How good can Miami's offense be in '24? A statistical look at our recent additions

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DMoney

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While Miami is continuing to look for defensive help in the Portal, their offensive roster is pretty much set headed into the summer. How good can this group be?

I dove into some key stats courtesy of TeamRankings, which excludes stats compiled against FCS schools and thus provides the most accurate picture of team performance. The main takeaway: we're adding impact players who perform best in the areas we struggled with last year.

Let's start with the two most important...

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Interesting stat that Miami was top three in yards before contact on run plays but was 44th in rushing offense. Our running backs either couldn’t avoid defenders in the open field, went down too easy or both. It’s why running back is still an important position in college football even if they’re devalued in the NFL. A good running back will take these 4 and 5 yard runs our guys go and turn them into 20 and 30 yard runs. Our run offense had no explosion. Statistically, we were a very solid rushing team. 170+ yards per game, 5.0 yards per carry but we were so plodding on the ground that unless the passing game really carried the team, they struggled to score.

It’s so tough to score in college football gaining 4 or 5 yards at a time. It leaves no margin for error because if you miss execution on one play and end up in third and long, you’re cooked.

I think the fact that we have a legit #1 running back and a quarterback who has proven to be consistently capable of carrying a team means we are going to light up scoreboards. The only thing that might slow us down is the ridiculously slow pace our coaches seem to prefer.
 
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Interesting stat that Miami was top three in yards before contact on run plays but was 44th in rushing offense. Our running backs either couldn’t avoid defenders in the open field, went down too easy or both. It’s why running back is still an important position in college football even if they’re devalued in the NFL. A good running back will take these 4 and 5 yard runs our guys go and turn them into 20 and 30 yard runs. Our run offense had no explosion. Statistically, we were a very solid rushing team. 170+ yards per game, 5.0 yards per carry but we were so plodding on the ground that unless the passing game really carried the team, they struggled to score.

It’s so tough to score in college football gaining 4 or 5 yards at a time. It leaves no margin for error because if you miss execution on one play and end up in third and long, you’re cooked.

I think the fact that we have a legit #1 running back and a quarterback who has proven to be consistently capable of carrying a team means we are going to light up scoreboards. The only thing that might slow us down is the ridiculously slow pace our coaches seem to prefer.
Start at this post, and scroll down through @skyman's links and my comment about Chaney and Parrish:



Big deal, IMO.
 
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It’s why running back is still an important position in college football even if they’re devalued in the NFL. A good running back will take these 4 and 5 yard runs our guys go and turn them into 20 and 30 yard runs.

College is way different than the NFL in this aspect. I actually think RB is one of the more important positions in college. Most winning teams have a strong rushing attack/talent. Off the top of my head, I'm struggling to think of a national championship won without a quality back...
 
I believe the productivity of his mobility will best be seen by WRs who break off their routes when Cam buys a couple extra ticks while looking downfield. I hope they don't actually run him much.
totally agree, but either way, a defense will have to keep their eyes on him for fear of him running which should help the offense i'd imagine.
 
Interesting stat that Miami was top three in yards before contact on run plays but was 44th in rushing offense. Our running backs either couldn’t avoid defenders in the open field, went down too easy or both. It’s why running back is still an important position in college football even if they’re devalued in the NFL. A good running back will take these 4 and 5 yard runs our guys go and turn them into 20 and 30 yard runs. Our run offense had no explosion. Statistically, we were a very solid rushing team. 170+ yards per game, 5.0 yards per carry but we were so plodding on the ground that unless the passing game really carried the team, they struggled to score.

It’s so tough to score in college football gaining 4 or 5 yards at a time. It leaves no margin for error because if you miss execution on one play and end up in third and long, you’re cooked.

I think the fact that we have a legit #1 running back and a quarterback who has proven to be consistently capable of carrying a team means we are going to light up scoreboards. The only thing that might slow us down is the ridiculously slow pace our coaches seem to prefer.
Offensive pace do not dictate offensive performance!! Play calling rhythm and cohesion is key....also a QB who does not **** up every other series won't hurt either.
 
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Interesting stat that Miami was top three in yards before contact on run plays but was 44th in rushing offense. Our running backs either couldn’t avoid defenders in the open field, went down too easy or both. It’s why running back is still an important position in college football even if they’re devalued in the NFL. A good running back will take these 4 and 5 yard runs our guys go and turn them into 20 and 30 yard runs. Our run offense had no explosion. Statistically, we were a very solid rushing team. 170+ yards per game, 5.0 yards per carry but we were so plodding on the ground that unless the passing game really carried the team, they struggled to score.

It’s so tough to score in college football gaining 4 or 5 yards at a time. It leaves no margin for error because if you miss execution on one play and end up in third and long, you’re cooked.

I think the fact that we have a legit #1 running back and a quarterback who has proven to be consistently capable of carrying a team means we are going to light up scoreboards. The only thing that might slow us down is the ridiculously slow pace our coaches seem to prefer.

You’re correct. Backs pretty much got what was blocked, and nothing else. Hopefully Damien Martinez can help here, although explosion isn’t really his strong suit, and hopefully Chris Johnson in the open field gives us some highlights as well.

Check this out:

Here is where Miami ranks in explosive runs vs the rest of the country. One small caveat here, these are team runs, not necessarily by backs. So having a kid with Adidas made of cement behind center doesn’t help here, but this still tells a massive story.

20+ yard runs: 37th
30+ yard runs: 50th
40+ yard runs: 90th (2 the entire season)
 

While Miami is continuing to look for defensive help in the Portal, their offensive roster is pretty much set headed into the summer. How good can this group be?

