Miami Hurricanes WRs need more consistency on deep balls in 2021

Oct 11, 2019; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 11, 2019; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports /

The Miami Hurricanes offense improved significantly in their first season under offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee after he was hired from SMU. One way the Miami offense can take another step forward in 2021 is for the wide receivers to become more consistent on deep balls.

Wide receivers Mike Harley, Mark Pope and Dee Wiggins too often dropped deep passes in 2020 and Oklahoma transfer Charleston Rambo struggled to real in long throws with the Sooners. The Miami Hurricanes offense can become more explosive in 2021 with a more consistent deep passing game.

According to Pro Football Focus via David Lake of Inside the U Harley, Pope and Wiggins combining to make just three of 17 contested catches on deep balls that were thrown at least 20 yards past the line of scrimmage. Those three also dropped four deep passes in 2020. They have to do a better job in 2021.

Rambo helped key the Oklahoma passing game in 2019. Catching passes from Jalen Hurts, Rambo caught four of seven contested catches of at least 20 yards. Rambo had eight catches on deep balls for 326 yards and one TD. Rambo was one of the most prolific deep threats in college football in 2019.

Rambo was 23rd nationally in 2019 with 10 receptions that went for at least 30 yards. Those receptions that went for 30 yards, there is no information on how deep the passes were thrown. Rambo fell off in 2020. The speedy receiver was not ranked among the deep threat receivers in 2020.

With Hurts moved on to the NFL last season, Rambo’s numbers regressed. Rambo dropped three deep balls in 2020 and did not catch any of his contested catches of passes that went for at least 20 yards in 2020. Miami needs improvement from all their receivers during the 2021 season.

Rambo playing more as he did in 2019 than in 2020 should help the Miami Hurricanes in the deep passing game. Quarterback D’Eriq King and Rambo had a chance to see each other play in person in 2019. Oklahoma defeated Houston who was quarterbacked by King 49-31 in the season opener.

Rambo had three receptions for 105 yards with a 56-yard touchdown against Houston. That is the type of explosiveness Miami visioned when they added Rambo in January. Harley showed the ability to be an elite receiver in the second half of 2020. Harley had 40 receptions for 625 yards and six TDs in the last six games.

MIami offense likely to increase plays per game in 2020. dark. Next

In 2020, Harley was 36th nationally with 12 receptions of 20 yards or more. With Harley improving those numbers from last season and Rambo playing at his 2019 form, the Miami offense can become more explosive than it was last season. The Hurricanes will need to be in the season opener against Alabama.