« Gameday blog: UM 20, UCF 14 (F) | Main | UCF progress report, midseason analysis »

UCF thoughts

I just finished uploading all the audio and video interviews following today's game against UCF. As for my thoughts on the game...

> I know for weeks now many of you have criticized offensive coordinator Patrick Nix for his playcalling and the way the offense has developed. Today was the first time this season I honestly felt Nix deserved the criticism. Not only was UM's offense bad, but I got the sense in the postgame locker room scene players were honestly confused by whatever it was UCF was doing defensively. Robert Marve said UCF didn't do anything defensively he had studied on tape.

Jacory Harris said the same thing, saying UCF "made it look like it was dropping into a Cover 4 defense, but was really playing a Cover 2." It's one thing for a young quarterback to get confused and not understand what it is he's seeing. After all, this was Marve's fifth career college start. But how could UM get so caught off guard? Even if UCF threw a new, confusing defense it hadn't run before or UM didn't see on tape are you telling me it's an entirely new defense no one has ever seen before? At some point, Nix and the rest of UM's assistants have to figure a way to beat it, teach their players to adjust. Miami never did. Instead, UM basically abandoned the passing game and tried to run the football -- to no avail. What happened to not only making adjustments, but those trick plays? Couldn't have Nix thought to use something in his arsenal?

> As for Marve, he now has seven interceptions in his last three games and is definitely not playing like the young budding quarterback Miami wants him to be. He admitted he's taking chances because he's trying to make plays. I can't blame him. The majority of Miami's passing plays are either bubble screens or quick outlet passes. When Marve does get a chance to throw down field, I get the sense he's trying hard to make a play so Nix will cut him loose more. Nix needs to obviously make adjustments. The bubble screens aren't working and the few times Marve has gone downfield, he's been intercepted.

> Maybe, one of the changes should be who starts at quarterback. Jacory Harris didn't do anything to overtake Marve, but he certainly isn't taking chances on his own like Marve appears to be. He did make two nice passes downfield Saturday -- one was dropped by Thearon Collier and the other was caught for a first down. Maybe the best thing would be to sit Marve down for a week and give Jacory a chance. What do you think?

> Defensively, Miami obviously played a much better game than it has in weeks. They got to the quarterback, produced five sacks and held UCF to 78 yards of total offense -- including just four on the ground. But it's awfully hard to judge just how much this unit improved. UCF ranked 113th out of 119 teams in total offense coming in. Here's what I take from it: The Canes did play better in coverage and did wrap up better tackling in the open field. And, they also communicated better, which shows me they are actually learning from their teacher Bill Young.

> I was anxious to see if freshman linebacker Arthur Brown would see the field after being promoted to the second team. He never did except for special teams. I just think Brown simply isn't ready and we aren't going to see him unless another starter goes down. We'll have to see what happened with Glenn Cook, who was knocked out when his head hit the turf late in the game. Miami can't afford to lose Cook. Linebacker is absolutely the thinnest position on this team.

> I'm beginning to think Matt Bosher is getting a little tired handling all of the kicking duties. Saturday, he punted 11 times, kicked off four times, kicked a field goal and an extra point. He shanked two punts. Bosher has been great so far this season, but at some point he's going to need help. We've been told he's been getting time off in practice to rest his leg. We saw why on Saturday.

> Miami gave up three sacks Saturday, but I wouldn't entirely blame the offensive line. Robert Marve had plenty of time to pass Saturday. So did Jacory Harris. Both held onto the football for extended periods of time and didn't throw the ball away.

> Check back for my progress report Monday.

Comments