After the Clemson loss, French wrote that we didn't have an identity on offense. At the time it was hard to disagree. And to keep things is perspective Miami was just one, albeit beautifully called and executed, game. However, going into the season that's how I expected the offense to look each week. Our talented receivers spread out Miami's defense. Logan found the open guys on high percentage throws. We ran a heavy dose of zone read to take advantage of Logan's size and Wilson's which loosened up the box. At that point it's pick your poison. The offensive line won't dominate the line of scrimmage every time, or even every other time, like we'd like them to in more pro-style / "I-formation" attack, but in a spread scheme they don't have to. They're quite good at blocking in space, occupying a man long enough for David Wilson to find the crease and spring a play, and they're damn good at pass blocking.
The final four play calls were pretty brilliant, although during the game I went ballistic after the three consecutive runs starting from 1st and 10 at the Miami 28. Let's take a closer look.
1st and 10 Miami 28
A nice little counter that was blocked perfectly up front.
The defense follows Logan moving to the right.
Wilson takes the hand off back to the left for 5 yards.
The only minor thing I can criticize is David turning up the field a little too early. Boykin made a nice block on the outside, and it looks like there's room up the sideline for more yards.
2nd and 5 Miami 23
Before the snap Drager motions from the bottom of the play to the top, then Coale moves from the top slot to the bottom. It's a zone read, and LT3 keeps it.
The defensive end gets away from Lanier.
Instead of blocking the linebacker Wilson has to block the end and the linebacker makes the tackle.
Not a terribly successful run, but the thing to note is it wasn't a failure. We have three downs to make five yards, as long as we're moving forward it's alright.
3rd and 3 at Miami 21
Contrary to what Mike Patrick thought I don't believe this play was a zone read, to me it looked like a delay.
Logan wasn't moving laterally or reading a defender. He just seemed to stand still, trying to freeze the defense a bit.
Either way, the defensive tackle beats Jaymes Brooks inside, the rest of the d-line pinches in and blows the play up.
It won't take second prize in a beauty contest, but it's two more yards.
4th and 1 at Miami 19
Before we lined up, how many of you thought we'd get away from the run here? I sure as shit did. I figured we'd out think ourselves try to throw for five yards instead of picking up the easy one on the ground. I'm glad I was wrong.
This is a designed QB run all the way.
Logan fakes the zone read action to Wilson which gets the defense moving to its left.
There's a nice push upfront from Miller and Brooks.
Nosal is pulling around to lead Thomas through the hole.
And what a hole it is.
When it fails, going to the well four times in a row is insanity. When it works, it's genius. Credit to O'Cain for sticking with what worked and getting after it.
On the flip-side, the defense really struggled. The secondary had a pretty terrible afternoon. Jacory faded balls past both Exum and Jayron for scores. Eddie was out of position and should have never jumped that route that resulted in Benjamin's 77-yard touchdown. Hill got worked over in coverage a couple of times too. Miami challenged our linebackers to cover, and the 'Canes had some success underneath. Give credit to Jacory though, he played a marvelous game. Miami's big offensive line was able to wear down our small d-line. The injuries to The Antoine Hopkins and Gayle (which we're hearing is a high ankle sprain) just exacerbated the need for sizable depth at defensive line. Considering Marshall is a true freshman defensive end that's now playing defensive tackle, he played well. I thought Tweedy played well enough filling in for G-W, he cleaned up Bruce Taylor's mess in the backfield for a sack and didn't have any major lapses.
Finally, the stupid penalties have to go, they aren't Virginia Tech football. They could have cost us the game, and we'd have no one to blame but ourselves. There's absolutely no excuse for Collins throwing the ball at Jacory. That wasted a tremendous defensive series and individual effort. What can I really say about Becton moving early on a critical third down... Was the band playing?
Some quick notes:
--Lamar Miller is the best back we'll see in ACC play. No one will be able to cut it back like him. He's nasty.
--Kyle Fuller just makes tackles in the open field, that's we he does. For my money he's the best on the team at doing that.
--The three seniors Boykin, Coale and DRAGERBOMB led the team in receiving with 120, 91 and 36 yards respectively. That was nice to see. I still don't know why our opponents are in the business of letting Danny Coale get wide the fuck open.
--All of the Sunday's Chick-fil-A are belong to you Sir.
What did you guys think?