience in the route rather than staring right at your read immediately. Perry does that very well.

Next play and it’s an out to Cager. The pass is off target. (Not pictured)

2nd down Perry looks at his first read (Langham on the out) and immediately pulls it down and runs. Langham is there. My guess is that Richt will want him to be throwing this ball rather than pulling it so quickly and taking hits, but Perry does get the 1st down. Props to the OL, who have played well this drive.

1st &15 after Brevin jumps. I think Perry should pull this and throw the bubble. It’s an easy 5 yards or more. He gives it to Dallas, who gets 3 running into the strength of the defense.

There are plays that Brevin makes that are veteran type plays. Here, Donaldson is a little hesitant at the snap and Brevin gives him a shove to get the inside man, while he takes the outside man. Dallas darts through this hole and picks up a 1st down. Look at Boulware completely turn his man out of the hole here. He’s balling at RG.

Jahair Jones on the ground right after the snap. Everyone but Jones does their job here, but his man comes off and gets to Homer in the hole. Boulware winning his rep and turning the defender’s shoulders. This is a 1st down- and maybe TD- if Jones gets that block. Instead it’s 2.

Here UNC stunts their down lineman and their edge. St. Louis passes it off well, but Jahair doesn’t see it and is beaten inside here. The defender flushes Perry and it’s a sack after he tries rolling out and running. You see Homer cutting to the post here right at the LOS after releasing? He’s going to come wide open if Jones makes his block this is a TD. You can see the defender overplayed towards the sideline and is already beaten.

Here the Canes OL passes off the stunt well and gives Perry time. He throws the inside slant to Langham and has him for a short gain, but Langham drops it. It wouldn’t have been a 1st anyway. FG makes it 17-10.

Miami scores a defensive TD to make it 24-10.

Miami on offense has Boulware back at LG and Mahoney at RG. Scaife in at LT. Mahoney and Donaldson get beat pretty quickly or Perry has Dallas on the shallow cross matched up with a MLB. Perry runs for 5. These 5-yard runs that he seems to get really keep the offense on schedule. Just worry about the hits adding up.

Pull Mahoney, who gets the seal block here. Mallory kind of absorbs the edge defender rushing upfield, but he gets the job done. Dallas with the vision to see the lane and get 24 yards.

Donaldson completely whiffs on #3 here. You can see him sprawled out on the ground just behind the DL. Mallory is supposed to get off the edge and block #36 here but completely misses and falls down. In doing so he gets in the way of Boulware pulling as well. This play was a mess.

Next play is an impressive throw. Perry has a designed rollout and a double-move on the outside for Harley. He scrambles and gets his shoulders turned to deliver a pretty pass down the sideline. Harley just gets off-balance or it’s a TD. Donaldson was immediately beaten inside by #33 or Perry has time to make a more accurate pass.

Next play and Donaldson doesn’t bring enough pop on his initial jolt and the DL controls him with the long arm. He comes off this block and pops Perry hard. Tough series for Donaldson.

2nd down and Perry throws a fade a little shorter than he needed to. Cager doesn’t come down with the tough catch. (Not pictured)

3rd down and here is where you get excited with Perry. His anticipation as a passer is another level. He is already starting to throw this ball long before Langham is open. I saw this posted on Twitter by Daniel Gould and he saw it right. Langham catches this ball at the back of the ‘I’ in Miami. Perry also has Brevin open right now as well if he wants to throw it there. I think Brevin scores as well. Also of note: Scaife looked excellent at LT on this drive. Miami goes up 30-10.

We run an inside dive play to get a few more yards for the FG. Dallas sets this run up perfectly with his initial step towards the hole on the RG. This play is always intended to be a counter though that comes back off LG. You can tell because Gauthier and Boulware are both turning their defenders shoulders the other direction. Mahoney gets to the MLB and there is a huge running lane here. Excellent work of being in concert between the RB and OL. He takes this to the 11.

Excellent blocking for Miami on 1st down. They missed a defensive hold on #55 here as Boulware initially blocks him and then releases onto #36. St. Louis replaces Boulware after passing off #53 to Brevin. #55 is completely grabbing the side of Boulware’s jersey so that he can’t release but Boulware still makes his block and Homer gets 5.

