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Miami Hurricanes Film Review: Second Quarter

Louisville finally got stops on defense but the offense fell apart in the second quarter.

Miami v Louisville Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images


Other teams have good players too. I write the opponent breakdowns each week to try to highlight this fact but sometimes it’s worth pointing out in the reviews. Zach McCloud (#53) blows up this play mostly by himself. Louisville blocks it pretty well up front and Marshon Ford has a clear path to the second level block. McCloud just runs straight through him and then he pulls Javian Hawkins backwards away from the line to gain.

There’s not much else to say about this play. This is just really impressive from an individual standpoint. I also like the call by Louisville because they had been running the ball fairly well.


These 10 yard comeback routes have been working really well for Louisville so far this year. Dez Fitzpatrick has a few catches on this route and Justin Marshall really looks good on this particular play. He does a great job of working back to the QB which is a fundamental that plenty of players seem to struggle with. He also does a great job to get up the field and make the first guy miss.

Marshall is a big athlete and I think it was obvious that he would be able to bully defenders after the catch. I don’t know that I expected him to be this fluid with the ball in his hands. It’s great to see this from him as it pertains to this season but he could be the first option in the passing game next year and this is a great sign for the future.


Malik Cunningham can’t miss on this throw. It’s that simple. He has two open options on this play and he picks the right one but he just short arms the throw and they blow a chance to get the game within four.


Louisville’s defense caught plenty of heat after this game and the vast majority of it is warranted. However, it shouldn’t go unnoticed that they defended the run extremely well outside of two big gains. The scheme is all about creating havoc up front and blowing up blocking schemes and this play is a good example of the Linebackers having room to run and make plays because the Defensive Line did their jobs.

Dayna Kinnaird is playing Left End on this play and you can see that he takes the Right Guard into the Center and they both get run out of the play. Dezmond Tell loops around Kinnaird and the Right Tackle ends up chasing him like a loose puppy. The Left Tackle doesn’t even get a hand on Dorian Etheridge before he gets by him. The Left Guard pulls and has to try to sift through everyone else to finally get a hand on Tell. That’s five Offensive Linemen and four of them end up getting a hand on two defenders. Nick Okeke beats the block of the Tight End to set the edge and Etheridge comes in to help clean it up.


I was so mad at Russ Yeast when I watched this play live. I felt that he should have been tighter in coverage and the penalty he picked up was just selfish. Then I watched the play while clipping it. This throw is absurd. D’Eriq King is running to his left and he just kind of contorts his body and flips this ball out to the sideline. It’s perfect ball placement to beat cover two. He has to get it over Tre Clark and under Yeast. If he puts this up the field too far, Yeast can maybe make a play but he put it exactly where it needed to be.

Yeast should know better than to pick up this penalty but he’s where he should be in coverage. If this ball is anything but perfect, he might have a chance to break it up or make a hit on the receiver and jar it loose.


I called out Anthony Johnson for poor coverage against WKU where he picked up a penalty. It’s only fair that I highlight him when he covers a deep ball well. This is really good to see because Johnson has been really grabby in coverage and against WKU he just didn’t even attempt to play the football. On this play he gives ground before the snap and he he plays the ball the whole way.

A very underrated thing he does on this play is force the receiver to the sideline. There’s almost no space to complete this pass and Johnson is in position to make a play on the ball and could have maybe come up with an interception if the ball was thrown in bounds.


I really like this play by Thurman Geathers. He runs a loop here from his Right End spot and I think it’s key that he gets depth and separates from the line. That allows him to turn and explode towards the QB. You can see the Center make an attempt to reach him but he can’t get enough of him. Geathers ends up with a square shot at King and forces the bad throw.

Louisville didn’t see as many third and long plays but they adjusted from their game plan in the first quarter. They stuck with the man coverage but they brought four or five guys at times. Miami went 1-5 on third downs in the second quarter, so the adjustment worked.


This wasn’t blocked very well with Cole Bentely and Caleb Chandler getting split on their block. I have to assume that Malik saw that and that led him to drop his eyes and panic here. If not, I’m not sure what spooked him. The backside pressure is coming but there’s not much chance he can see it when he drops his eyes. It looks like he would’ve had Dez as an option here if he would have stood in and kept his eyes up. Hard to know, though.

