Through the first four games and with a 2-2 record, one thing is for certain; The Miami Hurricanes offense has no identity.
While we anticipated some bumps in the road early on transitioning from Rhett Lashlee to Josh Gattis, I don’t think any Canes fan could have predicted such a rocky start.
So far, here are a few of Miami’s offensive stats:
-35 points per game, 47th nationally (23 PPG against FBS teams)
-448 yards per game, 45th nationally (403 YPG against FBS teams)
-5.8 yards per play, 76th nationally (4.9 YPP against FBS teams)
-270.3 passing yards per game, 48th nationally
-61% completion, 80th nationally (57% against FBS teams)
-178.5 rushing yards per game, 53rd nationally (136.3 RYPG against FBS teams)
-3.3 rushing yards per attempt against FBS teams (which would be 109th nationally)
-47% 3rd down conversion rate, 28th nationally
-76% red zone scoring, tied for 93rd nationally
So as you can see, the Josh Gattis offense has done little to help out the Hurricanes, especially in their three games against FBS opponents.
The only people who are surprised that a Mario Cristobal x Josh Gattis coached offense isn’t explosive are people that haven’t seen Mario Cristobal or Josh Gattis coach Football before.
— Zach Soskin (@ZSoskin) September 24, 2022
Against Middle Tennessee State on Saturday, Miami’s offense managed only 10 points through 2 1/2 quarters with Tyler Van Dyke at quarterback. While Jake Garcia provided a spark that led to two more offensive scores, something needs to be done on that side of the ball.
So, let’s discuss what Miami Hurricanes offense needs to start doing.
- Consistency At Quarterback
I don’t care whether it’s Tyler Van Dyke or Jake Garcia starting, but Miami needs better play at the most important position.
Jake Garcia adds some spark to what has been a lifeless Miami Hurricanes offense up to now 💪
What does today’s performance do to Tyler Van Dyke’s #NFLDraft stock?
CFB Live Blog: https://t.co/hXJg4VxML9
— Pro Football Network (@PFN365) September 24, 2022
Last season, the reason why the Canes were able to rally and finish with a 7-5 record was mainly because of Van Dyke. His control of the offense had Miami humming down the field, which resulted in Miami winning five of their last six games.
Tyler Van Dyke in the second half of the 2021 season:
▪️Top 10 in yards
▪️Top 10 in touchdowns
▪️Top 10 in big time throws
Only QB in the FBS 🙌pic.twitter.com/aBEluPiyCf
— PFF College (@PFF_College) January 18, 2022
If Miami is going to turn this season around, it starts with the quarterback. If the Hurricanes want to finish strong and maybe play in Charlotte come December, the QB play HAS to improve.
Either Van Dyke improves quickly and lives up to those first-round projections, or the Jake Garcia era begins.
2. Rearranging The Offensive Line
The OL has been up and down so far in 2022. Against MTSU, they gave up four sacks and eight TFL’s, simply not good enough.
Miami ran 38 times for 60 yards, averaging 1.6 yards per carry. Not going to cut it pic.twitter.com/1rKY22hhUJ
— Marsh Cristobal🤟🏽 (@hurricanesmarsh) September 28, 2022
Zion Nelson coming back will undoubtedly provide a boost to this unit. With Zion hopefully returning soon, I’d love to see him go back to his natural spot at left tackle. From there, I’d say move John Campbell Jr. to right tackle, sliding DJ Scaife to right guard, and taking Justice Oluwaseun out of the starting lineup.
Though, the offensive line and their further progression begins with Zion coming back and playing like he did in 2021.
Zion Nelson | Miami
+ Fantastic growth year after year
+ Light, quick feet leading to easy vertical sets & direction changes
+ Length -35" arms- to strike then run a DE up the arc
+ Recovery has improved w/ footwork and hand tech
– Another jump in strength could skyrocket stock pic.twitter.com/itilyGNsTr
— Matt Lane (@Matty_KCSN) August 3, 2022
3. Get The Tight Ends More Involved
We’ve talked at length about how Miami’s receivers aren’t getting it done. Xavier Restrepo and Jacolby George being out until (hopefully) late October-early November doesn’t help either.
However, the passing game must move forward, so getting the tight ends more targets could be a difference maker.
● Miami TE Duo ●
Will Mallory & Elijah Arroyo
• Mallory is a proven player for the Canes at TE and Arroyo has a lot of potential and should have a breakout season this fall.
Combined Career Stats
• 78 Receptions
• 1,092 Receiving yards
• 14 yards per catch
• 12 TDs pic.twitter.com/qWjklmWufh
— NCAAF Nation (@NCAAFNation247) July 19, 2022
So far, Will Mallory is tied for 1st on Miami in receptions (12) for 127 yards. Elijah Arroyo has 5 catches, and Jaleel Skinner has two.
didn't cristobal say there were plans to involve jaleel skinner in the scheme this week?
i believe he's at 0 snaps in 1H
— StateOfTheU.com (@TheStateOfTheU) September 24, 2022
One of the biggest advantages the Miami Hurricanes offense has is the talent and depth of their tight end room. Mallory is slowly catching on, but why not get someone like Arroyo more involved? Or Skinner?
How do you stop this?
Jaleel Skinner: 6-5 215
Colbie Young: 6-4 220
Will Mallory: 6-5 245
Elijah Arroyo: 6-4 240 pic.twitter.com/GcUWvMGZ3f
— Canes Insider (@canesinsidertm) June 19, 2022
Instead of relying almost solely on unproven receivers to step up, feed the tight ends, and watch the offense improve.
4. Red Zone Offense Has To Improve
You could clearly see in the last two games, Miami’s red zone offense has become a non-factor. Scoring only three touchdowns in their last 11 trips to the red zone, that’s how you lose games.
Very confused by some of these redzone play calls 🤔
— CanesInSight (@CanesInSight) September 18, 2022
Against Texas A&M, having to settle for three field goals instead of touchdowns was one of the deciding factors in the Canes loss.
Then on Saturday, two missed opportunities for Miami shut the door on any possible comeback.
5. Josh Gattis Must Adjust
Finally, we get to Miami’s Broyles Award winning offensive coordinator. While we all hyped him up during the off-season, he’s been more disappointing than Dan Enos was through his first four games at Miami.
Going to throw a fastball up and in
I 100% believe in Josh Gattis and this offense. I believe it will get worked out
I 100% believe that his Broyles Award is meaningless. Because three games in, he's not even close to winning that award again
It's this UM that matters #canes
— Roman #OBB (@Romancane) September 24, 2022
It’s obvious that Gattis’ pro-style scheme that found success at Michigan in 2021, isn’t working in 2022 in Miami.
Tyler Van Dyke doesn’t seem comfortable in the pocket. They’re not using the running backs in the passing game like Lashlee liked to do. Then, there’s been a complete drop-off when it comes to explosive plays.
Cane entered season with reigning ACC ROY at QB1.
Brought in a new OC & QB Coach.
QB1 suddenly can’t hit water from a boat.
Where does the blame go?
— Toast (@ibToast) September 26, 2022
What we heard so much about Gattis going into 2022, was that he was great when it came to adjusting the offensive scheme to his personnel. Obviously, he’s going to have to do that again if the Hurricanes want to get back on track.