Miami Hurricanes QB D’Eriq King production significantly below 2020

MIAMI GARDENS, FLORIDA - SEPTEMBER 11: (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
MIAMI GARDENS, FLORIDA - SEPTEMBER 11: (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

Miami Hurricanes quarterback D’Eriq King’s production is down significantly from 2020 with the exception of his completion percentage which is up from 64.1 percent last season to 68.3 in 2021. The Miami offense significantly regressed from 2020. Miami is less efficient and not as explosive as they were last season.

King’s passing yards have fallen from 244.2 per game in 2020 to 189.5 through the first two games, his passer rating has gone from 152.7 to 117.7, the touchdowns to interception rate from 23 to five in 2020, it is one to two in 2021 and the yards per attempt have fallen from 8.2 to 6.0.

In 2020, King ran for 538 yards, averaging 4.1 yards per attempt with four touchdowns. In the season-opening loss to Alabama, King was held to nine carries for 10 yards rushing. King was productive in the Miami Hurricanes week two victory over Appalachian State with 19 carries for 79 yards which is 5.2 YPC.

The regression of the Miami offense has happened for multiple reasons according to offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee. Lashlee spoke about the need for Miami to be more efficient in the red zone with reporters on Monday. With two of the three starting wide receivers new this season King appears to still be working on timing.

"“Played better after the first couple of drives…we need to be more precise with our routes, our timing with quarterback/receiver and get some easier completions.”"

Miami has scored on just six of its eight trips in the red zone through the first two games. Only two of those drives were finished with TDs while also adding four field goals. In modern football, you have to be able to finish red zone drives in the end zone. Miami has also struggled with a 36.67 percent third-down conversion rate.

Second-year freshman Key’Shawn Smith who is in his first season as a starter is second on Miami with eight receptions and leads the Hurricanes with 110 receiving yards. Oklahoma transfer Charleston Rambo was expected to boost the Miami deep passing game. Rambo leads Miami with 12 receptions but for only 85 yards.

The Miami Hurricanes most prominent returning receivers, wide receiver Mike Harley and tight end Will Mallory have struggled. Harley has eight receptions for 50 yards and Mallory five for 28. In addition, Miami lost second-team running back Don Chaney Jr. for the season on Saturday with a torn ACL.

The loss of Chaney will put more pressure on King to share the responsibilities of producing on the ground with starter Cam’Ron Harris. If King starts pressing in order to become more productive, the entire Miami offense would likely struggle. Lashlee needs to plan how the receivers can become more precise and improve timing.

Next. Miami offense has regressed below 2019 numbers. dark

More efficiency in the red zone and on third down and producing big plays will also be critical for the Miami offense to return to the form it had early in 2020 and for a few games in the second half of last season. The Hurricanes have talent at the skill positions, Lashlee needs to put them in a position to produce.