BreakDown: What, why and how it went wrong…

I saw a post on from Shadow which gave a detailed description of the Miami/Virginia game and I had to poach it and post here.

Most rants are based on emotion instead of fact. After a 48-0 ass kicking, nobody is safe. The boo birds are in effect. The coaches suck. The players suck. The game plan sucks. Some of it true and some of it blown way out of proportion.

Based on Shadow’s break down, I braved the storm and watched the first half of last Saturday’s debacle to see if his assessment matched up with what I saw on TV. Having been at the game, a lot was missed. Sometimes you need that ‘rewind’ and ‘pause’ button to analyze where and how a play broke down, before pointing that finger of blame.

Below is the Canes/Cavs game broken down play-by-play, drive-by-drive and an explanation regarding what went wrong, who was to blame, etc.

A lot of fans have been critical of the coaching staff after this loss. While I definitely feel there are some things Randy Shannon needs to do to get this thing back on track, the majority of this loss is on the players.

I know fans want coaches to own up and take responsibility for a loss, but the main issues I saw were based on poor execution. Sure, some personnel decisions and play calls were off – but they paled in comparison to plays the players failed to make.

Coaches aren’t responsible for missed assignments and blown tackles, nor are they responsible for players simply playing football and doing the things they’ve learned since Pop Warner.

There were some very elementary mistakes made by these Canes last Saturday. Momentum-killing plays that took Miami out of it very quickly. Read Shadow’s thoughts below, cleaned up/edited by Canes305:

Virginia’s First (Televised) Offensive Possession

– Rush, Kenny Phillips big tackle for loss.
– Pass to TE, big gain. Randy Phillips didn’t pick-up, got caught inside corner/receiver.
– Screen pass. Good execution, Joe Joseph had only shot, didn’t recognize it
– Rush for 29, all ‘backers did the right thing, Tavares Gooden missed 5-yard TFL.
– QB rush, unpicked up blitz call, Darryl Sharpton didn’t make play for 10-yard loss.
– Rush, Calais Campbell/Willie Cooper good tackle.
– TD pass, KP/RP covered the TE, left receiver open (RP’s fault, outside of KP who came down to pick up the TE. After RP released his guy deep to Bruce Johnson he didn’t pick-up Johnson’s guy over the middle went with TE instead).

Overview: Two missed tackles for losses, two blown assignments by R. Phillips.

Miami’s Ensuing Drive

– Three wide, Javarris James: Direct to Darnell Jenkins (hold on Jason Fox).
– Three wide, James: Pass to DajLeon Farr, crossing, wide open for 10 yards.
– Two backfield: Jerrell Mabry up the gut.
– Three wide, Mabry H-Back: Mabry turned route back in (no chance for 1st down) instead of going to open right hash and first down marker to make the defense come to him. INT, catchable ball.

Overview: This is a completion with an actual TE in the game, and potentially a 1st down if he flows to the right and has but a corner to run over. Good play call, poor personnel decision. (Also, the 2nd down FB dive, questionable.)

Virginia’s Ensuing Drive

– INT, R. Phillips starts to redeem with a great safety deep read.

Miami’s Ensuing Drive

– 2 RB, 2 WR: Open to strong for Graig Cooper, but both Fox and Richard Gordon can’t hold blocks for him to get there. Shame because Kayne Farqhuarson had the block downfield and Cooper had one safety to beat outside for a lot of green.
-3 Wide, Cooper: Farq drops a 4-yard out.
-3 Wide, Dedrick Epps H-Back : No real pressure, Wright throws right in to coverage instead of Cooper who came free underneath and made the tackle after the interception.

Overview: All three plays the guys on the field blew it. At this point, Miami’s pass blocking has control and picked up every blitz.

