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Miami Hurricanes Film Review: Fourth Quarter

Louisville did some good things and then blew it all on a busted coverage.

Black Lives Matter Demonstrators Protest Outside University Of Louisville Football Game In Louisville, Kentucky Photo by Jon Cherry/Getty Images


I pointed out that UofL struggled to defend this RPO in the game last year and wondered if they would have more success with tight coverage. Then I started the fourth quarter and they did just that. This is the type of play they need from their corners. Not just breaking up the pass but also taking the risk.

Marlon Character makes a decision to flatten out on the break here as opposed to following the path of the receiver. This isn’t by accident and it’s a real choice to either just secure a tackle after a catch or try to make a play on the football. If he doesn’t get a hand on the ball here it could be a touchdown. If this pass is on the money, he’s probably not making the play. But he has to trust that he can get there and that Russ Yeast is there to back him up. Bryan Brown talks about this a good amount.


I really do hate that this run defense played so well on nearly every run play in this game but it won’t show in any way. The stats look bad. The highlights look bad. The good plays mostly look like this type of boring play where they either forced a short loss or a short gain. They played the run well enough to put Miami in obvious passing situations most of the night. It led to five field goals and three punts.

Unfortunately, they weren’t consistent when it came to stopping long third downs and Miami’s kicker is apparently the coming of Sebastian Janikowski. They need this type of performance against the run but they have to follow through on the goal of the defense which is to get off the field once they force a favorable third down.


I know I’ve been highlighting a good amount of defensive plays when they took the blame for this loss but I think it’s important to point out the plays that show potential improvement. Miami (and literally anyone else who ran it) killed with this play and I think it’s good to see Anthony Johnson and Character play it so well and get a PBU.

The secondary was the group I heard about the most during fall camp and I’ve been really interested to see how they would play this season. Though it’s been a mixed bag, I think seeing plays being made that rarely happened last year are nice to see. If they can make this the norm, we could see the improved defense I think we’re all hopeful for.


This was a nice pass rush from Tabarius Peterson. He realizes how deep the tackle is and decides to get into his pads to push him further back towards D’Eriq King. He then uses his speed to get on his outside shoulder and dips under him. It looks like he gets held and that stops him from getting a sack but he flushes King out of the pocket.

I’m also really happy to see CJ Avery make a play in coverage here. I think I had higher hopes for him in this scheme because I felt that he would be really good in coverage. He hasn’t been bad from what I’ve seen but I set the bar high because he is a former Safety. At some point he’ll start catching these interceptions but King extends this play where he is most dangerous but Avery plays it well and gets a nice PBU.


Louisville used routes across the middle of the field all night to find soft spots in Miami’s zone coverage. This was one of the few times I saw Miami in man coverage and UofL actually passing against it. They use crossers and I think this play would have worked against man coverage or the quarters that they had run a lot.

I do wonder if this is a blown coverage by Bubba Bolden. He played a great game but you can see him (#21) at the bottom right of the screen at the start of the play and he ends up flat-footed while Tutu eats up his cushion. That’s a losing situation for any Safety in the country that I can think of. It makes me think that Bolden thought he was in a different coverage. Everyone else is running with a receiver and he just doesn’t react like he’s supposed to run with Tutu. Malik makes the easy throw and they get a big gain.


Louisville ran a bunch of bootlegs against WKU and ran them again in the second half against Miami. That sets up this throwback to Ean Pfeifer which is a play they run from time to time. It’s executed perfectly and they get another big gain in the passing game.

Miami has another really good defensive play here. Bolden and Zach McCloud made really nice plays that I pointed out in the previous posts but Amari Carter not only reads this play well but he takes a perfect path to the football and he makes a big hit that is completely clean. Kudos to Ean for holding onto this.


Lovie Jenkins who is maybe playing one of the first handful of snaps of his college career on this play is also the only person that seems to notice the wrong alignment. I wrote about how Louisville might have a more athletic defense with the loss of Khane Pass this year. I also pointed out that they could possibly miss his leadership. They’re missing his leadership.

I don’t know if Jenkins is being ignored or overlooked here because he’s a freshman, but Isaiah Hayes appears to look at him and not react. Anthony Johnson also seems to be looking in his direction at one point. Neither of them seem to acknowledge the fact that Johnson is covering air.

This is the same “trips overload” (I decided to finally make up a formation name) that Miami ran over and over again and this was the only time they didn’t at least line up right on defense. Maybe it’s because backups were in at some spots but someone has to take charge and it seems like Jenkins was the only one to do so. It’s also fair to question why the coaches didn’t get a timeout here. Brown might not have seen the issue but there are coaches in the box, in part, to see things you don’t see at the field level. Someone that was being pay to do a job last Saturday dropped the ball.