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What To Expect: Cincinnati Defense vs. Miami Offense

The Miami RedHawks offense has been in a rut since Zac Dysert graduated. They may have a keeper of a quarterback in Andrew Hendrix, the problem is that they can't keep him for long because he is graduate transfer. All in all this Miami offense looks better than it did a year ago. But that is not to say that it is good, just better.

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

The biggest change for the RedHawks is that they are at least giving their skill position guys a chance to do something while working around their offensive line.* In theory last year's flexbone would have done the same thing, minimizing a weakness by de emphasising it. But it didn't turn out that way.

*More on their offensive line issues in a bit

So the RedHawks are back to spreading things around. In the Michigan they were almost exclusively in the shot gun, and rarely if ever had fewer than three wide receivers on the field at any one time. Putting guys in space, in de facto one v one matchups is a time honored method for minimizing a lack of size and strength up front and the RedHawks are once again embracing it.

Their short passing game is without question the strength of the offense. Andrew Hendrix is really comfortable in the three step game making quick reads and quick decisions in that context. It also has the added benefit of minimizing the importance of the offensive line. It is very difficult to get a sack on a three step drop from the shotgun if the offensive line can get contact on the pass rushers.

The short game also favors the skill sets of the RedHawks receivers, David Frazier and Rokeem Williams in particular. Both are 6'0" or greater with alot of physicality. Those are the perfect guys to go shoulder to shoulder with a defensive back and just nod them out of the way. Dawan Scott is still on the team, though he isn't the guy like he was last year. The issue with the passing game is that Hendrix is not an accurate quarterback. He makes plays but his lack of accuracy is a problem. On the year he is completing just 48 percent of his passes and hasn't topped 50 percent in any game this year.

But even that would be manageable if Miami could run the football a little bit, but they can't. The problem for Miami is the same one it has been for a couple of years, they can't block anyone so they can't run anywhere. Even if you take out the sack yardage they have still only run for 265 yards on an average of 3.0. They get off the bus a one dimensional offense, which really only works if that one dimension is exceptional and it's not.

The Miami offense doesn't present anything like the threat that Toledo presented. Their skill position guys aren't as good, nor is their quarterback, and the offensive line is at the far other end of the spectrum from the Rockets. This is a game that the Bearcats front will have the chance to dominate. If they can't do so in this game, the question of whether or not they can do so at all becomes a live question going forward.