Miami Hurricanes offense has long way to go after second scrimmage

MIAMI GARDENS, FL - NOVEMBER 24: DeeJay Dallas #13 of the Miami Hurricanes celebrates with N'Kosi Perry #5 after scoring a touchdown against the Pittsburgh Panthers during the second half at Hard Rock Stadium on November 24, 2018 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
MIAMI GARDENS, FL - NOVEMBER 24: DeeJay Dallas #13 of the Miami Hurricanes celebrates with N'Kosi Perry #5 after scoring a touchdown against the Pittsburgh Panthers during the second half at Hard Rock Stadium on November 24, 2018 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

The Miami Hurricanes defense dominated the offense during the second scrimmage of training camp on Saturday night. The domination by the defense was not surprising but was concerning.

As the Miami Hurricanes head into their third week of training camp the revamped offense still has a long way to go to get where offensive coordinator Dan Enos and head coach Manny Diaz want them to be. Diaz spoke with Miami play-by-play announcer Joe Zagacki following Saturday’s scrimmage.

Inside the U published the entire transcript as released by the Miami Sports Media Relations Department. Some of the topics Diaz discussed included the growth of the team from the first to the second scrimmage, the play of the quarterbacks and who was impressive both offensively and defensively.

Diaz and Enos have stated continually throughout training camp that they wanted to know who their starting QB would be two weeks prior to playing Florida. That would have been Saturday night. The Hurricanes do not appear to be any closer to knowing who their starting QB is than they did prior to Saturday’s scrimmage.

Who will be named the starting QB largely depends on who you ask. Throughout social media, fans and the media have their opinions and favorites on who will start. Judging by Diaz’s comments since training camp began, Tate Martell seems to be the favorite to earn the starting QB job for the Miami Hurricanes.

Diaz was not pleased with the play of his offense during the first half in Saturday’s scrimmage. There were a few bright spots on offense. Overall, the offense needs to evolve much quicker than they have. Junior running back

DeeJay Dallas

has thrived throughout training camp. Diaz mentioned a few other offensive players.

"“It was uneven to be honest. In the first half, it was a massive butt whipping. The defense just got after the offense. It was very disappointing. The way that we started to see the old far away look on some of the guys that we are trying to eradicate from our program. We had a feeling that the disease wasn’t fully cured.That being said, the second half, the offense rallied. In the past, when things have not gone well, there would sort of be a tanking for the game.I saw a couple of productive touchdown drives in the second half and guys showing some competitive fight and spirit, which is what this camp and this offseason has all been about.That was encouraging, but the self-inflicted wounds in the first half were disappointing. It was a good reality check. Conversely, on defense to have played as well as they did in the first half and then lose it in the second half was disappointing.We have not solved all of our issues. We are solving them, but to think that we just snap our fingers and have it all fixed would be fooling ourselves.”"

The uneven play has continued from the QBs. Martell, N’Kosi Perry and Jarren Williams have all had positive and negative moments throughout training camp as they did during spring football. That is to somewhat be expected. The Hurricanes need more consistency from their signal-callers.

Diaz has been pleased with the play of Dallas during training camp. As they did with Travis Homer in the last year and a half, the Miami Hurricanes offense is likely going to have to lean on Dallas and the running game in 2019.

"“I look forward to watching the film. In the first half, nobody played well on offense. It was hard for those guys to function and part of that was their own doing as well. I did see some guys lead some good touchdown drives in the second half. I think Jarren hit one to Will Mallory. I know we had one to K.J. Osborn at the end.I still like the running of DeeJay Dallas. He has been consistent throughout camp.”"

The offense surged in the second half after a poor first half. Dallas spurred a lot of that. Diaz was impressed with the play of former walkon Jimmy Murphy. Sophomore tight end Will Mallory, junior wide receiver Mike Harley and graduate transfer WR K.J. Osborn who has become a leader on offense were all mentioned by Diaz.

"“DeeJay’s running and Jimmy Murphy is giving us everything he has. He almost had 100 yards rushing tonight. Will shows up, K.J. Osborn shows up. DeeJay shows up. Mike Harley shows up with a couple of flash plays. We have guys that can do it, but that is the nature of the offense. It takes 11 guys that have to be doing their job.What this shows is when we are doing it, we can do it. Here’s the good thing, not everybody that plays tonight has to play in the game. It is time to separate those that are ready and those that are not ready. And some guys are not ready and they will be ready at some point. The 24th might just be too soon for them.”"

The Miami Hurricanes defense is loaded with talent and should continue to be one of the best in the country in 2019. The biggest question mark entering the season is who will replace two-year starting safeties, Jaquan Johnson and Sheldrick Redwine. Sophomore Gurvan Hall has been exceptional during training camp.

"“Gurvan [Hall, Jr.] now has three [interceptions] in two weeks in scrimmage situations, which is great for him. Greg Rousseau, I thought, showed up tonight, which we’ve been waiting for in camp. I think he’s feeling a little better about his body. That was encouraging.Of course, [Michael] Pinckney and [Shaquille] Quarterman and those guys, I think Trevon Hill had a multiple-sack night. You’re starting to see some of the progress from those guys. The consistency on the back end. Two scrimmage situations, from a tackling standpoint, pretty good.Not giving up the explosive plays on just shoddy tackling down the field, which has been a hallmark of our defense. The disruption up front and the lack of giving up big plays has always been a big part of our formula.”"

Zagacki closed the interview with Diaz by asking him what he is looking for during the remainder of training camp.

"“It’s simple – it’s competitive fight. That’s the whole deal. It’s going to be a highly emotional night (against Florida). Both teams will be supremely motivated to play against each other. Who can keep their competitive will through adversity? Because it’s going to be a night with all kinds of adversity, for both sides.And that’s why it’s about finding the right mix of guys that don’t blink in that setting. That’s what we have to go back and study this film and find out who are the guys that will fight their way off the ropes. I think both teams are going to land some blows. When you get put on the ropes, you have to fight your way out of it.”"

Fighting through adversity has been a problem for the Miami Hurricanes throughout the last few seasons. Other than the comebacks against Florida State the last two seasons, Miami has often collapsed when punched in the mouth.

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The Hurricanes seemed to give in during losses to Clemson in the 2017 ACC Championship game and Wisconsin in the 2018 Pinstripe Bowl. Diaz’s personality is a better fit for a team to fight through adversity than Mark Richt’s was, at least on the surface. Diaz infused the same energy throughout the team that he did on defense.