Quick Look at Miami

Here’s a quick list of things that I will be watching for in the Miami game. This doesn’t qualify as a full-blown preview, but should help flesh out the numbers presented earlier. Feel free to add any observations you have about Miami in the comments section.


Kyle Wright twisted his ankle in the FSU game as is listed as day to day (Thanks to RAWFS for this link.) If he can’t go, then Kirby Freeman will start.

One of the questions that a FL writer had for TOB this week was how much harder is it to prepare for a team not knowing who the QB was going to be. He handled the question pretty well (as per usual) by saying that it didn’t really matter that much since offenses tend to do the same things regardless of who the QB is.

What TOB left unsaid was that Kyle Wright doesn’t really give DC’s nightmares and Freeman even less so. So what does Miami usually do on offense?


Even in their losses, Miami is a run-first team and this surprised me at first. But given Miami’s issues at QB it probably shouldn’t have. They currently rank third in the ACC and 59th in the nation in rushing.

– You have to wonder about why the Miami coaches kept running even though they were getting crushed by Oklahoma. Of course since they only had 87 yards passing, it wouldn’t really have made any difference.

State’s rushing defense has looked much better over the last three weeks. TOB attributed the improvement to the secondary…though a healthy defensive line certainly doesn’t hurt. The FSU game was the first time this year that State held their opponent to less than 200 yds rushing.

Here is a quick summary of the opponent’s rushing over the last three games.



















Those numbers aren’t good enough to start jumping up and down about. But they do represent a dramatic improvement. The improvement will have to carry into the Miami game for State to have a chance to win.


Miami is tied with UVA for 16th in the nation in sacks and is substantially better than UVA in tackles for loss (TFL). All four members of their defensive line rank in the top 100 in the nation for sacks. This appears to offer a more difficult challenge than UVA in that you can’t double-team everyone. Protecting Daniel Evans has to rank as one of the top keys of the game for State.


How can a defense that ranks in the top-20 for sacks and TFL rank 46th in rushing defense? Looking at Miami’s last three games, this doesn’t appear to be some sort of statistical aberration.






Rank –



















So State has held their last three opponents at or below their season average, while Miami’s last three opponents improved their season rushing average by playing Miami. It is unfortunate that State will likely not be able to take full advantage of Miami’s rushing defense. However, any talk of Miami having a chance to run the table and make the ACC Championship Game appears mighty premature at this point.


I have never bet on a college game, but Miami opening as a 13 point favorite seems out of line to me. This is the Miami team that LOST to UNC and only beat Duke by 10 points. Their offense simply isn’t good enough to spot anyone 13 points and be confident of covering. On the other hand, State’s offense has been bad enough at times this year that they could be expected to spot two TD’s to nearly any I-A team.

The bottom line is that both of these teams have been too erratic to risk any money on. I don’t know how to check, but it would be interesting to know how much action this game is getting in Vegas. My bet would be that this game sees very little play.


Here is the team recruiting rankings (from Scout) for Miami over the last five years.













Given Miami’s current record and those from the recent past, does it seem like either coaching staff is getting enough out of their players?


Who could possibly have any? Which team and unit are going to show up for either side? Both teams have played bad enough to lose this game and both have played well enough to win. Miami is the favorite and clearly so. However, it is unlikely that any outcome will really surprise me.

About VaWolf82

Engineer living in Central Va. and senior curmudgeon amongst SFN authors One wife, two kids, one dog, four vehicles on insurance, and four phones on cell plan...looking forward to empty nest status. Graduated 1982

'07 Football

43 Responses to Quick Look at Miami

  1. VaWolf82 10/30/2007 at 8:45 PM #

    Somehow, I left out one short section of this entry titled:


    I doubt that many people have forgotten Devin Hester returning the opening kickoff 100+ yards several years ago at CF. Miami currently ranks 55th in punt returns and 84th in kickoff returns.

  2. westwolf 10/30/2007 at 9:16 PM #

    ^Yeah, we were loaded with talent, a national stage for a night game, Carter-Finley was electric…and CTC elects to macho-up and kick right to Hester…instant TD, the crowd is deflated, we never recover–opportunity lost.

