Second viewing thoughts and grade report: Miami
Sorry for the delay in getting this out. I didn’t have a chance to watch the game back until last night. Like our other losses, this was even more frustrating the second time around. We had so many chances to win this game. Ugh. At this point I just have to condition myself to expect at least one of those per year.
This loss is not on Matt Ryan. He took a beating and was under duress all night. His receivers didn’t help him much either. By my count eight of the 17 misses were catchable balls. These weren’t classic drops, more of the BC target having a chance and just getting beat up or not making a tough catch. If even half those plays go the other way, BC might have won this game. The INT at the end was bad, but at that point we were grasping at straws.
Bad, bad game for Whitworth. Miami exposed his lack of speed. There were multiple plays where he was caught in the backfield from a free running LB or DB. We let these guys go free because by design our RB should already be out of reach by the time these guys get to the line. We cannot run those types of plays with LV. His reads were poor and he was a non factor catching the ball (when he managed to hold on). He is the worst feature back of the TOB era. Callender started strong. His play on the scoring drive was great. The rest of the game wasn’t much to talk about, but play selection wasn’t doing anyone any favors. He also had real trouble picking up inside blitzs. Brooks was good in his limited time.
Kevin Challenger is a very good player who had a really bad night. There were at least five catchable balls that he got beat up on. He is smallish, but as a veteran, he’s got to come away with a few of those. He got pushed around and rarely got free. Gonzo was solid, catching everything his way. He never broke free for anything. Robinson who has the speed to run with Miami did not do much of note. Purvis and Thompson were quiet on the pass catching side and outright bad when it came to their blocking duties. They got blown up or beat throughout the night.
The Offensive Line had a rough night. Beekman played well, but the bad snap cost us three points. Cherilus’ game was a microcosm of his season: excellent play degraded with stupid, costly penalties. Marten had trouble with speed (as he usually does). Miami attacked Avenski in particular. On more than one occasion then sent two blitzers right at him. Obviously he had trouble. Poles was a disaster and looked lost. How is this happening to a starter in the 12th game of the season? Hall played better once they pulled Poles, but he also had problems with Miami’s speed. As a unit they were a mess. The pulling was not crisp. The pass protection, usually their strength, was a disaster. For the second time in a must win game, they were unable to open holes for our runners. This is probably the low point for O Line U.
Bible had the worst night of all. It was like Miami knew exactly what he was going to do. Before the game, I hoped that we would not try to run on the ‘Canes stout run defense. A little early success ruined that idea. After our first scoring drive Miami shut down our running attack. Yet we kept coming back. Horrendous. The passing plays were also frustrating. The Canes were obviously very aggressive, yet nothing worked (quick passes, draws, misdirections). Our max protect schemes gave Ryan time but no one to throw to. Bootlegs and moving pockets worked the best but we didn’t use them nearly enough. My biggest frustration was on the 3rd and longs when we were out of Field Goal range. We go for the first down. Treat it as two down territory. Easily, Bible’s worst game of the season.
The Defensive line was okay. No glaring errors, but not nearly enough pressure on Freeman. Once again the starters got the majority of snaps. Why are we curtailing the second teams playing time?
The Linebackers were outstanding. Toal continued his torrid pace with another strong outing. Pruitt and Francois made many nice tackles. Herzlich looked good on his pass coverage.
With the exception of three big plays (two to Moore and one to Olsen) the DBs played well. Tribble’s night nearly single handedly won the game. Glasper had the mentioned breakdowns in pass coverage. Anam was good except for getting caught flat footed on the TD. Silva made a few nice run stopping tackles.
While on paper, Spaz’s night was better than Bible’s, he deserves equal amount of blame. Like NC State, Miami was starting a very raw inexperienced QB. Like NC State, Spaz played a very conservative scheme hoping the scattershot QB would make enough mistakes to kill his team. It almost worked both times. Here is the problem with letting a young guy sit back without any pressure (when the BC offense is not putting up points) it only takes two or three big plays to steal the game!! Spaz did nothing to alter his plan and Freeman had all the time in the world and only really needed three big passes to win (two to Moore and one to Olsen). Where was the blitzing? The only thing we did to confuse Freeman was drop 8 into coverage!?! What did he do? Tuck and run. We needed to bring more pressure but never did. Terrible.
Special Teams: B
Good kick coverage. Good punt coverage (including getting the fumble). Ayers had another solid night. Smith didn’t get a chance to do much. So why not an A for this group, because not having a kicker cost us. Point the finger wherever you would like, but at the end of the day we couldn’t/wouldn’t even attempt a long FG.
This a good Miami defense, but not a good team. We should’ve won but did just enough to lose. There were many contributors to this failure but I will point the finger at the guy in charge. Regardless of what happened with Wake and Maryland, we took ourselves out of the picture with a lousy performance. Even the commentators said “Miami wanted it more.” Where have we heard that before…it was vaguely familiar, but it all blends together when you start talking Thanksgiving letdowns against lame duck coaches.