The Miami Hurricanes played their spring game on Saturday, April 16 at the home of MLS club Inter Miami. The ‘Canes were attended by many former players and were interviewed by Sam Acho, while the ACCN producers chose to show the interviews about the action on the pitch (blake James, not sure why, but why not?).
Even for a spring game, there were plenty of moments that were disproportionate for both good and bad. We’re all bored and miss football, especially with the excitement of a new coaching staff and the promise of ’22 keeping.
#1- NO ONE WAS HURT! I was worried about Henry Parrish Jr., but he came back after apparently getting blown away by DJ Scaife.
Josh Gattis at OC Gattis can certainly select a few plays to open up the boys and eliminate weaknesses in defense. ILB is slow to cover crossers? throw it again! Interior DL looks tired? Hit the stone. He took what DC Kevin Steele gave him/had to work with and took it apart.
Tyler Van Dyke – Van Dyke can drop a dime on command. Places the ball in great spots where it’s his guy (who dropped it) or nobody. Not many easy picks on his throws.
Jake Garcia- 2nd Team OL was obviously behind 2nd Team DL but Garcia was looking good and had a few shots that were dropped and had to be caught. He’s also mobile and can make chicken salad out of broken wards.
Henry Parrish Jr.- Parrish is a nice addition to the RB space in ’22. With Jaylan Knighton and Don Chaney Jr. lacking time, he will help relieve that stress.
the tight ends- Elijah Arroyo and Kahlil Brantley are both dangerous in the passing game. Dominic Mammarelli also blocked well.
The offensive line The OL optics have been greatly improved, especially in the running game. Logan Sagapolu was a great asset. Jakai Clark looked even better next to Sagapolu than he did next to Navaughn Donaldson.
situational pass rush Cyrus Moss can only play situationally for now, but he will tire of offensive tackles. If persistent OCs don’t chip him, he’ll get away with big plays in and long situations.
Jacob Lichtenstein Lichtenstein was the perfect pickup from Coach Cristobal for a DE/DT type player. Excellence, long arms, found football.
Gil Frierson- Frierson looks like he’s back to his 2020 self and maybe better. Solid duels in space and approach speed on flat tracks.
The defenders- The DB’s are all improved: Te’Cory Couch, DJ Ivey, Avantae Williams and James Williams all looked really good. Isaiah Dunson looked much improved.
areas of improvement
The ACC network The ACCN’s entire methodology is rubbish. Your ad sales team, the camera work, the production is missing bit by bit.
width receiver Josh Gattis, the OC needs to re-evaluate Gattis, the WR coach. The WR dropped too many damn passes, even Restrepo dropped one (he looked great otherwise).
Defensive tackle depth However, this seems to come from portal players who were not allowed to participate. But man, there were times when the RBs tore up the D line.
Inside Linebacker ILB space needs portal help asap. TEs and RBs were open to crossers and too many tackles on 3rd level.
I’m used to breaking down real games but also using All 22 coaching tape. But back to the TV edit, since you won’t get Spring Game from anyone that easily.
For a look at what to expect from DC’s Kevin Steele, Miami obviously won’t be in a traditional 4-3 or have four defenders with their hands down.
If you know anything about Steele from his time at Auburn, he will use his “Bock” which is a Coverage LB up on the LOS and a “DE” which is a guy that will be up (2 points) and down ( 3 point) and more of a traditional long arm end type.
above– Miami has more of a traditional 3-4 look, with three down linemen, a stand-up LB and a stand-up “Edge”.
above– RB follows the wrapping guard for a nice run. Guards with skip-pull technique and a ton of 1-back power or guard wrap depending on who you are.
above– The TE, 81 Brantley, seals the rim. Zion Nelson is also on the 2nd level of the LB Smith doing great work in space. Doesn’t last, just snaps in and drives. If Jaylan Knighton is sane, he takes this one for a TD.
above– When we talk about improved tackling, and it’s improved, there are still some old habits. Another stretch play here, Smith dives from about 4 yards away.
above– The advantage is lost for a big run. As a CB, you are the underdog. Don’t make the mistake of jumping in. Hold on outside to bring it back to safety.
above– Increased strength leads to increased self-confidence. The LB doesn’t have it in this TE operational zone run. I love seeing a head snap back when a LB fills a TE or FB.
above– If you tighten the formation in the red zone, your WR will block better. Restrepo shows his willingness to block.
above– Another Restrepo play, he makes a nice jump catch but he’s a yard from the endzone. These are the little things that get fixed all summer long as players play running games together after practice. It’s a matter of feeling and a reason some basketball players are great soccer players, sensing where they are or orienting themselves in the OODA loop.
above– See how deep this QB is right here? When he goes up, 95 doesn’t even come close. If an OT is left alone against a pass rusher, he will put him out there, far and deep in the field. The QB needs to embrace that idea and pocket it. The rule for OL is never to let anyone in as it is more difficult for the QB to escape an in the face pass rush.
above– 9 gets caught in the wash and Frierson of the LB goes too deep in field. Mike McLaughlin does the right thing by forcing him into the field for the RB to cut underneath.
above– The WR cancels a 10-year route and Garcia has time to hitchhike to his 2nd route in the progression, but he also puts an absolute Dan Marino-type rocket on the WR.
above– Gil Frierson has his confidence back. A guy I thought had a high football IQ in 2020 compared to most on the team and 21ers didn’t burn much.
above– Nelson does a great job at Pass Pro while Brantley was a pleasant surprise. Brantley could use some more burst, which can come over the summer off-season program if he’s at top speed en route to camp. Just being a very willing and experienced blocker means he has to be active on the field.
above– Nelson with a solid pass pro again. He’s gone 1-on-1 with some athletic guys in Chantz Williams, Cyrus Moss and Thomas Davis and treated them well.
My “what to watch” for Miami in my spring preview of the ‘Canes ’22 schedule included linebacker play and tackling. While unit-wide tackling improved, the ILBs still lacked playmaking skills.
I have a feeling Mario Cristobal isn’t done adding parts yet. Look for a wide receiver and an inside linebacker to add to the roster for 2022. Possibly an offensive tackle as well.
My prediction for 2022 was 10-2 and ACC Coastal Champions. After watching every opposing spring game except UVA (next weekend), Miami looks like they are in a shootout against UNC. I give Miami the nod to Tyler Van Dyke at QB. While Sam Howell has pushed UNC past Miami for three straight years under Manny Diaz, Van Dyke 22 will make the difference.
I’m staying at 10-2 and ACC Coastal Champs.