Virginia’s Ensuing Drive

-Rush, Campbell sheds and tackles at LOS.
-Rush, Campbell again makes play closing down, TFL.
Vegas Franklin offsides, Colin McCarthy fumble recovery for TD called back.
-Gooden blitz, Franklin sack around the backside (coverage credit, KP picked up the guy from the backfield)

Overview: Good execution all around, defensive stop as a result.

Miami’s Ensuing Drive

– 2 RB, 2 WR: Cooper for 5 straight ahead (good push upfront).
– 3 Wide, Cooper: Jenkins 15 yards downfield, drops the ball on the hit. Wright left it high, but Jenkins got his hands on it brought it to his chest and then got hit to drop it. Look like Jenkins didn’t have body control, gotta make plays sometimes.
– 1 Back, 2 WR, Mabry H-Back: Mabry (open again, goes right all the way this time) drops a first down crossing route where the ball hits him right in the hands. That’s twice this play is there, its a safe pass and we can’t complete it.
– Punt block, right up the gut against the LS. No chance for Matt Bosher to get kick off.

Overview: 2nd drive in a row, where calls are there and the players didn’t make plays.

Virginia’s Ensuing Drive

– Rush, Sharpton and K. Phillips meet him TFL.
– Rush TD, Miami ‘backers moving at the snap, never set. McCarthy gets cleaned up, pulling guard takes care of K. Phillips and Gooden – who was unblocked the entire play – didn’t get through the hole in time to get in the backfield because he was jumping around before the snap.

Miami’s Ensuing Drive

– 1 Back, 2 WR, Mabry H-Back: James cutback for 5 yards. Good push, good sustained block by Gordon on the edge for the play to work.
– 3 Wide, James: Flip outside, James for 10. Epps throws key block (taking out two), Lance Leggett holds his man back and Fox gets downfield to cut the angle for him to pick up the first down. Well executed.
– 2 Wide, 1 Back: Play action, good protection, Jenkins wide open on the up and out. Wright sails the ball to the sidelines. After two successful runs this play call worked, the defense bite on James, easy 10 yards with some accuracy.
– 2 Wide, 1 Back: Morse good pull, James for three.
– 3 Wide, Epps H-Back: Plenty of time for Wright, 20 yards downfield for the 1st down in traffic low to the ground so only UM gets it and Leggett doesn’t make a simple catch for a major D-I receiver that hits right off his pads. INT, on the bounce.

Overall: Good drive, play calls are right on the money. Wright floats a 15 yard pick-up and Leggett drops an easy 3rd down conversation for an INT. Its unbelievable when you watch this – without the emotion of the moment.

Virginia’s Ensuing Drive

– Pass, blitz call with Sharpton, well timed. Flushes the QB, who’s mobility allows him to throws it away at LOS
– Pass, nowhere to go, Campbell flushed him, QB runs out of bounds at LOS
– Pass, TE in the flat for 4 yards. HE was in motion, and it was Chavez Grant that had him, miscommunication before the snap, and as a result fell behind him coming across.
– FG

Overall: Pinned back again due to a turnover and held to 3.

Miami’s Ensuing Drive

Ryan Hill ridiculously catches the ball at the 3 yard line and steps out of bounds.
– 2 RB, 2 WR: Up the gut to Cooper for a pair of yards, he got armed tackled by the only guy that touched him. If he doesn’t the entire middle is open to him.
– 2 RB, 2 WR: Cooper again for about three, solid blocks again. To the LOS before touched.
– 2 Wide, Chris Zellner H-Back: Wright gets stepped on and falls, they were going to go with a sweep that wasn’t getting the 1st down anyway

Overall: Here’s Nix pulling back near the end zone with the QBs and stopped throwing the ball.

