• Attention: Register today to view CanesInSight Ad-Free for 7 days.

Upon Further Review: Miami Spring Game

View as article

Lance Roffers

Editorial staff
Feb 23, 2018
Welcome back to your spring edition of Upon Further Review. Miami held their annual spring game on Saturday and ACCN was there to broadcast it live, giving us the opportunity to see our football Canes back in action for the first time in four months. New defensive coaches were added, several early enrollees and three transfers joined the fray as well. There were several players out of action, which meant a bunch of young players got their opportunity to show out at Hard Rock. How did it look on film? This will be long-winded, so if that’s not your thing, probably just skip to the overview at the end.

OL came out as: Nelson-Clark-Gaynor-Donaldson-Scaife, with Scaife holding the lead over 7th year player Jarrid Williams at RT and Clark holding the edge over 2nd year player Jalen Rivers. Clark doing what he tends to do and immediately waist-bending here. I think Clark is a C-only, but the coaches like his intelligence and movement skills.

Would like to see Hall attacking this bubble right now, instead he’s flat-footed without a receiver to occupy his eyesight. The player next to the bubble is a walk-on FB type and isn’t going to threaten your defense down the seam, so you definitely don’t need to help.

Terrible throw by TVD here makes Harley spin completely around and gives the defense a chance to attack. A good throw out front here gives Harley an easy 5, with a chance for a big play if he breaks a tackle.

You see Miami jamming to the boundary on the second play, which is something I want them to get back to after last year playing a lot of bail coverage even when pressing. Ivey doing a good job getting to that outside shoulder with his jam here. You hear about “length” with CB’s often, and tend to associate it with tipping passes, but it’s even more helpful in getting a jam where you want to. He mirrors to the inside on his left leg, jams with outside arm to the outside. If you mirror outside and jam outside, you are dead if the receiver crosses your face inside. Once he has the jam on outside shoulder of a release to the outside, the QB tends to get off that read quickly. Play mirror-bail to the top and the outside release is clean from Rambo.

Stevenson showing the makeup speed to stay in-phase with Rambo on the vertical route. Gotta admit, that is nice to see from Stevenson. With Clark, you see he recovers and pushes the DT upfield, but he’s already perpendicular to his sideline and that is a problem in pass protection, as it leaves you vulnerable inside. Admittedly, not a huge fan of his, but two reps in-a-row I don’t love from him, though he gets the job done. Ivey shows his long-speed issues here, as after getting the jam, he’s losing a step with Harley already.

The throw from TVD is awful and far outside.

Knighton’s got the leverage and a trailing LB and looks to hit this hole hard. Keontra Smith shows his speed by running this down for just a few yard gain. If Knighton is one step faster- or Keontra one step slower- this is a huge gain. You can see #41 with his hand in the air as he thinks it’s a huge run.

You can tell the coaches are preaching to hit the hole or press it first because Knighton bounced everything last year. If he bounces this one, he gets a few more yards but reduces his chances of hitting the seam at full speed for a huge run.

In my assessment of the two QB’s you will see me state that TVD is the QB who will keep your drive more “on track” while Garcia is the QB who will press the issue downfield aggressively for bigger plays. Here is an example of TVD keeping the offense on track and getting to his checkdown quickly and getting the ball out.

Some good things on this play from the OL, some meh things from the LB’s. Donaldson really showed his mobility is coming back on this play as he gets across the formation with ease to kick out the edge. Scaife is using his long arm to help with DT and still in position to kick out the other edge. Clark and Nelson have a nice duo block on the NT. Keontra is late to hit this hole, though. His key is when he sees that RG coming across the formation and the LT performing a duo block on the NT is to hit that inside hip of the RG and get into the backfield and blow up the FB (or RB if the FB isn’t blocking him). He’s tentative and isn’t able to get there in time to cause a mush pile in the backfield. 1st down.