  3. gumbydammit 10/30/2007 at 9:35 PM #

    I’ll go out on a limb here and predict that the team that scores more points that the other one will win….

  4. Mr O 10/30/2007 at 9:42 PM #

    I really enjoy these, so thanks for putting all the numbers together.

    In theory, it seems we have a real shot at an upset. As usual, the key for us is to not turn the ballover. If D. Evans plays anything like the last two games, then it should be a close game. Have the last two games been a fluke or is D. Evans really a good ACC QB?

    He now has a 10 TDs and 7 ints on the year. It will be interesting to see if he can keep it going.

  5. VaWolf82 10/30/2007 at 9:48 PM #

    ^Yeah, we were loaded with talent

    I think that you are confused. The defense was loaded with talent. The team finished 5-6 that year.

    I also remember Amato saying that Deraney was supposed to have kicked the ball out of the back of the end zone.

  6. ncsslim 10/30/2007 at 10:28 PM #

    My recollection is that we took the lead in that game sometime in the first half (probably 10-7). They appeared to out man us overall more than any team we played that year, but as dissappointing as the kickoff was (and incredible as well), we were not out of the game at that point. The crowd was crazy. Was that not the “Game Day” night?

  7. blpack 10/30/2007 at 10:33 PM #

    ^ That was the day. We had a couple costly turnovers that sealed our fate. We scored 31, but it wasn’t nearly enough. I think someone said opportunity lost. Well, here is another chance. Let’s get it done.

  8. choppack1 10/30/2007 at 11:28 PM #

    Here’s some fun, I took the averages of our last 2 games (and they were similar in all facets) – and here’s where’d rank nationally:

    Stat Avg Rank
    Scoring Offense 31.5 39
    Rushing Offense 66.5 117
    Passing Off 341 5
    Total Offense 407.5 46
    Scoring D 22 40
    Rushing D 83 8
    Passin D 264.5 102
    Total D 347.5 41

    What should stand out is the rushing D. We’ve gone from being one of the absolute worst, to one of the absolute best. Here are my thoughts on the statistical battle. And yep, it comes down to that same old tired dance – TO margin, and stopping the run…http://bradburntime.blogspot.com/

    About Miami, I’m not impressed by their coaching. I saw them play UNC. UNC was clearly better coached and prepped. When Miami beat them, it appeared that UNC was in as good a position as they could be. When Miami was beaten, they were usually out-athleted. Miami had some very questionable play-calling too.

  9. EverettBeez 10/30/2007 at 11:36 PM #

    off topic – but related to football – our evening news here in Alabama is starting out tonight with the breaking new that Coach Propst of Hoover High School is resigning. This is the Hoover High of MTV fame. Questions about grade changes and a “second” family lead to this. He did stand up and say that he won’t let his illegitimate child grow up and hear later that he was a mistake. (Coach P is married).

    now back to Miami and the Pack.

  10. tvp1 10/30/2007 at 11:37 PM #

    It would be interesting to see a comparison of the run/pass balance for ECU and UVA for our games against them compared to their season averages. It seems like they both got away from the run way too soon and just started chucking passes left and right against us, to their detriment.

    Also, those rush yard numbers for us include the numerous sacks. Considering both of those, I’m not sure our run defense is actually that much better of late.

  11. tooyoungtoremember 10/30/2007 at 11:43 PM #

    What are our rankings based on every other team’s two previous games only? That would eliiminate the statistical bias due to the comparison of averages with unequal sample sizes without having to extrapolate or transform anything.

  12. EverettBeez 10/30/2007 at 11:46 PM #

    Which teams will show up really does encapsulates the question.
    For whatever reason I’ve got a good feeling in my gut about this game. But that might be the ice cream I just ate.
    I think we should expect to be the underdog the rest of the season, and perhaps even well into next year. That is ok with me. Especially this year, catching teams over looking us really can help out.
    Lets hope Eugene can tear ’em up this weekend.
    can DE run at all? Seems that he passes or hands off all the time. Might be a good time for him to run a bit – it sure would be a surprise. But some how that doesn’t seem in character for TOB.

