Florida’s offensive inconsistencies will work in Miami Hurricanes favor

MIAMI GARDENS, FL - NOVEMBER 24: Trajan Bandy #2 of the Miami Hurricanes reacts after recovering a fumble against the Pittsburgh Panthers during the first half at Hard Rock Stadium on November 24, 2018 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
MIAMI GARDENS, FL - NOVEMBER 24: Trajan Bandy #2 of the Miami Hurricanes reacts after recovering a fumble against the Pittsburgh Panthers during the first half at Hard Rock Stadium on November 24, 2018 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /
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One constant throughout second-year Florida Gators head coach Dan Mullen’s career as a head coach at Mississippi State and Florida has been the drastic difference in play of his teams on offense in wins and losses. The Miami football team should be able to exploit that.

During his three seasons as the Miami Hurricanes defensive coordinator, Manny Diaz side of the ball has set the tone for the level of play the Hurricanes have been at. The Miami defense has been for the most part been consistent during the years Diaz has been in charge.

Mullen’s offenses do not have the same level of consistency. In a chat on The Athletic on Friday afternoon Miami Hurricanes beat reporter Manny Navarro discussed how UM can exploit the Gators inconsistent offense under Mullen.

The Gators offense was far more efficient in wins than losses in 2018. Nearly every team is going to be more productive in wins than loses on both sides of the ball. Florida’s discrepancies are far greater than that. According to Navarro, Florida averaged 40.5 points per game in wins and 16.7 PPG in losses.

Florida three losses came against then number seven Georgia and unranked Kentucky and Missouri. Miami’s defense was better than the Bulldogs, Wildcats and Tigers in 2018. The Hurricanes were 18th in scoring defense, ninth in sacks per game and first in tackles per loss per game in FBS in 2018.

The Hurricanes front seven should continue to be dominant again in 2018. WIth Trajan Bandy, the only returning starter in the secondary, Mullen and the Gators offense is likely to test them early in Orlando week zero. Diaz was Mullen’s defensive coordinator for two seasons in a pair of stints in Starkville.

There is likely to be a lot of cat and mouse between the two on August 24. Navarro believes that the Hurricanes experience on the front seven can make life very difficult for Mullen and the Florida offense. Miami fan Andre J asked Navarro what he thought the biggest factor would be week one for the Hurricanes.

“The UF game is interesting and I believe is selling all out for a victory week 1. I know there’s a lot of unknowns heading into the game but what do you think will be the biggest factor for us to get a victory Week 0?

"“Manny Navarro @Andre J. Great questions Andre.Let me start with the UF game. Florida averaged 40.5 points per game last season in wins and 16.7 in its losses. There’s no doubt Miami’s defense has to show up and keep them around 21 points or less to win this game.That starts with shutting down the run. Florida averaged 236 yards rushing in wins and 137 in its losses. Mullen’s teams have always been that way.”"

Defense is always ahead of the offense early in the season. With the Miami Hurricanes installing an entirely new offensive system under new coordinator Dan Enos in 2018 that should help the Hurricanes in the season opener. Emotions will be running high in the Gators and Hurricanes first meeting in six seasons.

Miami is going to need an exceptional performance from its defense to pull the upset of Florida. If this game had been played a year ago Miami would have been the favorite. Entering 2019 Florida is coming off a 10-3 season and victory over Michigan in the Peach Bowl. The Hurricanes 35-3 Pinstripe Bowl loss to Wisconsin was abysmal.

Diaz has infused the entire Miami football program with a new attitude and energy. The goal in Orlando will be to shut down the Gators offense. With the experience Miami has returning they should be able to control Florida moving up and down the field.