I dove into some key stats courtesy of TeamRankings, which excludes stats compiled against FCS schools and thus provides the most accurate picture of team performance. The main takeaway: we're adding impact players who perform best in the areas we struggled with last year.

Let's start with the two most important mainstream stats: scoring and efficiency.

Points per game- 30.1 (38th nationally).

Under Gattis, this number was 19.4 (114th).

Yards per play- 6.1 (25th).

Under Gattis, this number was 4.8 (104th).

So there was a pretty profound improvement from year-to-year, but the offense was still not an elite group.

What were Miami's biggest weaknesses? The quarterbacks threw too many INTs, and they didn't pass well enough in a scheme that was surprisingly pass-dominant (88th in rushing play percentage). Here are two key stats from last year that tell the story:

Interception percentage: 3.48% (106th)
Passing yards per game: 250.4 ypg (47th)

With respect to passing yards per game, the top four teams all had QBs selected in the Top 12 picks of the NFL Draft. Miami is hoping Cam Ward follows in their footsteps. At Washington State, Cam Ward was able to avoid interceptions while leading a prolific passing game:

Interception percentage: 1.69% (19th)
Passing yards per game: 322.6 ypg (6th)

And it wasn't just dinking and dunking- Wazzu had the same yards per attempt as Miami on much higher volume. If Ward matches his '23 production (3,735 yards), he would break Bernie Kosar's single-season passing record (3,642 yards) which has stood for an amazing 40 years.

Even though Ward makes very good decisions with the ball, he has his own turnover issue: fumbles. Below are three areas where Wazzu struggled on offense:

Yards per rush: 2.6 (131st)
QB sacked per game: 3.5 (123rd)
Fumbles per game: 1.8 ypc (121st)

This is where Miami's superior OL reveals itself. Here's how Miami ranked in the same categories:

Yards per rush: 5.0 (20th)
QB sacked per game: 1.3 (17th)
Fumbles per game: 1.0 (38th)

The stats above are why Cam Ward came to Miami- he wanted a strong OL and running game. Ward himself shoulders some of the blame for the fumbles. He was careless at times and lacks strong hands. But the improved protection and run threat should limit the hits on the QB.

The rushing attack will be even better with the addition of Damien Martinez. Miami was Top 3 nationally in yards before contact due to the dominance of the OL. But the running backs failed to generate explosive plays. Shocking but true fact: Henry Parrish and Don Chaney had zero runs over 40 yards in their entire UM careers.

By contrast, Martinez had eight runs over 40 yards in his first two seasons as a teenager in the Pac-12. Last year alone, he had 39 runs over 10 yards (Top 5 among P5 backs). Martinez not only projects as the best runner that Ward has ever played with, he also projects as the best back of Cristobal's career.

Houston WR Sam Brown was the last piece to join the skill group. As it stands, Miami has the top two returning WRs in the ACC in terms of '23 yardage:
  1. Xavier Restrepo, Miami: 1,092 yards
  2. Jacolby George, Miami: 864 yards
  3. Kevin Concepcion, NC State: 839 yards
  4. Jordan Moore, Duke: 834 yards
  5. Malachi Fields, UVA: 811 yards
Sam Brown, with struggles at quarterback, finished with 815 yards. It's not outlandish to say that Miami has three of the Top 5 WRs in the conference on paper.

Of course, championships aren't won on paper. Top 10 offenses in this era are averaging 36+ ppg and 6.7+ yards per play. Can Miami meet those numbers? I don't think the expectations are too high.
Great episode, there are ALOT of things we could touch on regards to our offense. Will add from a couple comments, one of reasons we barely gave up sacks and gave up picks is because even if the defense was rushing 3 and dropping 8 we were still max protecting with 7 and TVD would have 3 options that were basically triple covered..

Drop 8 is tough even wit 5 options but 3 is impossible, that is tough for any QB.. Mario protected his OLine wayyyy too much.. no reason a OLine should need help for 3 rushers..

Also there was a RB thread thru season where it was discussed they were not explosive.. in modern day ball good OC talk about obviously no negative plays and explosive plays.. our RB never created more than they were given and could never make the one unblocked guy they are responsible for miss..
 
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I believe the productivity of his mobility will best be seen by WRs who break off their routes when Cam buys a couple extra ticks while looking downfield. I hope they don't actually run him much.
Over the course of season agreed but top teams greenlight their QB in run game in those BIG games.. Dabo talked about that and how he certain games his QB is gonna run the ball..

That's not our offense but we would be fools ( mind you we saw gt) to not use cam in redzone atleast in those games that matter.. NFL teams do it also in redzone..
 
Interesting stat that Miami was top three in yards before contact on run plays but was 44th in rushing offense. Our running backs either couldn’t avoid defenders in the open field, went down too easy or both. It’s why running back is still an important position in college football even if they’re devalued in the NFL. A good running back will take these 4 and 5 yard runs our guys go and turn them into 20 and 30 yard runs. Our run offense had no explosion. Statistically, we were a very solid rushing team. 170+ yards per game, 5.0 yards per carry but we were so plodding on the ground that unless the passing game really carried the team, they struggled to score.

It’s so tough to score in college football gaining 4 or 5 yards at a time. It leaves no margin for error because if you miss execution on one play and end up in third and long, you’re cooked.

I think the fact that we have a legit #1 running back and a quarterback who has proven to be consistently capable of carrying a team means we are going to light up scoreboards. The only thing that might slow us down is the ridiculously slow pace our coaches seem to prefer.
Did you watch the FSU game? Mark Fletcher was basically running towards the tackler. That's how it was all season. Hence the reason I feel like Mark Fletcher will be hitting the portal if he doesn't improve his vision.
 
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