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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
TVD throws pick six to MTSUs Zaylin Wood
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.