2008 Miami Game Analysis: Offense Takes a Step Back

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Now that it has been a few days, it’s easier to analyze this game without the emotion and frustration getting in the way. On the one hand, it was a game where all the breaks and funny bounces went in favor of the Hurricanes. On the other hand, it was a game where a disturbing trend of offensive futility returned in a dismal second half performance by the Hokies. Either way it was a gut-wrenching loss for a Virginia Tech team that is no longer in control of its own destiny. In order to get back into the Coastal race, the Hokies now have to depend on the ACC’s “other Tech” to take care of business with the hated Canes.

Who Spiked Their Gatorade?

Before getting into the nitty-gritty stuff, I wanted to comment on a point that jumped off the screen while watching the game — the Canes were much tougher, quicker and faster than they had shown on film all season. The extra days of rest may have been a factor, but it’s clear that Miami had the Tech game circled for some time.

That’s not surprising given how Tech has dominated the series in recent years, winning nine of the past 13 against Miami. No doubt the Canes were ready to play on Thursday night. In my opinion, it was Miami’s best performance of the season, including that impressive showing against the Florida Gators in early September.

I think Tech’s offensive performance helped them in that regard as well. Miami’s defense played an excellent game, but Tech’s offense made them better than they actually are.

Let’s start there and plow through the ugliness one more time…

Offense Battles Early, Then Grinds to a Halt

After a breakout performance against Maryland, the Tech offense simply broke down against Miami. As usual, the game plan was to establish the inside running game, using the size and experience upfront to get a push against the less experienced Miami defensive front. The complement was to use the speed option to challenge Miami on the perimeter. And then mix it up a bit using both QB’s to add elements of the play-action passing game with Sean Glennon as well as the spread packages with Tyrod Taylor.

But everything was based on one assumption — the Hokies would have success running the ball directly at the Miami