After every Canes game, Vishnu assesses the team’s performance by unit
Nothing. Not a single thing. Awful performance.
Pretty much everything, but let’s single out the run defense, which managed to get run over by a Pitt team that came into the game averaging 1.64 yards per carry and 51 yards per game in the ACC. Even after destroying Miami, Pitt ranks 112th in rush offense in the country.
Notable Notes and Plays
- This is an abomination. The Canes keep giving up over 500 yards to horrible offenses. This is an unprecedented level of atrociousness. This is not just a struggling/bad defense, this is a travesty and an embarrassment. Mark D’Onofrio should be ashamed.
- Pitt averages 304 yards per game in the ACC, and had 501 in this game. They are 102nd in the country in total offense. Could you tell?
I have nothing else to say. I could have listed out a lot more statistics proving the futility of this defense, but that doesn’t really serve a purpose. Everyone can see that it is a major issue, and while we can endlessly debate what percentage of the blame resides where, in any situation where a unit underperforms to historically bad standards three years in a row, the person in charge gets fired. This is no different.
Defensive Grade: F-
So many options to choose from, but given that it was his last regular season game with Miami, I will give this to Allen Hurns for his nine-reception, 173-yard performance, capping off one of the best seasons for a wide receiver in Miami history. I know the Canes are loaded at this position, but they will still miss Hurns. What a fantastic player.
Dallas Crawford had his worst game. He averaged only 1.6 yards per carry while Eduardo Clements averaged 4.0 and Gus Edwards 5.6.
Notable Notes and Plays
- Stacy Coley is elite in terms of big-play ability. Have the Canes had anyone this explosive since Devin Hester? I don’t think so. What an insane talent, and he is just scratching the surface.
- Look out for these receivers next year. Coley with Phillip Dorsett back 100 percent (he finally took the field again this game), Herb Waters, Rashawn Scott, Malcolm Lewis…not to mention several freshmen that have yet to see the field AND new recruits…this could be the best receiving group in the country.
- Stephen Morris took a lot of flak this year, some of it justified, some of it not, but he polished off his career with a stellar game. The numbers don’t nearly paint an accurate picture of the performance. He was 17-of-28, for 298 yards and three touchdowns, but also had at least a half dozen passes dropped, one of which should have been a beautiful touchdown to Coley. The Canes are going to miss Morris next year.
- I really think as the year progressed, James Coley grew as a play caller. It’s hard to pinpoint exactly what it is. It’s kind of like the definition of pornography (“I know it when I see it”), I think you can almost feel intrinsically when a coach finds his footing calling plays, and James Coley got there. He has a really bright future.
- The coaches deserve a TON of credit for the way they handled senior defensive tackle Aaron Donald. Donald is one of the best players in college football. He is a finalist for every major award that a defensive tackle is eligible for, and he was just named first team All ACC. And yet by using a series of double teams, and some great play calling, the Canes completely neutralized him. These are the type of things that elite teams do, and the Canes are getting there offensively, to the point where they can score on anyone in the country. The first sign of this was putting up 24 points on a GREAT Virginia Tech defense.
An all around brilliant performance, with big plays and drives as well at key moments. They overcame the Canes’ defense’s best efforts to let Pitt back in the game by responding time and again. The drive of the game was after Pitt had cut the lead to 10 with over 7:30 remaining. With the Miami defense not stopping anyone, the offense had to do something. And they did, with a seven-play, 78-yard drive that resulted in a game clinching touchdown that took almost four minutes off the clock. Game over.
Offensive Grade: A+
I can’t think of a single thing that needed improvement. No turnovers, and almost 500 yards. Keep in mind also that Pitt has a solid defense — one of the better ones in the ACC. For Miami to go through them that easy is a testament to how good this offense is. This was a great sendoff for the season.
The forced fumble on the opening kickoff set the Canes on the path to victory. Then Tyriq McCord blocked a punt. Miami jumped up 14-0 in the blink of an eye because of the special teams.
The Canes did give up some pretty sizable return yardage, giving up 25 yards per return.
Notable Notes and Plays
- Pat O’Donnell finished his brief Canes career masterfully. This kid is really something else. Four punts, averaging 44.3 yards per punt, and three of the four were downed inside the 20. They have big shoes to fill next year.
- Matt Goudis completed a remarkable turnaround, knocking through two field goals here. He finished the year 13-of-17, making all 56 extra points, and his last seven field goals of the year.
- Who is going to return kicks next year with Duke Johnson, Stacy Coley and Phillip Dorsett in the mix? That is just a crazy number of gamebreakers.
- Pretty interesting that overall there were eight punts in this game (four for each team), and yet there were no returns.
Two turnovers (although technically a blocked punt isn’t a turnover, so the number is one). The kicking game was perfect. The punting game was perfect as well.
Special Teams Grade: A+
I suppose they could have run back a kick or a punt, but this was a masterful special teams performance. Two thirds of this team completely clicked in this game.
Vishnu Parasuraman (@vrp2003) is a consultant in the Washington, D.C., Metro Area and an editor of the Sebastian’s Pub blog. His work has also been seen on Grantland. He is a graduate of the University of Miami with an MBA from Carnegie Mellon University.