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Miami Game Preview
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BlazerMatt Offline
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Miami Game Preview
Miami Game Preview

The ACC is doing away with divisions this year, so no Atlantic or Coastal, just one happy family with the addition of Notre Dame, who is spending the fall hanging with the ACC fam. Miami is predicted to finish in 6th place by the ACC media poll, behind Clemson, Notre Dame, North Carolina, Louisville and Virginia Tech. Many pundits feel Miami is vastly underrated and may even be able to give Clemson a run for their money in the ACC.
I mentioned in the UCA game preview the benefit of playing a game before your opponent (you get a game to work the kinks out) versus the disadvantage (They get to see you on film and you don’t get to see them.) Well the later half of that equation is being felt by the UAB staff this week. There have been a LOT of changes to the Miami team since we saw them last year. They have a new offensive coordinator in Rhett Lashlee, who led one of the nation’s best offenses at SMU a year ago and many may remember from his time at Auburn. They grabbed a top quarterback via the transfer portal in D'Eriq King who we will discuss below. So our defensive coaches are going to have to watch Miami film, SMU film, and Houston film (to scout King.) then decide from that mix of film what sort of offense we will face Thursday night in Miami. I don’t envy them!

The ACC is allowing teams to pump in artificial crowd noise this season. So even though there will not be many fans present (attendance is being capped at 13k) expect it to be loud when we have the ball.

Miami Overview

Miami was 6-7 last year and went 4-4 in the ACC. They were 0-2 in games against CUSA teams last year with losses to FIU and La Tech. They lost five of their seven games by a TD or less. They had a very good defense (statistically comparable to ours but against better competition.) They struggled mightily at times on offense (by some metrics they had the worst offense in the FBS last year) and took steps this year to correct that by bringing in several transfers and a new offense coordinator who brings with him a high-powered, up-tempo spread attack.

Miami fans are not just expecting mere improvement offensively, they are expecting to have one of the top offenses in the nation this year. They have the most exciting QB in the country in King (more on him below,) and he will be in an extremely up-tempo system protected by an experienced O-line and surrounded by the type of speed at the skill positions you would expect from a Miami team.

Defensively they play an aggressive style similar to ours. They create havoc with aggressive defensive lineman and will bring the blitz to keep you off balance and blow up plays before they start. The good news is that while they were to return one of the best pass rushers in the country in Greg Rousseau (15.5 sacks last year) he decided to opt out of the Covid shortened season to prepare for the NFL draft. The bad news is that they have two transfer defensive ends who are extremely talented, and have the type of size and athleticism at DT & speed at the second level to make running the ball a tricky proposition. They probably are not quite as good defensively as they were last year, but will still be by far the best defense we face this season.

A note on special teams. They had inconsistency with field goals last year so went out and picked up a transfer from FIU (He had kicked two 50+ yard field goals against them last season, so they were obviously impressed enough to poach him from the CUSA school.)

Prediction: UAB 17 – 31 Miami

Part of my prediction is that I’m at the point where I need to see a Clark coached team not self-destruct against a power five opponent before I can predict it happening. My main concern with this game though is that a extremely athletic QB like King feasts on aggressive teams who like to play primarily man-to-man behind an aggressive pass rush. To pen him in you need to stay in your rush lanes and have lots of eyes on him playing zone behind your front. Basically, the opposite of how we play defense.

The Miami Offense:

They are switching to Rhett Lashlee’s offense system. Not only did they bring him in as the new OC, they brought in several assistant coaches on the offensive side of the ball with experience in his system. So what is his system? Take the Mike Leach Air Raid passing game. Sprinkle in the RPO and read option game, add a H-back that will go in motion and line up all over the field. Throw in a hyper-mobile QB, then run it at an extremely fast pace so that you can keep the defense on its heels and unable to substitute. The witches brew that results has the potential to be the most explosive offense that I can remember a UAB team matching up against.

At SMU last year they were second in the nation in plays per game. They did something with all of those plays as well, ranking in the top 10 nationally in points and yards per game.
Miami was young on the O-line last year but bring their top six linemen back. They also added a new starting tackle in Jarrid Williams who came with King from Houston. They should be stout up front.