Virginia’s Ensuing Drive

– Pass, roll out TE wide open, big gain. Sharpton bite on the play fake to the right, thats how the TE was left alone on the left hash (first time a ‘backer was burned on the fake, 20 mins in).
– Rush, run blitz they ran away from KP, Gooden blew up the lead blocker with a huge hit and Eric Moncur/R. Phillips stop for three
– Pass, TE release off of a block on Sharpton. Phillips doesn’t pick him up and its down to the 1.
– QB sneak for TD

Overall: Its funny everyone is screaming for Willie Cooper to sit and they replaced him with R. Phillips in this game and he’s gotten eaten alive with missing his assignments. Interesting, no?

Miami’s Ensuing Drive

– 2 Wide, Zellner H-Back: First OLine BUST, 30 mins in. Derrick Morse gets tossed to the ground and the guy is release right up the gut into Wright.
– 2 Wide, Cooper: BIG hole, untouched for 25 yards. Morse credit for getting to the ‘backer.
– 2 WR, 2 RB: Pitch to Cooper, lost yards.
– 3 Wide, Cooper: John Rochford is beat right up the gut on Wright, thrown away.
– 3 Wide, Cooper: Wright forced to run on 3rd long.

Overall: Bad decision to go outside with a slow developer following the big straight up run. But the O-Line now starts to break down in pass protection.

Virginia’s Ensuing Drive

– Pass, UVa TE, big gain. He rolled off a McCarthy block. No safety to pick him up
– Rush, Miami blitzed and McCarthy was knocked down on the side the rush went towards. He powers through the block instead of hitting the turf and its a no gain or at least less of a gain. Cooper (back in) did get chipped by the guard to spring more yards.
– Rush, 7 yards pulling center cleared McCarthy. K. Phillips overpursuses the play.
– Pass, TE for big gain. 1st time on Spencer Adkins, he didn’t cover the flat w/guy in motion, instead stayed inside. Rookie mistake on the motion guy changing his responsibility.
– Rush, Sharpton in the right spot needs to tackle better.
– Rush, up the gut Joe Joseph got moved out. Still short, Gooden fought a big block.
– Rush TD, Gooden makes contact in the backfield through the right gap untouched and is carried in to the end zone.

Overall: This is the drive where the TE ate us up, but it was two different folks.

Miami’s Ensuing Drive

– 2 WR, James, Zellner H-Back: Run up the gut, big block by Zellner on the ‘backer springs James for 1st down.
– 3 Wide, Cooper: Jenkins in motion, then rush to him, 5 yards.
– Direct snap to Jenkins, small gain.
– 3 Wide, James: Wright is sacked on a corner coming all the way across the field.

Overall: Even though Wright could’ve just thrown the ball away numerous times on that play, I think that was a bad decision to throw the ball on 3rd and 3 for the sack. You are running the ball, it’s still the first half even though the game is over, no need to do something you wouldn’t normally do. Nix paid for it.

Virginia’s Ensuing Drive

-Rush, Sharpton makes a good TFL
-Rush, stopped for loss again
-Rush, stopped.

Shadow went on to say: “My initial reaction to everyone just blaming the coaches was that it’s about time we stop blaming everyone but the freakin’ players, and now watching this…BINGO!!! Those that want the coaches’ heads watch the ****ing game!

You guys want Nix to make it easier, I don’t know if it can get easier short of running every down and thereby ruining receiver recruiting. Coach Nix is calling plays and getting guys open, mixed up the balance extremely well (we can’t abandon the pass folks), the OL is pass blocking this year and we can’t execute a damn thing in the air despite it always being there.

Is this Pop Warner at Miami? It feels like it when we are blaming the coaches only. Do we need to teach these kids how to catch and how to throw? 2-yarders for clear 1st downs are dropped, 20-yarders for clear 1st downs are dropped, 15-yard wide open passes are sailed in to the sideline, UVA’s defense isn’t even be asked to make any plays…

Walton is a disaster right? Multiple missed tackles when the guys are put in a position to make plays on the first TD drive (which is what you can ask of a coach) and then three straight in UM territory. They get the punt block that starts at the four-yard line for the next one, the INT starts them at the inside the 40-yard line for the next one. The kickoff field at the 3-yard line starts them inside the 40 on the next one.

