The Review U podcast featuring Lance Roffers had an encompassing Review U-UNC preview this week. Here are some takeaways from professor Roffers and what Miami can expect when they take on the UNC Tar Heels October 8th at Hard Rock Stadium.
Talentwise the Miami Hurricanes composite ranks 13th nationally with 854 talent points. UNC sits 16th with 813 talent points. These two coastal division teams are evenly matched on paper and no team has a market advantage. Scheme is going to come into play this week.
90% of the time UNC will run a shotgun spread, RPO infused, QB zone read based offense. They will not run a ton of heavy-set or 12 set (one running back, two tight ends) personnel. You might see situational football where they will adapt, but they are a predominant 11 set-based personnel scheme under offensive coordinator Phil Longo.
UNC’s offensive production cannot be considered one-dimensional. The Tar Heels will run a ton of power run concepts and pull multiple linemen. The linebackers have a big challenge this week containing the run game. UNC loves to disrupt linebacker keys and they will run counters to mess with the LB run fits. On the whole, the Tar Heels currently sit at .24 points per run.
UNC is ranked 3rd nationally in explosive plays which is defined as plays over 20 yards. (FSU is number one currently)
The Tar Heel offense runs through Drake Maye who has been electric this year. The step back from Sam Howell you anticipated has been a step forward under Maye. A key to this game will be if Miami can create pressure without having to rely heavily on blitzing.
Maye is going to focus on his one conflict defender in the RPO game. Miami must figure out a way this week to disguise defensive looks so that Maye won’t be right 100% of the time.
The UNC QB1 is first in the country with 153 points added above play. This is a cumulative metric. Per play Maye adds .705 points every time he throws or runs the ball. Another area of focus for the Hurricanes this week should be his 20 explosive plays outside the pocket. The Hurricanes have to have a plan to contain him.
For reference, TVD is dead last in the ACC with only 13 points added every time he takes the field. His .0798 points per play average is second worst in the ACC slightly ahead of Jeff Simms at Georgia Tech.
Drake Maye has 255 yards on the ground and a 4.9 yards per rush average. Hurricane defensive ends have the challenge of building a wall and collapsing the pocket this week. Akheem Mesidor has shown a great ability to do this at previous stops. If the Hurricanes utilize run stunts they have to “replace” because Maye is very adept at getting outside. His bigger explosive runs have all been outside.
UNC has shown a propensity to have crosser/post concepts. They run this concept constantly with the hopes the safety will get tired of seeing the underneath crosser fly open. Kam Kinchens was victimized last week by a similar crosser vs MTSU. It goes without saying but Miami must communicate better this week on the backend.
UNC offensive linemen give up their chest too often. Hurricane defenders can work into and beat them to the punch. Notre Dame, who runs a similar scheme to Miami, found success with some stunts vs. UNC but you must replace while effectively still setting the edge.
If the UNC defense doesn’t respect the Miami explosive element, they will play down hill and play the run lanes more aggressively. Miami is ranked 114th in plays over 20 plus yards.
Miami Runs a ton of flood concepts. They layer the concepts based on route depth. High, medium and low areas are attacked but the lack of explosive element has shown an over aggressive nature of opposing teams to take away the intermediate and shallow areas in those concepts.
Don’t overthrow deep balls this week. Overthrown balls are completed 0% of the time. TVD and the wide receivers have not completed a deep pass this year on the outside avenue. Competitive deep balls that are catchable also gives you the opportunity for pass interference to occur.
Finally, the Hurricanes must lose their rigidity on offense. “Choice routes” need to show up in this offense and don’t be surprised to see some young guys like Romello Brinson emerge this week.