Miami’s Run Tendencies GIF Breakdown

by | Oct 2, 2018 | ACC, FSU, News

Florida State enters their 63rd Miami week as 12.5-point underdogs to the Hurricanes. In preparation for this week, we’ll first focus on Miami’s run game. The Miami rushing attack is ranked at #32 in the NCAA with 213.4 yards/game. The strength of the FSU defense is their rush defense, ranked #13 in the nation (allowing 101 yards/game). Coach Harlon Barnett has stressed since his arrival on campus that his priority is to stop the run. This is the best rushing offense the ‘Noles have faced since Syracuse, who put up 200 rushing yards in their win. The key to this game is shutting down the run and forcing freshman N’Kosi Perry to win the game with his arm. So let’s take a look at the running plays you’ll see most on Saturday.


Most of Miami’s fundamentals in the run game are very simple. The blocking rules are easy – if you’re on the play side, you’re most likely blocking down, and getting to the linebacker. The back side blockers are usually scooping, hinging, or pulling.

On this “Kick” play, the play side tackle is in charge of single blocking the five technique (usually the Strong-side DE) and standing him up. The play side guard and center are responsible for double-teaming the defensive tackle, and one of them climbs to the linebacker. Meanwhile, the back side guard and tackle are responsible for hinging and not letting any back side defenders cross their face.

The big part of this play is the H-back “kicking” out on the outside linebacker, and creating a hole in the C gap (off the DE’s outside shoulder). The H-back (#9, Brevin Jordan), does not do his job well on this play, and for that reason, I think we can neutralize this play by forcing the tailback back to our position of strength – our defensive line.


Zone Cutback

This play is a bread-and-butter run play for many teams – even FSU runs it often. Dalvin Cook, for example, was the master of the cutback on zone runs. Miami does a great job by giving their running back the option to bend the zone play opposite of the play call.

The rules are simple – the offensive line takes a 45-degree angle step to the play side. They are blocking a literal “zone” and not any specific man. The play direction is to the left, and UNC did a great job of filling the play side gaps. This play breaks down on the cutback, as the weakside linebacker for UNC comes straight up field, leaving plenty of space for the tailback. FSU’s defenders will have to stay disciplined and not get sucked into the back field to eliminate the cutback.



Miami used to kill Florida State with this run play in the early/mid 2000’s. Similar to the other two, the rules are simple. The play side offensive tackle and guard are blocking down. The center is blocking back on the opposite defensive tackle. Finally, the back side guard is pulling and climbing up to the play side linebacker. The tailback runs behind his pulling guard, using him as a fullback, and easily gets the first down.

Can FSU’s front seven contain the Miami run game? Let us know what you think in the comments!


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