2nd down and Boulware gets to the second-level again on #36. Homer hits the hole hard and finishes the run for a nice 1st down. (Not pictured)

1st down and Mahoney is whipped immediately. You can see starting to stand up next to Donaldson and his man standing in the hole about to tackle Homer. Excellent job of kicking out by Donaldson here- really delivering the first contact with leverage and knee-bend. Hope to see more of this. St. Louis is beaten inside right at the snap.

#53 puts a spin move on St. Louis here and he literally didn’t touch him. Two plays in a row that #53 has beaten St. Louis inside because he is over-setting to the outside. This one he forces a fumble on Perry. You can see Mahoney is off-balance after the initial contact by #65 here as well. He beats Mahoney immediately after this with an arm-over after hard contact with the right arm. Perry has to secure this football though. This is the play that Homer suplexes a DL.

Next drive and Jahair in at LG with Mahoney at RG. Basically no one on the left side gets a block and Dallas is run out for a loss. (Not pictured)

This ball got intercepted, and he probably shouldn’t have thrown it, but this is really a dime throw. Over a LB, in front of a CB, it hits Harley in the chest. I can’t tell for certain if the DB got his hand on the ball or not, but it’s this type of throw that’ll take an offense to another level. I think Richt will have to coach some turnovers out of Perry, but this kid is a QB. Harley has to hands catch this ball instead of letting it hit him in the chest. I guarantee Dugans will be talking to Harley about this play. Go to the ball!

Jones at LG, Mahoney at RG. UNC runs a stunt with #53 and it is a total bust by Miami’s OL. St. Louis overextends and misses a punch, Jones completely misses that it’s a stunt and blocks down. 53 makes the tackle in the hole.

2nd down and Jones is blown up into the backfield. Perry pulls it down and runs on this play. They called Jones for holding (he did it) as he tried to keep Perry from getting smashed after he was bullied from the snap.

They stunt and St. Louis and Jones do the exact same thing again. This has to be worked on at some point because stunts are beating this tandem every time. Jones has to pass this off or it’s a walk into the backfield every play. Here, #53 forces a fumble because he is on Homer before he can even secure the football. Frankly, this is unacceptable.

Mahoney is beat immediately by power. He holds #97 like you can’t imagine after he beats him inside. At least he saved Perry from getting crushed. St. Louis is beaten by #53 by an inside move and he is late to anchor. Perry has to scramble on this immediately. I’d make changes on this OL after seeing this tape.

I honestly believe we need to make changes in punt protection because we have given up pressure in the punting game all season long. Neither one of our punt protectors (Bethel and Demetrius Jackson) touch any of the three UNC players here. Spicer gets off a very poor punt, but with this kind of pressure you can kind of understand it.

Miami scores another defensive TD and it's 40-10.

Boulware at LG and Mahoney at RG. We run a dive play to Dallas. Boulware crashes down on the 1-technique and passes him off to Gauthier then goes and gets a LB as well. He’s good and getting better. (Not pictured)

2nd down and we run the same play. Boulware does the same thing. He initially blocks the guy that Gauthier is blocking here. Gauthier blocks down from his C position after Boulware delivers the initial pop. Boulware then releases onto the LB and shoves this guy completely off the screen Blindside style. Dallas runs for a 1st down behind it. Mahoney and Donaldson tried the same thing on the other side and Mahoney doesn’t get the LB who makes the tackle.

Donaldson really struggles trying to hit LB’s when he releases straight down the field. He almost completely whiffs on this block and ends up on the ground. Instead of lunging if he brought his feet with him and stayed on balance he would be able to bury this LB into the pile here. It’s effective enough though as the hole is there off-tackle. It’ll be scored a win when you grade it, but I think there is opportunity to clean it up to be even more effective in the future. There will be some things for the coaches to talk with Wiggings about. On this play he does a block-in-the-back on the edge. On the play before he shoves a guy right in front of the official and he’s lucky they didn’t throw a flag.

They run that inside zone play where Boulware has to get to the LB for third time in four plays and he gets it again and Homer runs for a 1st down. My guess is UNC has quit at this point because it is pretty awful tackling downfield. (Not pictured)

Miami is just running out the string but I wanted to highlight this play at the end here. Mallory is trying to block on the edge and obviously just doesn’t have the strength right now to handle it. What I noticed while watching is that Donaldson has a free shot to the side of this player and doesn’t have the power to move him? This guy comes off of this combo-block and makes a TFL. This shouldn’t happen for someone as big and powerful as Donaldson. He has his legs, his shoulders square, this guy should’ve gone flying, not still make a TFL.

