Miami football: Offense needs to get better in the RedZone

CHAPEL HILL, NORTH CAROLINA - SEPTEMBER 07:(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
CHAPEL HILL, NORTH CAROLINA - SEPTEMBER 07:(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) /

The lack of scoring in the RedZone is severely hindering the Miami offense. The Miami football team needs better prowess in the RedZone or another mediocre season is ahead of them.

In a repeat of the 2017 season, the offense for the Miami football team is having trouble converting in the RedZone and on third downs. The Hurricanes six scores in nine red-zone trips translate to 66.7 percent which is tied for 107th nationally in scoring in the RedZone.

Twenty-two percent of Miami’s trips inside the RedZone have resulted in field goals. That is 53rd in FBS. Miami kicker Bubba Baxa has missed one field goal in the RedZone in each of Miami’s first two games. That simply cannot happen. In losses to Florida and North Carolina, the missed field goals significantly contributed to losing.

On Saturday night in Chapel Hill, Miami kicker Bubba Baxa also had a PAT blocked. That caused Miami to have to attempt a two-point conversion later in the game. That also had a big impact on the outcome. Blaming it all on Baxa is shallow and far from the only reason for losing.

Baxa missed a 26-yard field goal in the first half and a 49-yarder that would have tied the game with five seconds left in the fourth quarter. The second miss was not in the RedZone. Miami did turn it over on downs at the North Carolina 19-yard line in the third quarter. Jarren Williams was stopped about a yard short of the first down.

Diaz discussed the problems

with the offensive efficiency in the RedZone. He is encouraged with the overall performance of the offense. The first-year Miami football head coach thought that the Hurricanes were dominant at times in the game.

"“Once we got going, I thought our dominance on the field was showing, but the issue was that our dominance was not translating to the points that it should have. That was due to a lack of execution in the red-zone and then some of our kicking issues.We had the ball 11 times and we got into the red-zone on seven times. If you think about that, that is called being dominant. When you do that, you have to have more than 25 points on the board and I think the guys see the potential of what we can be offensively.”"

Special teams can often make or break a team’s confidence. When the offense puts in the tough work and drives down the field to come up empty it can be deflating and inspire the opponent. Similarly, a poorly placed punt puts pressure on the defense. Diaz told the Joe Rose Show on WQAM what he thinks is wrong with his kicker.

"“That is a backbreaker. You drive all the way down and have to settle for a short field goal and then you come away with no points—that is such a killer, North Carolina did a good job over overloading our guys inside, so we have to get the protection better, but another thing is we have to do a better job of getting the ball up.We can all relate to the golf course. If you start to aim where the ball should go, then it starts to tell in your swing. We have confidence in Bubba because he is so talented and you saw that in the 50-yard field goal.The guy has the leg talent, but now it is about the confidence and the inner battle we all fight to trust yourself and know that you can do it. You have to put your arm around the guy and help him get confidence and if he can concur this, we think we have a special talent on our hands.”"

Baxa has proven he has the range. He made a career-long 50-yard field goal on Saturday against North Carolina. For the second straight week, Baxa missed a field goal inside of 30 yards. Those misses greatly impacted the outcome of both games.

Next. Bubba Baxa is a special talent who needs confidence. dark

If Baxa makes either of those are made the Miami Football team would have been in the position to win the game. The position though. He would have had to make the kick at the end of the game and the rest of the team would have had to do what they needed to to get the Hurricanes in that position.