1. RED ZONE OFFENSE
Say what you want about the game, but at the end of the day the Miami Hurricanes need to perform better in the red zone. Whether its penalties, drops, or conservative play calling, Miami must establish themselves as the team that controls the red zone. Going to the red zone 4 times and coming away with 9 points is a failure by any metric. The Canes will improve this area this weekend by executing better and giving their players chances to make plays in the endzon
2. STAY ATTACHED
The Canes passing game struggled severely against Texas A&M. The Aggies were missing some of their premier playmakers in the secondary and Miami was not able to take advantage because of the “little details.” For a staff that preaches, “How you do anything is how you do everything” the receiving core needs to embrace the little details of the passing game.
Proper releases, route depths, catching the football, & the quarterback delivering the ball on time. All these little things led to an ugly big thing: the Canes passing attack was missing. To improve this area, the receivers and TVD need to stay attached and get back on the same page.
3. OPEN FIELD TACKLING
The open field tackling in the last game was good overall. The run fits continue to be a strength of the front seven, and completing the mission of limiting the explosive players TAMU had was an encouraging sign. This game however, coming off a loss, and playing a lowly opponent will show just how locked in the back seven is.
MTSU will run their Air Raid attack which puts your back 7 in position to make a lot of open-field tackles (an area that the Miami defense obviously struggled with a season ago). The defense can continue to take another big leap forward by proving once again they can leverage the football as a defense, get hats to the ball, and make open-field tackles when the ball it spit out the edge.
4. EXPLOSIVE PLAYS
Miami is currently tied for 86th in the FBS for plays of 20 yards or more. Last week, it was actually refreshing to see the team methodically move the ball down the field. The Canes outrushed and outgained the Aggies, but it wasn’t enough. In the modern era of college football, games are often defined by explosive plays. Much like a heavy weight boxing match, when your opponent shows their chin, you need to take advantage.
Defensive coordinators will often RELY on college programs to eventually shoot themselves in the foot and play themselves out of a drive with drops, penalties, or negative plays. Explosive plays can cover a lot of that up. It is too difficult to be a great offense and rely on 10+ play drives consistently. To take the next step, Miami must improve in this area.