  13. Ismael 10/30/2007 at 11:58 PM #

    im gonna try something since no one responded to my earlier plea for help…standby

  14. Ismael 10/31/2007 at 12:28 AM #

    Sorry that your tables don’t work. In the body of the entry, I did link the NCAA page with all of the stats for Miami. We’ve also looked at them (along with all of the second-half opponents) in an entry last week.

    Here is the link for Miami again.

  15. Ismael 10/31/2007 at 12:29 AM #

    ok, that didnt’ work sorry, it was a nice html table…so how do i add tables…i assume now its not type tags

    I don’t know if it’s possible to add tables in the comments are not. But I would guess “not”. 😉

  16. PackerInRussia 10/31/2007 at 12:36 AM #

    We were in that Miami game for the first quarter and part of the second. They were up 28-17 at the half and 38-17 at the end of the 3rd. Turnovers (surprise) hurt us. TA turned an almost touchdown into a fumble that rolled into the end zone for a touchback. I remember forcing Miami to punt and it giving the team huge momentum and we may have even been up at the time, but they faked it and ran pretty far down the field and end up scoring a touchdown. That hurt. The two teams that played that game are long gone though. Hopefully we’ll get them this time.

  17. packpigskinfan23 10/31/2007 at 3:38 AM #

    Everett- I think TOB and most of us agree that getting Evans killed right now is NOT a good idea. Have you seriously not seen how small this guy is?!

  18. Pack92 10/31/2007 at 8:47 AM #

    The TA fumble deflated the entire first half. There had been momentum swings up until that point. We went into halftime about as deflated as unx’s basketball ego when they left Raleigh last year.

  19. Pack92 10/31/2007 at 8:48 AM #

    ^ This year actually. Last basketball season!

  20. Ismael 10/31/2007 at 10:29 AM #

    thanks vaWolf…yeah…everything i tried looked worse than before (smiley)

  21. ADS95 10/31/2007 at 11:10 AM #

    Re: The 2005 Miami game.

    In Deraney’s defense, Hester did catch the ball about 8 yards deep near one corner of the end zone. Amato can say “well Deraney was supposed to kick it out of the end zone” if he wants, but honestly, if it were just a matter of saying it to make it happen, all kickers would do that every time.

    Also – with regard to TA’s fumble in that game. Am I the only one that thinks the endzone fumble rule is prohibitively harsh? If you fumble one the sideline at the one, its your ball at the one…if you fumble one yard further, its the OPPONENT’s ball at the 20. I’ve always kinda thought that it should be your ball back at the 20.

    Lastly – we have an excellent chance of winning this game. I would LOVE going into the Carolina game with a chance of getting to .500

  22. packbackr04 10/31/2007 at 11:29 AM #

    a little carolinaconspiracy theory here. i havent EVER heard of UNC playing a team after their bye week. so i looked into this years schedule and they are not on anyones ACC schedule this year following an opponents bye week…… coincidence, or Swofford giving rim jobs to his UNC buddies

  23. packbackr04 10/31/2007 at 11:40 AM #


    andrew jones of the wilmington star.. i love when carowhina gets this kind of press

  24. burnbarn 10/31/2007 at 11:44 AM #

    Nice link backer.

    We ALMOST had the TA fumble thing happen to us last week when Eugene tripped on the 10 yard line and the ball rolled out of bounds at the two….. I was sure the ball would roll into the endzone.

  25. Ismael 10/31/2007 at 11:51 AM #

    wow, andrew jones laid the hammer down…but like alot of other journalists, they are dying for UNC and NCState to be national contenders at the same time ala Michigan and OSU or TX and Okla. Well, i don’t know if they really care if NCState is a national contender, but it sure would give them more to write about. I am sure Dean Smith is still looking for ways to tarnish TOB or Sidney’s image, and if he pulls something…i hope TOB and Sidney take care of it ‘personally’.

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