On top of the offensively piss-poor positions, now the TE, we should adjust right? During the 1st half, R. Phillips, Grant, W. Cooper and Adkins all blew the coverage on a wide open tight end for gains. How the hell do you scheme around that as a DC? Miami didn’t get run out of this thing at the opening snap either, nobody on offense makes any plays and the punt block made it 14-0.

What’s disappointing is they quit after the Leggett pick and the three and out deep in our zone that UVA scored on because they probably started to realize that they had let down the stadium.

The last comment I have is that those that think Shannon isn’t overly excited about this year’s team anymore, 100% dead on. You could see it in his eyes in the 2nd Quarter when simple pitch and catch passing plays that are there can’t be completed. Miami starts getting some guys in here that can make the play when its in front of him and this is a different football team. From this terrible game, its honestly not that far away.

There will be growing pains with the youngsters coming in, but this game was a perfect example of the talent drop off where plays are not being made when they are in the position to make the play.

Again, watch the game. Unless you don’t want to let facts get in the way of your opinions based on emotion.”

Hard to disagree with Shadow’s break down of a large portion of this game here. How much is coaching? How much do these coaches have to work with? How much is execution and how much can be blamed on the players’ attitudes? I have a hard time believing it was “nerves” which Jenkins put the onus on in today’s Miami Herald.

Nerves can account for a loss or playing tight, but 48-0? That’s a complete collapse. No one stepped up. No one made a play. This entire team rolled over and simply let UVA have their way. That’s pathetic.

Props to Shadow for his breakdown. Great to see some logic out there as opposed to the standard rants and raves which shed no real light on things.

Looking forward to some comments below and hearing other fans’ thoughts on the game breakdown.




7 thoughts on “BreakDown: What, why and how it went wrong…

  1. Absolutely on the money. The only thing i can add to this is that there was no heart either. No emotion on the side line and thats what hurts more. I was at the ob and I can honestly say that I left because i was totally disgusted. I had never left before halftime not even during the “dark ages” of probation. Hopefully next year a new building brings a new start and new attitude.

  2. I read this yesterday and forwarded it to my friends with whom I have season tickets, this is a fairly spot-on assessment of this team. But hey…..I’ll be watching saturday and hoping for a win, or at least a decent showing…

    I do have faith in Randy……..

  3. Shadow had RP and KP on the first, TD. It was Glen Sharp and KP.

    He also claims that RP missed his assignment to cover the TE near the goal line. RP was on the other side of the field playing his half of the two deep zone.

  4. Thank you Shadow and 305 for being reasonable. I’m so tired of all of these ignorant fans blaming the coaches. Yeah I have criticised them, but I’ve never called for their heads. If there is predictable playcalling, it’s because the coaches have no choice. Take for instance the NC State game, we ran the ball the entire 2nd half of the game, but I guess that’s what you have to do ehen your QB is 1-14 with 3 ints. These players should be playing for Miami(OH)not Miami(FL). I’m so sick of dropped passes that I’m about to puke!! If we play like we did last week against VT we will lose by 100 points. Against my better judgement, I’m going to the game this weekend. I hope we at least show some heart!!

  5. No question about it Chris, Shadow is right on. Just watch the game, there is only so much the coaches can do. No talent, no heart, and no effort from these kids. We’re just not good! But we will get better, hopefully real soon.

  6. That was a very interesting breakdown, analyzing where the breakdown was on each play if applicable. RP has been here way too long to have mental/positional mistakes. This just shows we have to get an infusion of talent in here who know how to play and BE mentally prepared. Maybe they need to be watching more film so they know where to be, and not worry about post-game parties. If the recruits are making these comments, they are obviously hearing this on the sidelines. Hopefully they will all come in here and beat out the dead weight. We need players who actually care about winning and losing.
    -Columbus Cane

Comments are closed.