2021 Production Lost – Miami

Next up and last review of Pitt’s 2022 ACC schedule are the Miami Hurricanes.

Miami, like previously reviewed Virginia Tech, Virginia, and Duke, has a new head coach – Mario Cristobal. Cristobal replaces Manny Diaz who was not fired (paid off) until Miami inked Cristobal. I can just hear the Miami AD talking to Diaz. “Manny were looking into hiring a Miami legend to be the new head coach. But we want to have you stay on in case we cannot work out a deal. I will be in touch once we know how the negotiation goes. Bye.”

This is Cristobal third head coaching job. The first was with Florida International for five years (2007 – 2012). He was fired. He spent some time in the rehabilitation program Sabin runs at Alabama. Like a large number of coaches that rehabilitated at the clinic, his stint led to the head coaching job at Oregon before the 2017 season.

In his five seasons, Cristobal was 42 – 18 (27-14 conference, 11-1 OOC, 2-1 C/C, and 2-2 in bowls). His best season was 2019 where he went 12-2, won the C/C and the Rose Bowl. Outside of that season, his teams lost at least two conference games per season and at least three games per season. I believe he underachieved as a HC at Oregon. In my opinion, the PAC-12 is not a strong conference and is below the ACC in strength. Cristobal is known as a recruiter.

Miami’s 2021 results and the 2022 schedule.

Two games of interest to gauge Miami’s progress: 9/17/22 at Texas A&M and 11/19/22 and (the week before the Pitt game) at Clemson.

Here are the Rivals 5.7 and above 2022 commits. Also included are the current Transfer Portal (TP) additions

For an ordinary transitional class, this was a great class. Most transitional classes rankings are below prior team classes. In Miami’s case, the transitional 2022 class recruiting is remarkably similar to the prior two classes.

Miami lost 15 players to the TP. Eight were on the offense and seven on the defense. Since Miami recruits well, they lost (by Rivals) one 5-star, six 4-stars and five 5.7, 3-stars.

To replace those who  were lost to eligibility or the TP, the Canes picked up 11 players from the TP. You may recognize Henry Parrish from Ole’ Miss. The recruiting site 24/7 re-ranks players based on their actual college play. By that standard, Akheem Mesidor from WVU is the best (4-star-0.92 rating). How can WVU fans say their DL is improved compared to last season?

Offensive players accounted for four of the TP haul. The remaining seven are defensive players. Two players from the 2017 recruiting class are for immediate help. The rest are for immediate help or depth but have eligibly running until 2024 (2019 class) and 2025 for the balance. (That is assuming that all 10 redshirted their first season.)

It pays to have NIL money and be in a recruiting hot bed. Of those eleven players, four attended Miami area schools, four more were from Florida high schools, two were from California, and the last one from Utah.

On to the stars identified as NCAA team leaders in selected stats or members of the 2021 All ACC teams. I have added a new stat –  Athlon’s 2022 preseason All ACC Conference’s (four teams). I could only find the four Miami players making Phil Steele first team. There are definitely others on the other three teams.

I have also added those players who made the 2021 Preseason All ACC team. The players who made the All ACC were announced after the ACC Media Days meeting.

The  offense revolves around QB play. I have added sacked and yards lost to the QB chart.

Tyler Van Dyke, the grandson of Dick Van Dyke and Mary TYLER Moore (and you wondered why I brought up the South Carolina tradition of naming grandsons after the mother/grandmother maiden name.) seems to be the real deal.

The backups are Jake Garcia (2021 6.0, 4-star) and Jacurri Brown (2022 5.7, 3-star).

Miami running backs and receivers 2021 activity. Also returning production summary for Pitt and all the ACC opponents.

Miami lost three of their top five rushers and only return a pinch under 58% of production. Parrish who averaged 6.1 yards per attempt will help the Miami rush game. Van Dyke is not a scrambler but can run some. Taking out sacks, he averaged 4.9 yards per rush attempt.

Passing wise, they lost their top two receivers and only return a bit under 52% of their production. TP entry Frank Ladson is not the answer as he was barely used in his three years at Clemson. Miami must be counting on the receivers on the team or the lone 2020 WR recruit to step up to the plate.

What does the Oline stats tell us? I added Pitt allowed sacks and tackles for loss.

They lost two starters to eligibility. Corey Gaynor was a starter (center) before going down with an injury,

Zion Nelson (the bright green high-lite) had knee surgery shortly prior to the start of this year’s summer camp. How long he is out is undetermined or being played close to the vest. I thought HCPN & Pitt were the only ones who did that.

To help fill the gaps created by eligibility and the TP, Cristobal enticed two players from Oregon to follow him to Miami. It helped that one of those transfers played high school ball in Florida.