They run a Sluggo as a decoy with Parrot on a stepback screen. This play probably works a lot better in practice with Mallory at the TE position (or when Arroyo is here). Parrott has that piano strapped on his back. Stevenson eats it up. He’s been impressive thus far. Nelson with the take down on DeAndre Johnson, who looks like the starter on the edge. Looks fast. Legitimately quick off-the-ball. In true Lashlee fashion, they come back to this same play later on the Sluggo to Pope, wo drops a dime.

Carter playing at Striker and he’s playing it like a SS. He needs to be over into that hook zone when the slot WR leaves the LOS. There is a deep defender who has the seam, but Carter has the hook zone and is just frozen in his spot looking at the play fake, but even if it’s a run play he needs to play it from hook zone back inside and not just stop his feet. You could run this play a hundred times in a row and you’d never stop this throw the way Carter plays it.

I talk a lot in pass rushing about the winner is generally who gets their second step down first. Here, DeAndre Johnson has his second step down quickly and Zion is trying to catch up and is still kicking when DeAndre is coming back inside CLEAN. This kid has serious get-off. Liking what I’m seeing in this defense unlocking some of his talent.

Garcia impressed in this game, as I’ll write quite a bit about later on, but this is the best throw of the day. Johnson is pressuring from one side, edge is pressuring from the other side and TVD sticks his foot in the ground and fires a missile from one hash all the way to the other side of the field on-time and accurately. This is absolutely an NFL throw.

Zion has had a bit of a rough game thus far. Way out over his toes here and completely waist-bending. Nice of McCloud to help the offense on a stunt by tripping his DT and putting his hands on his back while running himself out of the play. Harley has a two-way go with Bradley Jennings completely stopping his feet. No defender has a chance when doing this, but especially if he’s going to just stop. If you read the QB’s shoulders, it’s pretty clear the route is going outside. Easy completion and shows how vanilla the defense was in this game. Avante showed his closing speed on this one and shuts this down for a 5-yard gain. I don’t know how you keep Avante off the field.

Harvey roasting Scaife here. TVD completed this outside for a 1st down, but this was a QB smashing in a real game. Hands low from Scaife, exposes his chest, Harvey chops his hands with his right, pops him back in the middle of the chest with his left, and it’s over. Scaife’s average length showed up on this play.

Also like how they passed off that switch route at the top of the screen. Stevenson recovers and keeps in phase with his trail, Frierson has hook zone. The reason Frierson isn’t sprinting to his right where the QB is looking is because he has the QB in case he tries to escape to the boundary side.

I love looking for details with players in these reviews and it’s nice to see the protection growing with those details. You can see Zion is pulling from his LT spot on a read-option, but as he is pulling he is smart enough to use his long-arm to help on Harrison-Hunte as he’s leading through the hole. Donaldson loses leverage here, is pushed back into the backfield and forces the RB to bubble. Need to play with his pads lower and not forklifted like this. That’s the Jonathan Ford we need to see against the run. Excellent play. Steed is too quick for Gaynor at the second level and knifes through. Solid LB play, but all setup by the DT here.

Of course, Ford jumps off-sides on the very next play. I know that it is kind of en vogue for the OL to say frozen after a DL jumps off-sides, but I don’t really understand that. You have a free play, try and maximize it by giving QB as much time as possible (and avoid any hits on the guy). (Not pictured)

If you ever read someone write a “reach” block, this is a good example of your C getting a reach block on the 3-technique. He has to get across his face and control him, while hopefully establishing this kind of turn if the play is outside zone. It’s an RPO that becomes a pass, but great block by Gaynor there. Clark misses his block at the second-level against Bradley Jennings. Not good tape for Clark there as he is already off-balance and almost falling down.

Stevenson makes an excellent pass breakup on Keyshawn Smith on 3rd & 1, would like to see Keyshawn come back to the football on that one instead of keeping a flat line and allowing the defender to make a play on the ball. Little things. (Not pictured)

Younger Borregales looks legit on his first FG attempt. (Not pictured)

Garcia’s first pass is a hospital ball that gets his receiver hurt (high and outside exposes the ribs of your receiver and Keyshawn Washington took the shot). One of the issues I noted with Garcia is how his footwork is inconsistent and can lead to accuracy issues. Here you see he is just a mess with his footwork, short stride, feet not going towards target, falling to side which leads to arm drag, which leads to high passes. Had the checkdown for five if he wanted it, but like being aggressive if the throw is there.

