The Miami Hurricanes beat UVA 14-12 in quadruple overtime. Josh Gattis is running out of time. The points per game total verses Power 5 competition keeps slipping into uncharted territory. 17.6 points and this was the second game in his Miami tenure with zero offensive touchdowns scored. Here are my Roman is burning post UVA thoughts.
There are injuries on this team. And you have to be cognitive of that especially along the offensive side of the ball. The offensive line isn’t healthy or resembling anything remotely a final iteration of Mario Cristobal. No way he gives this group a stamp of approval. The running back room took a big hit with injuries to Trevonte Citizen and Don Chaney. We cannot forget that.
And although Jaylen Knighton was not injured this Saturday, his continued ball security issues forced the staff’s hand. I personally applauded the decision. An injured running back who doesn’t get on the field can’t net you any yards, but he can’t turn the ball over either. You simply cannot fumble three out of the four weeks and expect to play.
But the stumbling blocks keep stumbling and this team invents new ways to sabotage itself. 17 penalties, 8 turnovers, lack or red zone efficiency and today’s treat, a poor 3rd down conversion rate and lack of explosiveness. The Miami Hurricanes played FOUR bonus frames of football and managed only 14 points. That is a new anomaly that takes residence in a season filled with statistical anomalies.
This neighborhood obviously doesn’t have an HOA. There is no code enforcement. If it did you wouldn’t see so many games with so many different dilapidated elements. Going 5-17 on third down vs. UVA was definitely the equivalent of a wheel-less car in the drive way and missing roof tiles. They would fine me heavily in my neighborhood.
In terms of explosive plays over 30 yards and 40 yards the Miami Hurricanes rank 112th (11) and 121st (3) respectively. Miami last year ranked 18th and 20th in the same two categories. Is there a debate that the departure of Mike Harley and Charleston Rambo would drop you almost 100 spots nationally, who knows. I know both those guys aren’t playing on Sunday.
I just don’t think it is in Gattis’ DNA. Correct me if I am wrong, but the tone has always been heavy on physicality and less on explosiveness. You practice what your preach. Miami kids need explosive elements in their offense. You suffocate them without it.
Malik Rosier was just on our latest recap show and he said from the second he arrived on campus the SOFL kids would celebrate the over the top play. All you have to do is go to a local 7 on 7 tournament and know this is true. There is a distinct hum and cadence a SOFL team makes when a deep ball goes up in the air. It is followed by an eruption when it connects. I get the sense this offense is the equivalent of making a carnivore suddenly vegan.
I shouldn’t have but I was curious what SMU looked like in terms of big plays in 2022. 7th and 9th. I think Lashlee understands the importance of feeding a team big plays. When Miami beat FSU 52-10 two years ago Lashlee relished in it. It was a mindset. You cannot argue with me that it isn’t. And you will not beat FSU without creating momentum and taking shots. 14 points? Please.
I like Kevin Steele. He has been solid and in the inverse needs to be praised for limiting a power 5 team to 12 points. I have seen defenses in the past get a flippant and nonchalant attitude when it knows its offensive counterpart isn’t doing its part. This defense does not. It needs to be praised for that. However I know it needs a talent infusion in some spots to get the defense to elevate even higher.
Linebacker and cornerback were two spots you knew coming in that were question marks. They have been solid at times but they haven’t been emphatic answers either. If no one from this current group of draft eligible players gets drafted, I wouldn’t be surprised. In the future Mario Cristobal will fix that narrative. That is what he does.
Rivalry week is upon us and the Miami Hurricanes will get a big boost beating FSU. The question will be can the offense score enough points? Regardless of the outcome Gattis is running out of time to change his narrative. He can say he doesn’t have the players to run his scheme, but it could be the wrong scheme in its entirety.
You need a culture change at Miami you do. But it should never come at the cost of explosive elements on offense. Score as many damn points as possible. Demand it. Be incessant about it. Do everything you can to achieve it. There is a reality where physicality and explosiveness can shake hands harmoniously. I believe that in my soul. But you cannot prioritize one over the other for the sake of the other. This offense isn’t explosive at all.