The Miami Oline had problems with run blocking. TFL’s (adjusted for sacks) amounted to 5.8% of total plays. They were better at pass blocking allowing only 3.4% of total plays.

The Canes offense was 52.8% pass 47.2% run. Adjusted for sacks percentages is in the above chart.

Cristobal, being a lineman during the Miami golden years, is a firm believer in having a strong line and running the ball. The 2021 Oregon Ducks attempted 410 passes and ran the ball 535 times. That is a 43.4% pass, 56.6% run ratio. The 24 sacks Oregon allowed was only 2.5%. How does Van Dyke fit into Cristobal’s preferred offense?

On to the defensive review.

Miami had 49 players make a defensive stat. But twelve of them were offensive players. Two were special teams player. That leaves 35 defensive players making a stat.

The chart below strips out the non-defensive players and ten players who did not make at least ten tackles.

The below chart includes 25 players- thirteen DB’s, nine DL’s and three LB’s making up (and I mean made up) a “10 tackles two deep.” I did not have to lower my goal of ten tackles to make a “two deep.”

I also added a “HAVOC Rate” at the end of the chart. Havoc rate is just the sum of defensive disruptive plays (TFL’s, Interceptions, Pass Break Ups (PBU or PD), and Forced Fumbles (FF) divided by opponent(s) total plays. It is a gauge of how well a team’s defense performs.

Pitt’s havoc rate was particularly good at 18.3%. I looked at all teams in the ACC, the NCAA top five defensive teams (based on total defense) and the three CFP teams not in the top five. Pitt was fifth best of those 22 teams. Pitt was first in the ACC. Miami was tied for sixth with Louisville

Overall, Miami returns a smidgen over 70%. The defensive hole is in the DLine with  a tad over 50% returning. Hence the five DLinemen retrieved from the TP.

To help put all of the defensive data into perspective, here are Duke’s 2021 NCAA defensive stats.

I give Miami’s 2021 defense a C Minus grade. Probably does not matter with a new HC and defensive coordinator.

I got some of my talking points from this article in SBNations “State of the U” blog. Link below:

6 major storylines for the ‘Canes 2022 season – State of The U

This game could be for the Coastal crown. Miami plays Clemson and a in-state rivalry game with Florida State. I have Pitt at 7-0 entering this game. I have Miami winning the game. I got the hype fever.

I enjoyed this series of articles. My hope is that you also enjoyed them and learned something about our opponents.

30 thoughts on “2021 Production Lost – Miami

  1. When Pitt beats Miami it will get another monkey off it’s back. Big hurdle to overcome.
    Love Dick Van Dyke and Mary Tyler Moore. Tyler Van Dyke…awesome.
    Great job as usual Richard. Will read in depth each of these articles before each game.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. That would be a beautiful thing if it came to pass…5 NFLer’s in that group !!!! Dang, we are so blessed to have witness such great talent…Sweet, sweet memories.!!!


  2. A week or so ago, ESPN wrote an article on college football in the Northeast. I think there was one or two links to the article by different commentors, but they generated little discussion. Here’s the link again:


    This Syracuse SBNation blog wrote an article about BC, Cuse, & Pitt’s recruiting since 2000 concentrating on 5 & 4-stars. I thought it was an interesting read. Also enjoyed the “woe is us” commenting.



  3. Fun fact … Saturday we get the Kenny Pickett vs Kenneth Walker matchup we missed out on in the Peach Bowl. Tickets are only like $12, too. See, everything balances out in the end.


  4. Richard, I learned something right off the bat…I thought is was Tyler Van Dyne…lost some of my hearing acuity sitting with Annie and Scooter at a game a couple of years back………

    Liked by 4 people

  5. Based on the recruiting quality of the past 3 years the Canes should be a top 10 team, however, as much as we criticize our coaching (some of it has been justified) the U has underperformed. Top talent grows on trees in Florida. For our sake, I hope that the transition to Cristobal runs into some potholes because on the surface Miami is loaded I see Pitt having a 10-2 season losing to Louisville (our annual screwup game) and the U. Richard once again I really enjoy going through your extensive work outlining our opposition.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. IMO, Miami recruits on stars, not on fits or needs. The problem with recruiting on stars is that sometimes the players are nearly maxed out on potential by the end of high school. Some of the bigger high schools have weight training, instructing (coaching), fan bases that rival teams at the G5 or most FCS schools. That was a problem with Mack Brown during his last years in Texas. Players never achieved more

      I also think Miami had/has a problem with a culture of “Meism”. That is reflected in the turnover chain and the turnover chair. I don’t have a problem with a turnover celebration. I think Pitt’s is hooky but doesn’t include sitting in a turnover chair and receiving the adoration of other players,

      BTW, the word is that Miami is discontinuing the turnover chain.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. I have seen a couple of POVerts having PITT losing to the ‘ville…I say no way…IMO their QB is over-rated and the Panthers will get to him…he will be a “let the feet do the talkin’ ” QB against the vaunted Panther “D.” PITT wins going away……