Lashlee was all over Garcia on this one. You’ve got to see that an overload is coming to your right side and you don’t have enough to block the four coming from that side with your three. The extra rusher is the QB’s to handle and Garcia does not. In a game he gets destroyed here.

TVD has made two NFL throws in the 1st quarter of this spring game. This is a big-time throw right here. Again, far hash, all the way across the field and has to be on-time, accurate, with zip. Back foot down, ball is coming out before Rambo finishes his break and is accurate. Mesh across the MOF, with a deep out is just forcing the defense to cover every square inch of the field and if you have a QB who can make this throw, it’s just not fair.

Ford whips Donaldson again on this one as he beats him off-the-snap and gets into backfield. Deandre Johnson holds the edge and they shut this run play down. That’s teaching tape from Zion on the left side against Harvey.

This one is on Rambo. It’s 3rd & 7 and you’ve got the look you want. Rambo has to carry this one yard further and not round it off a yard early. TVD is on-time and accurate, Rambo just ran the route short. Excellent job by Carter to attack this route downhill and make a clean tackle a yard short of 1st down. He has looked better at S than striker.

Somebody blew the coverage here. Nice ball though. My man Kinchens showed serious burst here and makes a nice tackle to make this a shorter gain than it should’ve been.

Jennings and Keontra are a little lost in zone here. There is one receiver in the zone and Keontra sees the RB come to the flat and wants to pass the TE off to MLB. Jennings is waiting to see where the RB is going to go and is late to identify it and take the TE so it’s easy money on the hook route. The defense has been awfully charitable to Garcia thus far.

Oh, my sweet, full heart. We run smash here and Garcia waits until the boundary CB declares to cover the corner, when he does he steps up in the pocket and hits the out route which is wide open. If you read my stuff you know how much I love the smash route and would make smash/mesh/stick concepts the staple of my playbook.

I wonder if the LB’s heard about the previous play because Jennings tries to jump the RB Cashwell out of the backfield this time and he runs right by him.

My thought watching this is I wonder if Garcia is having trouble seeing lanes to throw because he had no need to step up in this pocket, he actually moved into more trouble than he was in by standing firm in pocket.

I’m guessing you would want to run a little different offense depending on if it’s Garcia or TVD in there. Garcia does a great job riding the mesh on the RPO and moves the LB out of the throwing lane, hits his back foot and lets fly a rope on the slant.

Daz, you’ve gotta hang onto the ball here. Big hit by Keyshawn again. He has shown no regard for his teammates today.

Whew. This is one beautiful ball here. Garcia drops it directly into Wiggins, who lets Ivey rip it out. Honestly, nice play by Ivey to not give up and get it out, but Wiggins, that can’t happen.

TVD has made two NFL throws in this game, but Garcia shows something here with his ability to slide in the pocket without dropping his eyes to look at the rush. The great ones have this feel in the pocket where they just slide and move and step to keep themselves in a good position and Garcia really does that here. Nice re-anchor by Scaife to control the rusher as well.

Lashlee making things easy on Garcia here. Garcia knows he’s got the coverage he wants on the outside and just needs to keep the window open to make the throw. The read is Steed, so he looks at him just to see what he does. He’s going to the outside receiver the entire way in Rambo. If Steed goes outside to jump that outside route he’s got the shallow cross once Steed vacates, so his read is simply to watch Steed here.

Ivey has been scared to death of Rambo’s speed on just about every play matched up with him. Rambo has started doing a great job of getting Ivey to open his hips too early and then cutting underneath with massive space. Ivey is already turning and running here and Rambo is going into a cut behind the slot receiver. A big ingredient that Miami has been missing on offense is defense-scaring speed to get more space to operate for others, or underneath for Rambo. What Ivey is doing is a technique defenses call “sail” these days (you look like a sailboat in this position), but he is scared of the speed so gives too much space.

