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Opinion: Face the Music Mario

The Miami Hurricanes offense is averaging 15.1 ppg against power 5 competition. The offense has scored 23 touchdowns this season… 10 came in the first game against Bethune Cookman. The offense has scored exactly 13 touchdowns since (8 against power 5 competition, 3 games where we’ve scored 0 touchdowns). Don’t expect to see these numbers improve in the final 3 games against GT, Clemson, and Pitt.

For comparison, in 2019 Dan Enos had Jarren Williams at QB and 2 freshman tackles. He averaged 25.56 ppg against power 5 competition and he was fired at the end of the season. Josh Gattis has had some injuries, but that doesn’t excuse the abomination we are seeing week-in and week-out on offense. And Gattis and company just lost 2023 QB commit Jaden Rashada. 

The opening scripts have not been good: the Canes have scored 1st quarter TD’s in 2 of 6 games against P5 opponents. The second half adjustments have not been good: the Canes are averaging 5.5 points in the second half of games this season (they have only scored touchdowns in 2 of them: 1 against UNC, 2 against Duke – both losses).

The statistics tell a terrible tale that all reflect very poorly on the offensive coordinator.

The reality is this Miami Hurricanes offense hasn’t been good in ANY game this season. You can’t convince anyone that losing 2 receivers (Rambo is a free agent, Harley is on a practice squad in Cleveland) causes your team to regress to the tune of 31.5 ppg (2021 under Lashlee) against P5 to 15.1 ppg (2022 under Gattis) against P5.

This team returned its NFL quarterback, and the offensive line was primed to be even better than the 2021 group. Championship caliber talent/depth or not: We are playing with P5 scholarship players on offense and there are FCS schools that are routinely putting up more points against our competition.

Josh Gattis won an award, so what.

In many circles, offensive minds think YPP is the gold standard for offensive explosiveness and effectiveness in modern college football. So how does Gattis stack up? The offense he actually called plays for averaged 6.4 ypp the year he won the Broyles award. The other two seasons at Michigan (2019 – 5.8 ypp, 2020 – 5.9 ypp). For reference, Lashlee in his two years at Miami was 6.1 and 6.2 ypp. Elite offenses in college football are typically closer to 7 ypp. This season Ohio State is 7.42 ypp, TCU is 7.36 ypp, Tennessee is 7.0 ypp, and, yes, even FSU is 7.01 ypp. Your 2022 Miami Hurricanes currently average 5.4 ypp. The lowest mark since 2008 when the Canes averaged 5.1 ypp under the ’08 offensive coordinator Patrick Nix. Nix was promptly fired at the end of that season.

Year 2 of the Cristobal Era will come with lots of pressure for a major rebound. Are you willing to gamble your job and the future of the program on a coach that hasn’t been particularly spectacular… even when he DID win the Broyles Award? You won’t have the same cushion or built-in excuses you’ve had this year.

The solution is simple but potentially difficult to swallow: admit you made a mistake.

Mario Cristobal has never been an OC, (Listed as Co-OC at Oregon in 2017) he has never called plays. I still believe he is the man for this job. He is a culture administrator and a CEO. Well it’s time to make a CEO decision. Understand your deficiencies. Read the room. Look around at the top 10 offenses in college football in 2022, and you’ll see a common theme.

They look a lot closer to Lashlee’s offense than Gattis’ offense. You may not personally like the style of football they provide, but they also provide points.. lots of points. Points lead to wins. And Miami needs wins desperately.

Go Canes.

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About the Author: Jake Campbell

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