Eventually Miami gets the TD from Gray and the final margin is 47-10.

There were several good performances from this Canes team. The RB’s ran hard and finished runs. Boulware played very well. Perry made plays. Romeo Finley was outstanding. Mike Smith had his best game as a Cane. McCloud played very well. Joe Jackson was flat dominant. The coaches knew what to do to stop the UNC offense. I also saw some things to work on. Donaldson, Jahair, and Mahoney struggled in this game. The tackling was poor at times. Miami struggled at times in the ground game. Amari Carter had his worst game as a Cane. The DT’s were not great and Willis had two huge penalties that need to go away. All-in-All, Miami dominated this game and if they hadn’t taken their foot off the gas in the second half could’ve won by 50.

Now it’s FSU week. Enough said.

Comments (42)

Donaldson has been a huge disappointment and has seemingly regressed this year.
How much more evidence does this staff need to move ND back to his natural spot?

It was obvious week 1, 2 and 3 Jahair was a walking turnstile. It took a ton of missed blocks and one that almost got Rosier killed to realize this.

It’s like they’re bullheaded to a fault , look at Knowles. Dude blows coverage at an insane rate. But they keep rolling dude out there.

And we need not talk about the qb position.

They make adjustments whenever it starts punching them in the face.

Mahoney is the next one , it’s been obvious he’s too weak and athletic to start, I constantly see him whiff or just get blown up. If that dude is grading out the best ol some games Searles and their grading system needs thrown in the trash. He’s a solid backup, nothing more.
Thanks for these write-ups, probably the best thing on this site. I say it every week after reading these, but our OL is an absolute sham. Is Searles going to be held responsible? I guess Boulware and Scaife are worth keeping, don't think any of the others are, disgraceful. OL is the biggest reason we aren't ready to compete at the elite level
Donaldson has been a huge disappointment and has seemingly regressed this year.

He hasnt regressed , he’s playing a spot that he’s raw at and pretty much isn’t his natural position. He’s a guard , I know he wants to play tackle ( that’s where the money is) but you won’t ever get the money playing tackle.
I messed up on the play that St. Louis got beaten on the spin and Perry fumbled and posted a defensive picture. My fault.
@Lance Roffers Do you think the reason Perry is hesitant to run is Richt has been saying that he wants less QB keepers and more carries for the tailbacks? Also could be Perry has been known to take off and run and many said that it was the reason that he did not see the field.
@Lance Roffers Do you think the reason Perry is hesitant to run is Richt has been saying that he wants less QB keepers and more carries for the tailbacks? Also could be Perry has been known to take off and run and many said that it was the reason that he did not see the field.

It's entirely possible that Richt wants to limit the hits on Perry, which as Trevor Lawrence showed us this weekend, is a smart way to think.
Scaife at tackle and Donaldson back at guard fixes most of the online problems or am I wrong? Really asking for your opinion on the best online combo pls
Scaife at tackle and Donaldson back at guard fixes most of the online problems or am I wrong? Really asking for your opinion on the best online combo pls

It would help with run and pass blocking.

Just replacing Jones with Boulware has it looking like a completely different unit.

Scaife would matchup better with speed rushers that bother ND. ND would maul / move the guys that Mahoney has no chance to move.

Im shocked it’s taking this long to make the change.
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Glad you did this breakdown because our OL is what kinda scares me going into this game. JJones falling down like a clumsy clown and Mahoney doing the same doesn't bode well when you are going up against an FSU DL. Burns going one on one against Donaldson shouldn't make anyone feel better either.
We have some work to do in this dept or Perry will be running for his life like Francois will be on Saturday.
Isnt McCloud's responsibility the QB here? Or is it the RB and 55 got rubbed out so 53 got confused?
Scaife at tackle and Donaldson back at guard fixes most of the online problems or am I wrong? Really asking for your opinion on the best online combo pls

That seems to be the general consensus on CIS....
Scaife looked to not only hold his own, but do some of the extra things you want to see like finding work when he had nobody to block. Boulware seems like an instant upgrade over Jones or Mahoney. I’m not sure we open up with Scaife and Boulware in the line, but if there are early struggles, I think CMR injects them into the lineup.