Grainy, but this is a great throw. Guy free up-the-middle, Harvey gets his hand up, not much space at all, but Garcia fits it in perfectly. Harley boxed out Hall here and makes the catch.

Cam Williams dogwalks Kai-Leon Herbert into TVD’s lap, but he still throws a nice pass to Pope, who drops it. (Not pictured)

Any time your G is chasing the DT on a run play you know things are off the rails. Traore gets smoked by Elijah Roberts here. Austin-Cave makes a nice play on this one as he shuts down the cutback lane and then hops into the other B gap and takes on the G and helps bring the RB down. Gotta keep getting stronger, but I’ve always liked him.

Austin-Cave shows his click-and-close here and stops this screen before it can get a 1st down. Granted, the WR is a walk-on who runs like he has a piano on his back (#88), but it was a nice athletic play by Cave. Side note: But I had to check three times that #91 is Jordan Miller. That kid looks like he’s put in serious work on his body and is quick. DT leading the pack here even with several blitzers getting off at the same time.

I’ve praised Austin-Cave on two plays in-a-row and now I’m going to criticize him. He absolutely gets too aggressive here and gives up his gap, leading to a huge run from Cashwell. He knifes inside of Campbell, who is happy to wash him down and open a huge lane with DeAndre coming wide on the play. Johnson, you can’t get blocked by a TE like this, my man. #36 Andrew Barnes takes a poor angle and then horse-collars at the end. Just ugh.

Here is another one of those 30-yards away blitzes from Jalen Harrell here. He never has a chance to get there unless the play is specifically run into that gap. Flagg plays this well, as he has to account for the B-gap that is huge here and get back into A-gap.

Dunson gets ran into the next county on a comeback route here. He’s still running deep and Restrepo has already starting coming back towards the sideline. I hear Restrepo breaks tackles like a RB quite a bit, but he went down really easily in this game to me.

Jennings trying for the arm tackle (which he missed) after being late into the hole.

Kinchens manning up on Restrepo on the RPO slant with no help in MOF as LB’s attacked the run fake. Kinchens played well.

Restrepo’s revenge on the next play as he has a two-way go against Kinchens with no help. Kinchens trailed it well, leaving not much room for the catch, but Restrepo shows incredible body control on this play. I am telling you now, this is not a natural play here as his momentum is taking him to bring that left leg down first, which would’ve been out-of-bounds and Restrepo has the body control to keep the left leg hanging and tap the right toe. Beautiful.

Also loved that Lashlee saw 1-on-1 with a S on the previous play and gave a similar look to get this matchup again and then attacked the other way. Hard to stop.

Someone sent me this play and asked why Miami is playing it the way they are defensively and I don’t have a great answer. If I’m the QB and I see the defense playing 2-on-3 I’m asking for a screen almost every time. It’s trips to the boundary, which tends to get the defense messed up on alignment (similar to how an unbalanced formation causes issues for the defense fundamentally). Mike needs to be 4-5 yards to his right and play across the formation back through the gaps if it’s a run play to the strong-side. Miami pops a run behind the edge player, who is not blocked as the Read player. Coach Diaz needs to get with Lashlee and talk through the best ways to defend the trips to the weak side.

Not sure what kind of fake this is from Garcia. Luckily he didn’t touch his knee there. Run slot fade and a square-in underneath it with Rambo and he’s wide open. Garcia’s throw is a little low and Rambo touches knee down.

Hall gets absolutely toasted on a slant-and-go by Pope. This is definitely his responsibility and he loses immediately. This was a nice route by Pope, give him credit. Heck of a throw by Garcia as well.

Lance Roffers

Editorial staff
Feb 23, 2018
Cameron Williams squeezes down on the TE to plug a hole and force the RB to bounce and Flagg shows nice awareness to get out there quickly. Nice play. (Not pictured)

I don’t know what Garcia is seeing here, but this is a bad throw. If he doesn’t throw it too high, it’s picked by Stevenson. Really nice awareness by Stevenson to come off his man and drop into that corner area to help Hall with Rambo.

