Miami Hurricanes explosive offense will have big edge over FSU ineptness

LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY - SEPTEMBER 19: (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY - SEPTEMBER 19: (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /

The Miami Hurricanes offense has been explosive through the first two games of the 2020 season and will have a big edge over the anemic Florida State offense.

The Miami Hurricanes have had one of the most explosive offenses in college football through their first two games of the 2020 season. Miami is in the top five in plays of 20 yards or more and going up to plays of 70 yards or more via 10 yard increments. In their only game this season, Florida State was anemic offensively.

The Seminoles had nine plays of 10 yards or more, just two of 20 yards or more and no plays of 30 yards or more in their 16-13 loss in the season opening loss to Georgia Tech. Florida State had this past weekend off. Contrast those numbers with the Miami offense who has 33 plays of 10 yards or more, 13 or 20 plus and eight 30 plus.

Florida State ranks 50th in average plays per game of 20 yards or more. The advantage for the Miami offense to score quickly is a big one when the Hurricanes and Seminoles play Saturday night at Hard Rock Stadium. Some detractors point out the percentage of yards Miami gets from their big plays as a negative.

New Miami Hurricanes offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee sets up his offense that way. Miami scored two 75-yard touchdowns in the third quarter of their 47-34 victory over Louisville last Saturday and added a 47-yard TD in the fourth to put the game out of reach. Those TDs did not happen by circumstance.

A game does not happen in a vacuum. Lashlee set up those TDs by the formations he was calling throughout the game and in response to the defensive formations that Louisvile utilized. Through two games with Miami and previous stops in his coaching career, Lashlee has proven to be an elite play caller.

The explosive plays are part of the identity that Miami wants to establish on offense this season.  Through two games, with three plays of more than 60 yards, Miami has exceeded their total of last season. Head coach Manny Diaz spoke after the Louisivlle game about the big plays being part of the Hurricanes identity in 2020.

"“We talked about creating more explosive plays through the passing game, which we were able to do…but we obviously had some through the running game, as well. We can still be so much better. The explosive plays, it was who we wanted to be.”"

Florida State head coach Mike Norvell has been given the same accolades. After testing positive for the Coronavirus over the weekend Norvell will miss the Miami-Florida State game Saturday. Florida State showed no ability to create big plays against Georgia Tech and they should not be able to make them against Miami.

The Hurricanes defense gave up 516 yards against Louisville, but the Cardinals longest gain was 36 yards. The longest Louisville TD went for 19 yards twice. That is in stark contrast to the 80 yard TD Tutu Atwell had against Miami in 2019. Atwell did burn Miami for eight receptions, 114 yards and two TDs after 6-142-1 in 2019.

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If Miami-Florida State turns into a high scoring game the Seminoles will be in trouble. Expect the game plan for the Seminoles to keep it close and rely on a good front seven defensively. If the first two weeks of the ACC season are an indication of what to expect on Saturday, Miami should be able to create a few long TDs.