Game Management Putting Hurricanes in Position to Lose

The fundamentals are missing from a reeling Miami Hurricanes football team.

When Manny Diaz pumped the brakes on a move to Temple, he couldn't have pictured his return to Coral Gables starting quite like this.

He brought in Dan Enos to run the offense and Blake Baker the defense, hoping their skills sets would mesh into a dynamic product on the field.

Enos brought with him offensive line coach Butch Berry from Central Michigan, while Baker and Diaz have crossed paths at both Texas and Louisiana Tech.

This group of coaches are not household names and are still finding their way, much like the program itself.

Puzzling Play Calling Adds Pressure

Against Virginia Tech on Saturday Miami possessed the ball seven times in the first half.

The first six drives went like this.







Jarren Williams received a mercy benching in favor of N'Kosi Perry but the damage was done as Miami went into the locker room down 28-7, only a Hail Mary to end the half saved further embarrassment.

Dan Enos called runs on just six of 23 plays in the first half, a puzzling ratio to say the least. This disparity put too much pressure on both quarterbacks and allowed the Virginia Tech defense to pin their ears back, regardless of down and distance.

The Hokies gave up 202 rushing yards to Old Dominion and 163 yards to Furman in their two prior contests.

Miami only managed 94, take out an epic 62-yard scamper by DeeJay Dallas and that total is much worse.

We all know the struggles of the Miami offensive line which allowed another seven sacks against Virginia Tech.

They have now given up 25 in just five games, the worst mark in the country.

When the big guys have been asked to run block they have done an admirable job. Enos has to put the offense in a better position to succeed with more balanced play calling.

Barry is coaching for his job right now, the shuffling of the line will likely continue.

Defense is Indefensible

Not to be outdone is Blake Baker whose defense looked totally unprepared for new Hokies quarterback Hendon Hooker, who shredded the Hurricanes by air and ground.

The sophomore quarterback was making his first career start and Baker's defense rolled out the red carpet.

Tackling has been an issue all season and that was magnified against VT, Miami was diving at air and not wrapping up as usual.

Hooker finished 10/20 for 184 yards and three touchdowns passing, with another 76 yards and a score on the ground.

Those numbers are misleading and Virginia Tech met little resistance, especially on the money down (9/16).

Gregory Rousseau continues to be the best defensive lineman on the field, but Scott Patchan gets more reps.

Rosseau had another sack and now leads the team with four.

Patchan has a single sack all season which came against Bethune-Cookman in a blowout.

Miami nearly doubled Virginia Tech in penalties and yardage, the undisciplined play is a disturbing trend.

Bax to Basics

It seems like a weekly occurrence that Bubba Baxa leaves points on the field, and his mark in the game.

Kickers are supposed to be anonymous, not infamous.

After Dallas pulled Miami even with an emphatic 62-yard score to tie it at 35, all Baxa had to do was hit the extra point and the Hurricanes would have clawed their way back.

We all know how that ended.

Miami went for two on an earlier possession to cut the deficit to 35-29, that tactic had to be in anticipation of the worst case scenario with Baxa.

All three phases are struggling for the Hurricanes, Diaz needs to look at each of his position groups from top to bottom and find answers in a hurry.

Up next for the Hurricanes they host Virginia Friday October 11th, still seeking their first ACC win.