Dunson does three things really well on this play. First, he gets into phase quickly and uses that long arm jam to force receiver closer to sideline and gets into his hip to where he can run the route for him. Then he looks for the ball when Wiggins does, then he completes the catch (unfortunately, out-of-bounds). Nice play, would like to see Wiggins fight harder for that ball.

Ragone gets washed down on this play and Cam Williams is athletic enough to recover back into the hole from the read on the edge. Then Austin-Cave gets back into the play from the other side. He has some juice. Can’t play Ragone in games this year. (Not pictured)

Chase Smith gets called for pass interference on a play he was in position to handle, he just kind of panicked with the ball in the air. (Not pictured)

Rivers and Gaynor take the DT for a ride out of the hole. No idea what Frierson is doing here as he watches Knighton sprint through a cutback lane.

TVD throws this one short and out-of-bounds but pretty good coverage from Hall on Restrepo.

Pope jumps a tad too early and Avantae does a better job of high-pointing this ball to knock it away. Again, this ball was a bit short and faded towards the sideline. TVD has moved to a little lower arm slot from what I evaluated in high school and he is a bit more of a slinger now on deep passes than he is a confident passer. Would like to see him rip these with a little more conviction like we’ve seen Garcia do a few times today.

Busted coverage here as both take the hook zone and leave Pope wide open over the MOF. Nice, on-time pass from TVD, but this was easy. Hall jumped the underneath route and left his man.

This pass was a seed by TVD and I love how he threw this to outside shoulder that Keyshawn could cut upfield and break this tackle by Ivey. You get YAC because of the accuracy of your QB first and foremost. Smith is a starter on this team for me.

Rivers and Gaynor are nasty on that duo block where the RB has horizontal start and can pick his spot to attack. Knighton scores right through that gap at LG on this play and it was bad safety play to allow him to get into the end zone, but Knighton is dangerous in space.

Avantae is way too shallow of an angle here and then just sort of dives his shoulder into Knighton instead of delivering a hit. Bad play and he will have to improve on this or the coaches won’t play him this year.

Smash is always open, especially if Ragone has to cover the flats. Easy throw-and-catch here. Ragone and Luis Gutierrez Jr. get put in the spin cycle by #88 Dante Johnson, who is currently listed on the roster as #39.

Looked like this one was on Garcia as the play is for the receiver to continue across if the defender is in trail, rather than settle into a zone. Bad throw.

Garcia held the ball far too long on a few plays where he was told about it quite a bit by the coaches and this is one such play (also on the drive in his own end zone where he missed a wheel and then took a safety). You have to get rid of this ball when they flood the zones like this. Ragone is jumping the flat for no reason and Harley comes wide open a second later, but by then Garcia is sacked by Jalar Holley on a stunt.

This is a simple read for Garcia. It’s a one-half of the field read and he’s reading that seam defender. If he sits down to take that little out route, you fit it into the bucket on outside deep. If he drops into the deep area, you take the out. Garcia correctly takes the out.

This was a beautiful throw on 4th & 12 and showed nice arm strength and accuracy, but he gets destroyed if this is a real game, so you have to realize how different playing QB is when this guy gets to hit you. Parrot absolutely whiffed on his block and is having a rough day and Ragone stops before he gets there and ducks. They don’t do that in a game and this pass never would’ve gotten off.

Another play where the QB gets lit up if it were allowed. Elijah Roberts stole Jalen Rivers’ lunch money on this one with a jab step to his right shoulder, a rip move and cleanly through.

If anyone ever asks you about Ryan Rizk, just tell them he’s probably a really good kid. Andrew Barnes should’ve had a pick here.

Chase Smith is going to develop into a bad man. Excellent closing speed and finishes with bad intentions on Parrott.

I’m not going to write up all the walk-on plays because it just doesn’t do much for me, but I will say Elijah Roberts on Gavin Adams isn’t fair. He’s far too quick and eats him up for a sack. He’s looked good. Hide yo QB’s indeed, momma. (Not pictured)

This was a tough throw and Kinchens has the awareness to be ready for the pass sailing from Matocha when he’s the over coverage on a seam that has to throw over the underneath zone.

