Back in February I was freezing to death in Oregon and had a little extra time on my hands. I started looking at the ‘Canes roster and thought… where’s Braxton Berrios on offense? If I was the Offensive Coordinator- how would I get this guy involved? I looked back to that initial spring game, Mark Richt’s first upon his hiring and saw the answers (you can read this article here). Berrios was making plays all over the spring game and could’ve had a big junior year- but Brad Kaaya was locked onto Stacey Coley for much of 2016. With a new quarterback came a new opportunity for Berrios.
Fast forward to October 7th, 2017. It’s much warmer now as I type this, and Miami is 4-0 with the ‘Canes first win over FSU since 2009. Berrios came out like a caged animal with Big Gus Felder having to ‘hold him back.’
Here are 5 plays from the Miami FSU game to go over.
Redwine Loses Contain
The linebackers and defensive line seemed to play their responsibilities well on this play, clogging up the inside and leaving the clean up for the safety running the alley. However, that safety LOAF’ed on the play (took the play off and just jogged around) hoping someone else would make the tackle.
The running back broke the play outside, the safety was already turned facing the side line and when the back took a hard cut and exploded to the sideline, Sheldrick Redwine was out of position and couldn’t recover in time to make a play.
The job of a defender is to always keep their shoulders turned towards the line of scrimmage and to scrape to the play. They can’t turn their shoulders to the sideline or they will be susceptible to the cutback which he was. The scrape is important because that keeps your hips square and the hardest thing for a defender to do is flip their hips back over and accelerate.
Young Loses Contain
Miami allowed 6.1 and 8.3 yards per carry to FSU’s top two backs Jacques Patrick and Cam Akers. That’s terrible. You don’t beat Georgia Tech playing like that, tackling this bad, keeping this poor of contain, and being confused on assignments. Defending the triple option is assignment football (learn more about the triple here).
But back to FSU; the ‘Canes corner decides to come inside of the outside WR allowing himself to be pinned down. Akers, a back with great cutting ability, vision, and speed- he bounces outside and there’s no one to stop him.
Young should’ve stayed outside, allowing the extra linebacker to the bunch set to play inside and pushed Akers back into the linebackers. That’s gap sound fundamental football. The Defensive Backs have looked confused all season and these two runs are no different.
Here we go again. Miami defensive backs and blown assignments. It looked like Dee Delaney was in cover 2 and the safety was in… I guess cover 4? The issue is, with two threats to the safety’s side (the winged FB and the WR) why wouldn’t he play the deep 1⁄4 of his side anyway? I’m very confused as to why he didn’t help Dee on this play regardless.
Miami has to get assignments right in the passing game to beat Virginia Tech stud QB Josh Jackson, or UVA’s prolific passing game. While teams like Notre Dame and Georgia Tech shouldn’t hurt Miami too badly with the pass, run assignments were obviously blown by Redwine and Young earlier as well.
This confusion in the back 4-5 needs to be fixed with the triple option coming up, and Paul Johnson will be aware that Miami loses players in deep coverage.
Smash Concept – Berrios TD
Smash got really popular as a concept thanks to Steve Spurrier against the Vols back in the Danny Wuerffel days. When UT would play cover 2, Spurriers “throw to a spot” offense was struggling. He decided to break out his smash concept which can beat cover 2. As the CB closes down on the hitch that’s ran by the #1 (outside) receiver, the Safety has a lot of field to cover. He has to run over the top of the #2 (inside) receiver who usually will make an inside fake before breaking outside to catch the football out by the numbers.
Malik Rosier will watch the CB, if he bails deep with the corner he throws the easy hitch. If the CB runs down on that hitch, he throws the deep corner. It works to perfection here, and is even more dangerous if you can “Texas” (angle route in Madden) the back out of the backfield to draw the free safety’s eyes to that as well. It really helps with you have a dynamic wide receiver like Ahmmon Richards, who draws the attention of a team’s best coverage corner.
Out / Seam Concept – Berrios TD
Mark Richt calls a nice concept down inside the +10 (inside the 10 going into the end zone). The #1 (outside receiver) runs a 5 and out to lock the CB down on him. The RB runs the swing route to the flat (out by the numbers) I think to draw that nickel back that’s over Berrios but instead it draws the inside linebacker to that side, still opening up some space. Berrios is locked up by the nickel who will jam and run man. The safety to that side… does nothing. Thanks, bud.
Only issue I see his is Rosier doesn’t even look at the swing to draw the safety or nickel at all. He stares the spot on the field he intends to throw the ball to down the entire time. He doesn’t even look at Berrios, just the spot on the field. What works works but it may not work in later weeks against well coached defense like the Hokies who shut Miami’s offense down to 16 points while pouring on 37 with a JUCO QB.
Miami wraps up the 24-20 win with a nice back shoulder fade to Langham with 6 seconds to go. The ‘Canes host Georgia Tech at either noon or 3:30 on a variety of possible channels next Saturday.