You may have heard that UM opened a can of whoopass on FSU 52-10 last Saturday on Primetime Television. The largest margin of victory for Miami ever in the history of the rivalry. 4th victory in a row for the Canes.
But I’m not here to talk about that.
I’m here to talk about Rhett Lashlee. The “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn” about 4th downs, penalties, or keeping scores close for propriety’s sake kind of coach that gives the Canes competence and swagger in equal measure. In its first five possessions, Miami ran 50 plays and scored five touchdowns. It was only the third game of Rhett Lashlee and D’Eriq King wearing orange and green. One can only dream of the heights Miami would achieve with both Rhett and D’Eriq having four years to work together.
Man oh Manny.
Here I am highlighting some of the ways that Lashlee’s offense dominated FSU in four major aspects of an college offense: short passing, deep passing, power run, and option run. There is plenty to love, so feel free to do your own analysis and enjoy!
Short passing is the Twitter of football: you throw out your hot takes left and right and hope most of them hit. Of Miami’s 50 plays, 24 were pass attempts through the air of less than 15 yards. D’Eriq (the) King was very efficient, turning 16 of 24 into positive plays. This is not news for Miami fans, as King has proven that his decision-making is top-notch. Check out this “short pass” play where #1 makes the best decision to not throw the ball. The play at 3:40 in the first quarter was meant to be a playaction pass off of QB Power but no one was open, leading to pressure up the middle. Instead of forcing the pass, King Houdinis the first tackler, outruns the second tackler, and produces 11 yards on the scramble for the first down.
The deep pass is the sexy Instagram model of any football offense. It’s great looking, it grabs attention from media, and it’s usually a misrepresentation of reality. Of the fifty plays run by Miami in their first five drives, only 5 passes went over 15 yards in the air. King connected on three out of five: two completions scored touchdowns, the other completion was good for a first down. Without the short passing game, these five passes still would have been good enough to beat the high school team fielded by FSU this year. However, these passes were set up by the short passing and running game that forced FSU’s defense to leave the deep parts of the field open. My favorite deep pass play of the night was the only completion that did not score a touchdown. On Miami’s first drive, the Canes faced 3rd and 9 after two running plays, two playaction passes, and a short pass that only went for 1 yard. After the snap, FSU’s free safety (first red circle) dropped to the center of the field in a cover 3 look. D’Eriq knows that Mark Pope is running a “deep-in” route towards the center, so there is an open space for the deep pass. All he has to do is throw a speeding bullet past the linebacker (second red circle) and there is no one there to stop Pope from jumping into the air and catching it cleanly for a first down. The window on this pass is not big, but D’Eriq made it look easy for a chunk play. That type of precision is just what we need to keep defenses honest and open up the rest of the offense.
The Facebook of football offenses, power running is slow, steady, and just about the only thing that Boomers can get their head around. Fortunately, Miami has two backs who are known for dropping the boom. Cam’Ron Harris and Donald Chaney, Jr. are big dudes who can throw their weight around or run right past defenders. Jaylan “Rooster” Knighton is more known for his lightning speed, but he also decked an FSU defender on Saturday to show that Miami is just flat-out better. The best example of power running during the game was a fantastic piece of coaching and strategy by Rhett “Kick Your Butt-ler” Lashlee. As usual, the refs tried to screw the U by ignoring the rules and reviewing the spot of the ball after Miami had run another play, leading to 4th and 1. Rhett (not Akins) said “Kiss My Country Ass” and dialed up the only Wildcat formation play by Miami the whole night with 6 linemen, 3 tight ends, and Cam’Ron Harris. The blocking on this play was picture perfect, with particular props to Brevin Jordan, who shows here why he is a real tight end and not a wide receiver wannabe like some UF players.
The beauty of the option run is if you blink, the ball is gone, like Snapchat. Just like Snapchat, if you mess up, the effects last way longer than they are supposed to. The option run is used for high tempo offenses to score points (triple option does not apply here, sorry service academy fans). However, Rhett “I Brake for Brunettes but not for FSWho” decided start running the option after going up 28-3 in the 2nd quarter. On the fifth drive, the Canes ran six option plays after running one the rest of the first half. The best of these runs was called back due to a holding penalty, but Rooster Knighton showed his speed and power on this option play and buried the FSU free safety at the end of his run. More importantly, you can see a great example of the offensive line playing as a cohesive unit and D’Eriq King freezing the outside linebacker on the option call. This is a very dangerous tool for the Canes to use in future games that all defenses have to account for. Watch the second episode of 5 PM @ Monty’s below for more analysis from me, @spikedrob and Cheddar Bobby, @SpaceGhostChedd. Check out more on Twitter, YouTube, and wherever shots are sold.