Garcia has been a little slow in progressions and taking the plays that keep an offense on schedule, but here he sees a lane and goes. If Garcia adds a little more consistency to his play we are really going to have something.

My man King is calling the plays and calls Smash and it’s there but Garcia hesitates and pulls it down to run. You’ve got the Whip at the 6 and the corner behind it. If he lets it go now and throws it the back pylon, this is open. To the field he’s got the square-in with a clear out at the seam.

Double slants and Garcia is a tick late with the throw and Avante breaks on it against Restrepo. Incomplete. (Not pictured)

This is a hold on the LT and the edge defender is slowing up not to hit the QB’s legs, but it’s impressive from Smith how quick he is on the comeback. With his speed he can definitely open up a CB’s hips and eat on this comeback route. To get it into the end zone was next level stuff. Dunson has to make this tackle, though. He’s flashed a couple of times and been exposed a couple of times.

It goes to a running clock with walk-ons in and I am going to call it a day here after 60 stills.



  • I think you’ve gotta be pleased with what you saw from the three transfers today. DeAndre Johnson showed some juice off the edge and has an explosive first step. Tyrique Stevenson was the best defensive player out there. Charleston Rambo really brings a speed element that has been missing and will make life easier even more than his individual stats will show. I was impressed with his burst and he played well.
  • TVD showed that he could start a game tomorrow for Miami and keep everything on schedule. I think his performance is being undersold by the media due to not being quite as flashy as Garcia with some of the deep passes, but there were two throws in this game against the 1st team defense that were NFL level throws. Never put the ball in harm’s way (on a play that wasn’t a free play due to off-sides), was accurate, fast with his decisions. Not in love with his ¾ arm slot he’s throwing more with, but he was impressive. I also think he’s a player that his size and physicality will show up in games that you can hit the QB.
  • I wrote a lot of nice things about TVD above, but this was Garcia’s true freshman spring and he even got a late start to it. To go out and have the on-field confidence to throw the ball the way he did and attack lanes was impressive. His arm is certainly better than it was last year and he made a few plays that made you stand up in your living room. That said, he put the ball in harm’s way in the red zone, he missed several throws that were open to keep a drive on schedule, he was slow to get through his progressions, and was tentative on a Smash route that was open in the red zone. A lot of good-to-great things in this scrimmage, but I do not think it was quite “he’s passed TVD on the depth chart” either. Many coaches would put a higher grade on TVD’s performance due to the fact several of the Garcia plays wouldn’t happen if the QB was live to hit.
  • Harvey played well and made his presence known. He looked in this game to be the guy most likely to take over the top edge threat from guys like Roche and Phillips.
  • The OL is starting to do some of the little things that lead to run game success and Nelson continues to develop at LT. They weren’t great, but we don’t need dominant, just competent.
  • Keontra Smith showed his speed and could really make an impact at WILL.
  • Chase Smith is one talented kid. He probably sits a lot of this season, but the other strikers will not to sleep on their jobs with him behind them.
  • Ford was very good in this game. In fact, if I didn’t give Stevenson the best defender on the field award, I would give it to Ford. This defense requires a penetrating DT to make it go and I’m hoping Ford can take a step forward in that regard.
  • Miller looked svelte and Roberts looked quick at DT.
  • Keyshawn Smith, Mike Harley, Charleston Rambo are your starters and Restrepo is your #4. Pope was not awful today, but the drops showed up again. Those guys can work as a quintet while the youngsters develop this Fall.
  • Gurvan Hall had a mixed day, Kinchens flashed and made the crush grow deeper, Avantae looks fast, but reckless. He should be a CB to me.
  • The LB’s again looked pretty average to below. Flagg was too sticky on blocks- including charging into a double-team on the Knighton TD run. Jennings is still unplayable.
  • I’m not sure what McCloud is bringing in practice to get the coaches excited, but he was invisible in this game except for a stunt play where he almost tackled his teammate.
  • Wiggins, I really need you to hold onto that dime from Garcia deep. It’s time to step up or you won’t be on the field.
  • Run game still looked meh to me and there were yards left on the field.
This was a fun one to review, even with all the players out of the game that had to miss. I have said multiple times this is the best team since 2003 and I still believe that after reviewing this game. It’s up to Coach Diaz and the others to get the roster playing to that potential this year, but things are headed in the right direction in my mind.