      Liked by 2 people

  6. Canes had no QB until Van Dyke got under center…he’s a game-changer

    Sam Hartman out .indefinitely…. Hate to see that as he is a really good player or at least was until the Panther beat-down in Charlotte…

    VT and UVa also have very good/excellent QBs which we will face…Clemson-not so much…then there is that team in Raleigh that wears red and always seems to kick our a$$ in FB,BB and wrestling…we are past due and hope we tangle with them in Charlotte in early December…..the teams I mentioned each have one good QB while the Loyal Sons are blessed with 2….I like that insurance policy and our chances of meeting up Devin Leary and the Pack in 2022 to defend our ACC title!!!


  7. The Miami game outcome will be decided the week before in the Clemson game. If Miami gets a physical and mental beatdown by Clemson, Pitt will have a chance. Hopefully Tyler Van Dyke will still have “happy” feet coming into the Pitt game.

    Rich deserves a big THANKS from all of us for keeping us informed and entertained through the summer!

    Liked by 4 people

  8. Richard – excellent work by you! Loved the reference to Sabin’s fire-coaches-rehab program. 😊

    Looks like the new Miami head coach has a lot of work to do. I like the Canes playing at Clemson the week before we go down there…

    So close last season – if we hold them to 33 points, like GT did the following week (curses!), we beat them…

    Go Pitt.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. New Pitt HOF members announced. Includes R Grimm, R Jackson, L Harris, J Lane, R Stottlemeyer and many others

    Sent from my iPhone



  10. My thought on Miami and why their 4 and 5 stars seem to underperform is that the U seems to be the destination to work towards, not the destination to go to for improvement and the real destination of the league. I think the athlete students feel as if they “made it” when they get on their campus, when in reality, that is just their start.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I think they just haven’t had consistent coaching. Coaches help build character but if you’re constantly changing coaches or if the coaches are under pressure for immediate results (Miami’s are), it’s going to create leadership gaps.

      As a long time sales manager, I always tell my teams “everyone hates having a boss until they don’t have one” … You have to have a consistent vision otherwise you can’t create a culture. My 3 C’s for leadership are Commitment, Consistency, Culture. It’s easy to get everyone’s commitment. Most people don’t say “No”. Following up on the at commitment and holding people accountable and people holding themselves accountable is where things start to fall apart (Consistency). You have to constantly apply hydraulic pressure to get to a consistent result. You can’t spend too much time checking off things in a box. Every job has the menial and busy work tasks. You have to fight through that and get to the big picture and consistently drive that home. That is what leads to culture. Then you can plug and play. Someone leaves, someone else steps up. They’ve either been in the culture long enough to not skip a beat or the rest of the team picks them up and shows them how it’s done.

      Miami has not had that. It’s why I gave Duzz time. It can be a long process. I do think it took Duzz too long. 2 years too long to be exact. I give him a little leeway with the COVID year. But, ultimately, Pitt’s program looks like it’s on a pretty solid foundation. Now, if recruiting makes a leap, Pitt can escalate pretty quickly. Duzz bought a little time but he can’t regress. And, at some point he’s going to have to take a step forward. Regardless of perceived success, stagnancy is a villain. If the team or fans think you’ve hit your ceiling … at some point people will ask for change. Duzz has to continually progress this program now. He bought some time … but not much.

      But, Miami, I’m not worried about them. Tex brought it up a few days ago and I gave him heck for it but that would certainly apply to Miami where there is complete overhaul of the program.


      1. Tossing – love your three Cs! Sorry we never met when I was coaching sales teams. Glad to be retired as coaching 8-78 sales folks was often like herding kittens!

        Duz has built a foundation. Is it a solid one? We will start finding out Sept 1st!


    2. imo Huff, Miami and Louisville are a lot the same. Both recruit great athletes without much couth not all but too many. A great work ethic is paramount.


  11. Richard – talk about sprinting to the finish… this is your best column of the off-season.
    The stats are always good, but loved the commentary. Rehab facility – good one.

    You should consider sending Phil Steele your “havoc factor” – its a good one and he might pilfer it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. JoeL – Thanks. Havoc factor/rate is not my invention. It’s a term uses by S&P+ writers/users. I understood the concept but didn’t know how it was calculated,

      Gordan Conn posted a link to a PSN article and loo and behold there was the (or a) formula. The PSN writer said good defenses where in the 20% range. The best I calculated was Wisconsin and OSU (Oklahoma State) at 19.8%. Alabama (19.5%) and Georgia (18.9%) were #’s 3 & 4

      If I continue doing these articles, I need to open my wallet (and have bug spray ready for the creatures inside) and buy subscriptions to a few sites.


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