I felt that the offensive playcalling was too conservative when I watched the game live but I think it might be more fair to say that there was some overthinking going on. It’s second and 1 here. Just run the football and get the drive going. You can see how Miami is defending things. The safeties are deep and they’re splitting the difference with Tutu in the slot. Louisville has good numbers to run the ball but they look to throw into a safe coverage that’s meant to take away the passing game.


You could hear Bryan Brown yelling on the broadcast after this play. I believe Tre Clark was the guy getting an earful. This is a zone blitz type of play where Rodjay Burns fires from the slot and Isaiah Hayes replaces him in coverage. I believe that Clark is supposed to be playing the short zone here, though. Jack Fagot bails from the middle of the field and heads outside the hash. That makes me think that he has the deep coverage to that side and Clark should be passing the receiver off and jumping this throw.

It’s possible I’m completely wrong but it’s also possible that King just delivers this pass before Clark can react after he jams the outside receiver. It’s hard to tell from the camera angle. It was good to see them change things up on third down but this could have been a stop and a punt.


Louisville’s Defensive Line really impressed me in this game. They are rotating a lot of players and I think it’s keeping guys fresh and allowing them to be very active. Ramon Puryear is a second year walk on from Eastern High School and I predicted that he would earn a scholarship this off season. That didn’t happen but he shows you right here why he’ll likely will get a free ride at some point.

He’s quick off the ball here and he uses great technique to ride the play down the line while not fully committing to the back. When he sees the handoff he’s quick enough to get to the runner and strong enough to pull him down from behind. The rest of the line muddies up the line of scrimmage and Etheridge and Monty Montgomery never get touched. They’re free to be able to clean this up.


UofL rushes three on this third and medium play and it works out with Thurman Geathers getting another pressure. The reason this play works is that the coverage matched the pressure. Early on, UofL didn’t cover well on top of not getting enough pressure. Because they take away all of King’s options on this play, he gets his feet moving and that gives a path for the rush. Tabarius Peterson also does a good job of getting pressure up the middle.

They’re going to have to find a way to rush three, get pressure, and cover. How they pull that off, I don’t know. But, they will have to spy some of the Quarterbacks on their schedule and rushing three with defenders occupying throwing lanes can work. It also might be the reality of their situation with the level of talent they have at some positions.


Louisville got the backs involved in the passing game with Miami surrendering most of the underneath stuff. They also ran a similar route combination later in the game out of this condensed formation where they hit Marshon Ford over the middle. They did well to take what was given to them but it is a bit concerning that they couldn’t create any big plays.


In my opinion, Malik has the time to get this throw off. It’s a quick out to Tutu Atwell and he’s open. The ball should be out before Tutu makes his cut and Malik has to let this go and take the hit that he knows is coming. This a big moment with the offense in plus territory. You have to have your best players make plays in this situation.


Louisville forced a three and out with some help from very dumb Miami penalties and they got the ball back into plus territory. Then they gave it right back to Miami. Malik has Dez open right off the snap and he holds the ball. Then he makes a poor decision to throw late with no space left for the receiver. Al Blades jumps this route with such ease because there’s no room left for the ball to go to. It’s either right at him or out of bounds.

The defense had their own issues and that’s very obvious. I’ve been surprised to see the offense kind of get a free pass with how poorly they played in the first half. They didn’t convert a third down and had multiple turnovers. Miami had a much better plan than I realized at the time, but they were fine giving up chunk runs and short to intermediate passes. Louisville couldn’t even take what they were given.


I wanted to highlight this play because by this point we had learned that Miami’s kicker has a bionic leg. This ended up being a fairly big play because if Miami converts this they could have possibly gotten into field goal range and gone up by another score. It’s not a huge play but it was good to force a punt and I thought they defended this really well.

Yaya Diaby is the loop man on this play and he reads the sweep play and comes down the line flat to make the tackle. Some guys tend to try to take an angle here and they end up dragging the runner down as they cross the first down marker. Diaby trusts his speed and he gets there in a hurry. It’s also good to see Peterson force this back inside by working hard to get to the outside. At worst he’s forcing King to bounce this backwards to get around him.