After a terrific 1-2 start to the 2021 season, it is time for the University of Miami football program to go with a youth movement.
The old players they had produced in the past are not taking the next step (or even playing at the same level as before) and so now is the time for the UM coaching staff to return to a talented but inexperienced culture, young people to breathe in the team.
This class of UM students is the most talented group the program has added in a long time and it is time to see what they can do.
This article tries to highlight some of the new players who can give this UM coaching staff some answers on the offense.
Coming into this 2021 season, Miami offense was expected to be a significant force of the team. After an average of 34 points per game in 2020 and UM returning ten of the 11 starters from that band, early returns on that side of the ball have faded.
The Miami attack is currently averaging 18.3 points per game, which ranks 116th in the country.
The game has been slow with UM ranked 117th in turnovers lost by seven per year, converting only 36 per cent of their third chances, ranking 95th nationally.
In the red zone, Miami has scored a touchdown in just 4 of 11 trips.
What has been the general issue? All of the above: Negative performances, lack of execution, inability to make a simple game.
Miami needs to find some answers to the offense.
Read on for a look at the possible answers in each position on the offensive side of the ball.
The problem through three games: Veteran center-back D’Eriq King is definitely not the player he was in 2020. King made his way back to health quickly after breaking the ACL in late December and he looked rusty and not 100 percent healthy at speed and its maximum accuracy. With Field where King’s game is more immersed this year is on lap. He made up four laps against the state of Michigan. King is by no means a matter of offense, but the fact that he is not the same player he was last year is holding back the attack.
Freshman to know: Jake Garcia is the quarterback with the highest rating UM has signed since Kyle Wright in the 2003 cycle.
Garcia has natural passing instincts that are impressive with his ability to work through readings and a willingness to push the ball on the field. During the spring football month, Garcia showed intriguing presence in the pocket for a young player. In the spring game, Garcia completed 19-of-25 passes for 252 yards with two touches. Many of the program are convinced that Garcia has the ‘factor’ in position.
The biggest concern with Garcia (or whoever Miami puts in the quarterback now) is the offensive line. King has avoided multiple bags during the first three games, so getting the ball fast will be important.
The problem through three games: Veteran Cam’Ron Harris has not been able to be very threatening through three games.
Harris is averaging 4.2 yards per carry and his long run at this point in the season is 19 yards. D’Eriq King’s long run this year is 29 meters, while Don Chaney Jr., who lost for the year with a knee injury, burst a 20-yard run with 30 fewer passes.
Harris has dropped easily in contact, averaging just 2.80 yards per carry after contact.
UM looked like they would have a good depth on going back, but Chaney has lost from injury and his sophomore friend is still serving a four-game suspension to start the year.
Freshman to know: Former four-star recruit Cody Brown, who emerged from his national letter of intent with Tennessee to sign with Miami after the Volunteers made a change in training, deserves a chance to show why he was a much-talked-about recruit.
How Can Browni Help Hurricanes? At the high school level, Brown demonstrated the ability to run with impressive contact balance and get yards after contact. At 5-feet-11 and 212 pounds, Brown has a strong body. During his last three seasons at the high school level, Brown ran for 4,791 yards with 57 touches.
The Miami blockade has been weak this year, no doubt, but UM needs to find supporters who can create their own backyards. This is not happening now.
Anxiety with Brown? With every beginner returning, the concern will be the pass protection, but there are ways to help him by also putting a H protector in the backcourt. Unfortunately this is the crossroads in which the UM directed game is. The output is not good enough, which is making the attack unbalanced.
Brown has played three attacking attacks this season. He has not received a carrier.
Miami needs to see what Brown can do because at this point the production in the run game could not be much worse. UM ranks 114th in the country in hasty attacks, which is better than just LSU, Arizona and Mississippi State at the Power Five level.
The problem through three games: Points and no games after capture.
Miami-wide receivers have calculated seven drops per year, which is the most in the ACC. The group is also averaging just 3.7 yards behind the catch for waiting, which is the latest in the ACC.
Opposing defenses are playing a turnaround, but do not spoil the style against Hurricanes this year, which requires UM attack to create long and steady rides. These defenses are relying on Miami making mistakes that kill those discs.
Points are a big issue and the inability to make a game after capture (outside Charleston Rambo against the state of Michigan) is a significant issue. Mike Harley (3), ‘Key’Shawn Smith (2), and Xavier Restrepo (2) each has more than one decrease per year.
Freshmen to know: These are basically the first two students you need to know here: Romello Brinson on the outside and Brashard Smith in the slot.
Brinson seemed to belong during the 27 fast-track offense against the state of Michigan. In season, Brinson has caught 3 of 4 targets for 33 yards. It brings the ability and length of the smooth road out.
We got a brief glimpse of Smith at speed during a rollback that was called back for a blind side block. Smith is one of the most explosive weapons Miami has on the list in terms of speed and acceleration. It also has a strong structure that allows it to pass through contact.
Jacolby George is also a talented beginner, but his small frame can prevent him from coming out on the field.
The concern for the first students to play in the receiver is that they will make first student mistakes by recognizing the games and running the right depth on the road and the blockage will be contaminated on the perimeter.
But at this point, older players are not doing the job (outside of Rambo), so it’s time to see if new players can give a spark.
P FINAL TIGHT END
The problem through three games: Weak points and blockage.
Three three matches, Will Mallory has equalized for the team’s lead with three drops. It also has a 45.6 run block rating.
Miami needs tight position to be a weapon of inconsistency, not an obligation. Mallory has not been a changer at all in three games, catching eight assists for 64 yards a year.
Freshman to know: Elia Arroyo has potential stars.
The Arroyo has an impressive combination of size and athleticism as it catches two of the three targets for 18 meters per year.
Arroyo has also been an impressive blocker, earning a blocking grade of 71.5 at this early stage of his career.
Arroyo played 20 hits against the state of Michigan as his role continues to expand week after week.
The problem through three games: Everything. Jogging block generates no steady push and crossing protection will have one-on-one breakdowns that are unforgivable and lead to embarrassing bags.
UM offensive line coach Garin Justice is mixing and matching to find the right combination – and it looks like he will experiment with more looks this week by setting up Jakai Clark as the initial center.
UM ranks 99th nationally in handling allowed losses, averaging seven per game. Hurricanes are also allowing three bags per game, which ranks 108th nationwide.
This group was expected to take a step forward in 2021. Instead, it has suffered regression.
Freshman to know: Honestly, there are no first students to turn to to help this group. Miami needs to keep mixing and matching veterans until they find the right combination that can bring consistency.