Miami Hurricanes offense continued development critical to becoming elite

MIAMI, FLORIDA - NOVEMBER 09: (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FLORIDA - NOVEMBER 09: (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

The continued development of the Miami Hurricanes offense is critical to becoming an elite program. Miami was 26th in scoring offense in 2020 averaging 34.0 points per game. The Hurricanes were 32nd in total offense in 2020 averaging 439.8 yards per game.

Those numbers were a huge improvement from 2019 when Miami averaged 25.7 PPG to finish 90th nationally and 367.4 yards per game which was 98th in FBS. Those numbers have to continue to evolve. Offense has overtaken defense as the way to win in modern college football.

When LSU won the 2019 National Championship, the Tigers allowed the third-most yards per game by a title-winning defense. Alabama surpassed the Tigers this year as the third-worst defense in YPG allowed by a National Championship defense.LSU led the nation in scoring in 2019 averaging 48.4 PPG.

Alabama was second in both seasons, averaging 48.5 PPG during their 2020 National Championship season. Dennis Dodd of CBSSports.Com wrote earlier this month that college football wrote about the correlation between getting stops and forcing turnovers.

"“Defensively, the game has become more about forcing turnovers and getting stops. Both cut down opponents’ possessions. Fewer possessions, fewer opportunities to score.”"

Miami has to improve in turnover margin to reach the formula presented by Dodd. The Hurricanes had a margin of 0.36 per game which was 38th nationally. Alabama who lost the National Championship Game finished third nationally with an average of 1.25 more turnovers forced per game than their opponent.

Alabama head coach Nick Saban who has won seven National Championships with the Crimson Tide and one with LSU has evolved with the changing landscape of college football. Dodd quoted Saban discussing the evolution of college football moving from being played between the tackles to on the perimeter.

"“You have to defend how you pick players to play certain positions…because the game is so much more a perimeter game now than it used to be.”"

With that in mind, Miami added former Oklahoma wide receiver, Charleston Rambo, as a transfer from last month. Rambo struggled in 2020 but averaged 17.5 yards per reception in 2019 as the Sooner second wideout to current Dallas Cowboy CeeDee Lamb. Alabama has turned into WR U in recent seasons.

Scoring was up in 2020 with a national average of 29.18 PPG. Miami was more than four points better than that. According to Dodd, that’s the seventh-highest scoring average since stats were first accumulated in 1937. Dodd also mentioned that scoring was up one percent over 2019 but down three percent from 2016.

College football teams averaged 30.08 PPG in 2016 which is the all-time high. The nine highest-scoring seasons in college football history have all been since 2012. Hiring Rhett Lashlee as offensive coordinator during the 2020 offseason shows the commitment Manny Diaz has to modernize the Miami offense.

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Lashlee has installed an uptempo, spread offense for the Miami Hurricanes. Miami increased the number of plays they run per game to 72.7 per game in 2020 up from 64.7 in 2019. Forcing turnovers and getting stops on defense while increasing the tempo and plays on offense is the formula Miami hopes for in 2020.