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:
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.