Miami Hurricanes Big Plays Offensively Making a Difference

MIAMI GARDENS, FL - OCTOBER 21: Christopher Herndon IV
MIAMI GARDENS, FL - OCTOBER 21: Christopher Herndon IV /

Four big plays accounted for over half of the Miami Hurricanes yards in their win against North Carolina. The potential for explosive plays has kept the Miami Hurricanes undefeated through seven games.

In his weekly appearance on the Joe Rose show, Miami Hurricanes Head Coach Mark Richt discussed whether or not his team is relying too much on the big play to win. Miami had 220 of hits 415 yards against North Carolina occur on four plays.

Malik Rosier has repeatedly been hitting the big plays this season. In Saturday’s victory, Rosier completed passes of 39 yards to Dee Jays Dallas, 42 yards to Braxton Berrios, a 51-yard touchdown to Christopher Herndon IV and 78 yards to Jeff Thomas.

Those four plays plus a blocked punt and four turnovers were the difference between a Miami Hurricanes win and the potentially devastating loss of a team that entered the game 1-7.

Richt discussed how vital the big plays have been to his offensive and overall importance to the success of the 7-0 start.

"“It’s good we’ve got playmakers. It’s good that we’ve got a scheme that will break guys out and give them an opportunity to make plays one on one. What a lot of defenses are trying to do is pack the box and play a lot of man coverage and we’ve got to have guys that can make plays. And thankfully we do have the skill-set to do that."

Although the big plays are exciting to the fan base and have provided the difference between winning and losing this season, Richt admitted his team would rather possess the ball and have longer scoring drives.

"“It’s better than not making plays and not scoring touchdowns. I think we’d all rather control the ball a little bit more and have a drive that is 10, 12 plays, but explosive plays, they count too.”"

The Hurricanes rushing offense has had its share of big plays as well. Before suffering a season-ending ankle injury Mark Walton had a team season-high 82-yard run. Richt feels his team is on the verge of hitting on some big runs.

"“We’re not getting a lot of movement. I know twice if we hand the ball off it’s going to spring out big. One might have been a 70-yard house call, so all of a sudden we’re a good running team.”"

Miami’s offensive stats were deceiving because of the four big plays. Those all came in the passing game. Richt is confident that his team can do the same in the running game. All it takes is one big play to change the stats in each game.

"“That’s how it goes sometimes with the running game. You’re banging away and banging away and then all of a sudden, bang, it spits out for a long one. Just like that long touchdown run to finish the game against Syracuse. Every once in a while it takes a minute to find a crease and then all of a sudden you’re going the distance…and your run stats are different.”"

Miami has been relying a lot on the big play this season. It remains to be seen if they can continue to do that against what will be games against their first two elite teams this season. Virginia Tech and Notre Dame should be able to match Miami’s firepower.

Next: Is Miami Hurricanes Head Coach Mark Richt's Job Security Slighted?

The next two weeks will define the Miami’s Hurricanes season. Win both and they are a serious contender for the College Football Playoff. Split and they are still in the conversation and at the very least a contender for a New Year’s Six Bowl game.