Miami moved on from Manny Diaz two years ago in part because his offenses never did quite enough to win games. They went out and hired Mario Cristobal with the expectation that he would not only improve the offense but that he would do so with improved talent. While the talent part has definitely come true on paper, Cristobal’s offense has been fairly average in his first two seasons.
The key to the struggles of the offense has been the lack of consistent play at quarterback. Tyler Van Dyke has been unbelievably hard to predict and his play has gotten worse as the season has gone on. He hasn’t thrown a touchdown pass in a month and he was benched last game until Emory Williams was injured late in the game. TVD can be a good quarterback. It’s been seen in the past and in flashes this season. But he has become a turnover machine with no positive plays to balance things out.
The running back position has been very good for the Canes as they have stockpiled talent and used it well. They rotate four running backs with Henry Parrish being the normal starter. Donald Chaney and Mark Fletcher split most of the other carries while Ajay Allen has gotten carries in the rotation.
Parrish and Chaney are the homerun hitters out of the group with great speed and elusiveness. Parrish is one of my favorite backs to watch as he runs hard and finishes carries strong. Cheney seems to be a bit more consistent but he can also break a big run. Fletcher is one of the best freshmen in the country and he is also a very big back. He is tall and big and he reminds me of a Derrick Henry or Eddie George type of back because of how upright he runs.
Just like the backfield, the Canes have four receivers that they can rely on. Xavier Restrepo leads the team in catches and he is the security blanket for TVD. He’s mostly a slot guy that moves the chains but he can make plays after the catch if he has space. Colbie Young is Miami’s big play threat on the outside. At 6-5/215 he can be a nightmare with contested catches but he also has great speed and has shown the ability to take a short pass and go the distance.
The player that stands out to me on offense is Jacolby George at receiver. He is a dynamic player in just about every aspect with the only thing holding him back being quarterback play. George has put up his best numbers against the best teams on the schedule. Against Texas A&M, UNC, and FSU, his numbers have been 16/372/23.25/6 and I think he could have actually had bigger numbers with better play from the quarterbacks. He and Breshard Smith who is averaging 20 yards per touch on the season are the two wildcards in this matchup, in my opinion.
Miami’s offensive line has a lot of talent but it has been pretty average as a group. Matt Lee is one of the better centers in the country while Francis Mauigoa is the best freshman offensive lineman in the country. Miami also has Javon Cohen at left guard who transferred in after a strong career at Alabama. But, I think this group is streaky in both pass blocking and run blocking and this has caused some issues for the offensive consistency. This is likely the second-best offensive line Louisville will face in the regular season, but they have some cracks that can be exploited.