  • 43.PNG
    520.1 KB · Views: 45

The Sphinx

Aug 7, 2017
Damn awesome write-up, Lance. Very detailed and comprehensive. I'd feel much better if we can add a good LB and DE over the Summer, but I like our team.

Hearing Rambo, Harley and Smith with Restrepo at WR4 makes me very excited for our offense.

They just need to keep grinding and make sure everyone stays away from trouble.


Jan 29, 2012
@lance...Great writeup as always! Few questions..

By your summary, is it safe to say that you are leaning toward being officially done with the Pope/Wiggins situation and are ready to move on to other options?

Are we GT LB upgrade away from being an elite defense? And if we cant get one, how far of a dropoff is it for this defense with the LB play being so poor?

Lance Roffers

Editorial staff
Feb 23, 2018
@lance...Great writeup as always! Few questions..

By your summary, is it safe to say that you are leaning toward being officially done with the Pope/Wiggins situation and are ready to move on to other options?

Are we GT LB upgrade away from being an elite defense? And if we cant get one, how far of a dropoff is it for this defense with the LB play being so poor?
I would say I’m ready for others to get a chance, yes. Pope played fairly solid, but two drops is tough to take. Wiggins just isn’t good enough to play over several others.

There really aren’t elite defenses anymore, but we are a good MLB from being a top-20 defense in the country, which is plenty good enough to go to playoffs etc.

The fact I believe it’s the best team is nearly 20 years tells you I’m pretty high on the team, but proving it on the field has been troublesome for this program.


Redshirt Freshman
Nov 3, 2011
I don't care is #88 runs like he has a piano on his back when he can catch the ball and get upfield with a piano on his back.
We have this year's Marshall Few. Did the actual Marshall Few graduate? I forgot.


Jul 9, 2014
We have this year's Marshall Few. Did the actual Marshall Few graduate? I forgot.
He must have. I have always believed in playing players with good hands at WR over guys with athletic ability, but hands that are 50/50. It makes no sense playing WRs with the dropsies.

Alex Jones

Jan 30, 2012
Good stuff Lance.

I posted in my nuggets that Tvd takes what the d gives you , and is ok nickel and dining you down field.

I kept trying to tell the folks bashing the d their opinion would be different if they called sacks or could hit the qb. There’s a few Garcia wouldn’t been eating out of a straw today if it were live. Multiple sacks came on big plays but were not called. Like I said “ it’s a glorified 7 on 7”. You can only take so much from that. I do think Garcia is as far along as any EE I’ve seen , but I’m not giving him a yellow jacket yet. Both qb’s have their own strengths and weaknesses.
Last edited:

Lance Roffers

Editorial staff
Feb 23, 2018
Good stuff Lance.

I posted in my nuggets that Tvd takes what the d gives you , and is ok nickel and dining you down field.

I kept trying to tell the folks bashing the d their opinion would be different if they called sacks or could hit the qb. There’s a few Garcia wouldn’t been eating out of a straw today if it were live. Multiple sacks came on big plays but we’re not called. Like I said “ it’s a glorified 7 on 7”. You can only take so much from that. I do think Garcia is as far along as any EE I’ve seen , but I’m not giving him a yellow jacket yet. Both qb’s have their own strengths and weaknesses.
Sounds like we saw it similarly. Always like it when another pair of eyes validates my thinking.


Redshirt Freshman
Nov 3, 2011
I agree completely with your LBs take. We still need help there and Manny has to see that. I think they have to roll the dice some with Avante and Chase Smith to get that athleticism on the field. May not happen much vs Bama but it'll happen.