The Miami receivers did not put up big stats last year, but that was a product of the system they were running and poor QB play. They are all fast & quick with good height. They were all highly recruited. They have two tight ends in that will play in the NFL. Both are fast, both have good size, and both are threats in the passing game. Brevin Jordan is first team All-ACC and was a finalist for the Mackey Award, given to the best TE in the country.

They have a stable of fast, powerful running backs who expect to share the load.

Who to watch when Miami has the ball:

#1 QB D'Eriq King 5’11 202 He’s the reason Miami fans are so excited about this season. Basically, his comparisons are Lamar Jackson & Michael Vick. That is not hyperbole. Just watch the video below to see what our defense will be trying to contain Thursday. Seriously. Watch it.





#9 TE Brevin Jordan 6’3 245 Great hands. Fast. An effective blocker in the run game. He will be a scary weapon in the steady diet of RPOs that Miami figures to run this year. Will Mallory (#85) is the other good TE.

#23 RB Cam’Ron Harris 5’10 210 Shifty. Fast. Will lower the shoulder on you or break your ankles. He’s the most experienced returning RB on their roster, but they have two freshmen RBs that figure to see time. Both Jaylan Knighton & Donald Chaney Jr were among the top 10 RB recruits in the nation last year.


The Miami Defense

Here is where Miami’s defense ranked statistically last year (our ranking by comparison)
Scoring Defense: 23rd (28th)
Passing Defense: 18th (8th)
Rushing Defense: 17th (20th)
Total Defense: 13th (8th)
Sacks: 6th (11th)

We pride ourselves in our defense, and rightfully so. Miami was ranked as good or better than us in pretty much every statistical category despite facing much tougher competition. They run an aggressive scheme and have elite speed at virtually every position. We will definitely be earning the points we score. They lost some key contributors off last year’s D, but still return plenty of talent. They run a lot of press man just like we do. They will bring blitzes from all over and on any down & distance, just like we do. They have two key transfers on the D-line that are both difference makers. Had some issues with a young secondary at times last year, but they are older and more experienced now.

Who to watch when we have the ball:

#2 DE Quincy Roche 6’4/235lbs Elite speed rusher off the edge. Uses his long arms and quickness to get off blocks. Can blow up a play in a hurry, he had 13 sacks on a good Temple defense last year.

#15 DE Jaelan Phillips 6’5/266lbs five star recruit considered a consensus top five overall prospect in the nation out of high school. Signed with UCLA and sat out last season after transferring to Miami. Elite athlete who was good not great in his two years at UCLA, mainly due to ongoing injury issues. The Miami coaches have been raving about him and he’s expected to have a break-out year.

#96 DT Jonathan Ford 6’5 318lbs Stout vs the run and quick twitch enough to collapse the pocket in a hurry from the interior of the D-line. Is a Senior leader on their line and has played since he was a freshman.

#7 CB Al Blades Jr. 6’1 192lbs Probably the best of a good group of corners. All are fast, all have good size. Was a top 75 recruit coming out of high school. Took over the starting job midway through last season and looked impressive on tape.

#21 S Bubba Bolden 6’3 200lbs Transfer from Southern Cal. Dealt with injuries last year but is expected to lead the Miami D from the secondary this year. Was a Parade All-American coming out of high school.


Highlights
















(This post was last modified: 09-07-2020 02:43 PM by BlazerMatt.)
09-07-2020 02:35 PM
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BlazerGreen Offline
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Post: #2
RE: Miami Game Preview
(09-07-2020 02:35 PM)BlazerMatt Wrote:  Prediction: UAB 17 – 31 Miami

Part of my prediction is that I’m at the point where I need to see a Clark coached team not self-destruct against a power five opponent before I can predict it happening. My main concern with this game though is that a extremely athletic QB like King feasts on aggressive teams who like to play primarily man-to-man behind an aggressive pass rush. To pen him in you need to stay in your rush lanes and have lots of eyes on him playing zone behind your front. Basically, the opposite of how we play defense.

