Miami Hurricanes offense needs continued improvement for Rhett Lashlee become HC candidate

AUBURN, AL - OCTOBER 31: (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
AUBURN, AL - OCTOBER 31: (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /

The Miami Hurricanes offense needs continued improvement for the offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee to become a hot head coaching candidate in 2021. Lashlee was not included as one of the 10College football’s hottest coaching commodities entering the 2021 season.” in an article by 247 Sports on Friday.

Lashlee was frequently mentioned as a candidate during the 2020 offseason with openings at programs like Arkansas State, Auburn, Central Florida and Tennessee. Openings at Auburn, UCF and Tennessee were ultimately linked. Tennessee untimely hired Knights head coach Josh Heupel to replace fired Jeremy Pruitt.

After being fired at Auburn, former Tigers head coach Gus Malzahn was hired as Heupel’s replacement in Orlando. Malzahn was Lashlee’s high school coach and one of his biggest mentors. The first college job Lashlee had was as a graduate assistant at Arkansas in 2006 where Malzahn was the offensive coordinator.

Four of the hottest coaching commodities listed by 247 are Group of Five head coaches and the other six are Power Five coordinators. Included on the list are Clemson coordinators Tony Elliott and Brent Venables and recently hired Alabama offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien who was previously the Houston Texans HC.

The Miami Hurricanes offense improved in 2020 but they can reach a higher level in the second season under Lashlee with D’Eriq King at quarterback. Miami improved in 2020 from 367.2 yards per game and 98th in 2019 to 33rd and 439.8 yards per game in 2020. The Miami offense returns everyone but TE Brevin Jordan.

Lashlee needs to get better play from his offensive line and wide receivers in 2021. Will Mallory has proven he can be a threat to opposing defenses when Jordan has been out with injuries over the last two seasons. The inconsistent play at WR had Miami sign transfer Charleston Rambo to pair with leading receiver Mike Harley.

Miami allowed

2.73 sacks per game

in 2020 which was 10th in the ACC down from

3.92 and 13th in the conference in 2019

. The Hurricanes OL regressed allowing

7.91 tackles for loss in 2020

up from

7.08 in 2019

. Miami was 10th in the ACC in TFLs allowed in 2019 and 14th in 2020. Miami also increased their plays per game in 2020.

The Miami Hurricanes averaged 73 plays per game in 2020, up from 64.9 in 2019. The change in tempo by Lashlee and switch to a spread had a huge impact on the Miami offense. The change to an uptempo offense requires a drastic change for the players on the roster. Miami had to increase conditioning.

Lashlee has shown the ability to adapt to his players. He has a good grasp of his personnel and what works best to put them in a position to succeed. The ability for Lashlee to adapt to his roster is an extremely important trait to have as a head coach. Opportunities for Lashlee after the 2021 season are multi-faceted.

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Which and how many jobs open up, how much Miami performs offensively and if the Hurricanes are winning will all play into the potential for Lashlee to be pursued as a HC. With Manny Diaz assuming the defensive coordinator position in addition to head coach, Lashlee becoming the de-facto HC of the offense will be more prevalent.