I'm am at the same place. I think we can win the game, if we come to play and don't go Deer in the Headlights with penalties and turnovers. But at this point in our Return, playing a P5 close would be an improvement. If we do lose, I'd like see UAB make Miami win it and not give it to them.

An interesting match up will be Miami native Kris Moll vs D'Eriq King. Will someone else step up at LB and help him? Tyler Taylor has the ability. We'll see how long it takes him to learn the system.
(This post was last modified: 09-07-2020 03:12 PM by BlazerGreen.)
09-07-2020 03:04 PM
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HiddenDragon Offline
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Post: #3
RE: Miami Game Preview
That's a sobering review of the upcoming game. I'm at the point now that it is time for UAB to show up in these P5 games and put up a respectable showing. Other G5 programs have been able to do this and actually win some of these games.

If UAB wants to be considered as a serious program and catch the eyes of the AAC or even the Big 12, it's time to show it on national TV this Thursday night. Anything less than a win or single digit loss would be unacceptable. If this team is as good as some of you say then it's time to show it this Thursday night in my opinion. All excuses can exit stage left!
09-08-2020 08:54 AM
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HellBlazer Offline
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Post: #4
RE: Miami Game Preview
(09-08-2020 08:54 AM)HiddenDragon Wrote:  That's a sobering review of the upcoming game. I'm at the point now that it is time for UAB to show up in these P5 games and put up a respectable showing. Other G5 programs have been able to do this and actually win some of these games.

If UAB wants to be considered as a serious program and catch the eyes of the AAC or even the Big 12, it's time to show it on national TV this Thursday night. Anything less than a win or single digit loss would be unacceptable. If this team is as good as some of you say then it's time to show it this Thursday night in my opinion. All excuses can exit stage left!

04-bow nuff said.
09-08-2020 09:53 AM
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Qwilliams07 Offline
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Post: #5
RE: Miami Game Preview
(09-08-2020 08:54 AM)HiddenDragon Wrote:  That's a sobering review of the upcoming game. I'm at the point now that it is time for UAB to show up in these P5 games and put up a respectable showing. Other G5 programs have been able to do this and actually win some of these games.

If UAB wants to be considered as a serious program and catch the eyes of the AAC or even the Big 12, it's time to show it on national TV this Thursday night. Anything less than a win or single digit loss would be unacceptable. If this team is as good as some of you say then it's time to show it this Thursday night in my opinion. All excuses can exit stage left!

I agree. We have to play these game tough and stop just looking at them as money games. We’ll get paid regardless.. might as well intrigue some recruits and build our brand while collecting the check.
09-08-2020 10:34 AM
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biglizard Offline
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Post: #6
RE: Miami Game Preview
(09-08-2020 10:34 AM)Qwilliams07 Wrote:  
(09-08-2020 08:54 AM)HiddenDragon Wrote:  That's a sobering review of the upcoming game. I'm at the point now that it is time for UAB to show up in these P5 games and put up a respectable showing. Other G5 programs have been able to do this and actually win some of these games.

If UAB wants to be considered as a serious program and catch the eyes of the AAC or even the Big 12, it's time to show it on national TV this Thursday night. Anything less than a win or single digit loss would be unacceptable. If this team is as good as some of you say then it's time to show it this Thursday night in my opinion. All excuses can exit stage left!

I agree. We have to play these game tough and stop just looking at them as money games. We’ll get paid regardless.. might as well intrigue some recruits and build our brand while collecting the check.

We'd better play every game like it's the last one of the season. In 2020 you may be right
09-08-2020 10:42 AM
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bftb Offline
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Post: #7
RE: Miami Game Preview
(09-08-2020 08:54 AM)HiddenDragon Wrote:  That's a sobering review of the upcoming game. I'm at the point now that it is time for UAB to show up in these P5 games and put up a respectable showing. Other G5 programs have been able to do this and actually win some of these games.

If UAB wants to be considered as a serious program and catch the eyes of the AAC or even the Big 12, it's time to show it on national TV this Thursday night. Anything less than a win or single digit loss would be unacceptable. If this team is as good as some of you say then it's time to show it this Thursday night in my opinion. All excuses can exit stage left!

Spot on. It's time.
09-08-2020 11:15 AM
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