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Miami's Offense Confident It Could Adjust (If Necessary) To Louisville's Defense

Hurricanes' Made Successful In-Game Adjustments In Opener

Miami’s new up-tempo, spread offense was tested in last week’s opener against Alabama-Birmingham, but the big test was more mental than physical. UAB came out in different fronts and coverages against UM than it showed in its opener against Central Arkansas.

Something similar could happen Saturday at 7:30 p.m. when the 17th-ranked Hurricanes visit 18th-ranked Louisville.

After all, just as UAB didn’t show everything in its opener you’d have to think Louisville didn’t show everything in its 35-21 victory over Western Kentucky.

If that’s the case, the Hurricanes know they can react quickly just as they did in their 31-14 victory over the Blazers.

Although Miami stumbled a bit early offensively, taking a 14-7 halftime lead, the Canes, who rushed for 337 yards, figured out how to counterpunch and scored 17 points in the third quarter to take control.

“I thought our kids adjusted really well on the fly in the first half for something we hadn’t spent a lot of time on,” offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee said.

“Part of that third quarter was we had some time to make some adjustments at halftime to help them out. We made some (adjustments) on the fly in the first half but I think that helped us get going a little bit and get the tempo going. The third quarter was closer to what we want to be.”

Lashlee, the first-year UM coordinator, averaged 41.8 points and 80 plays per game last season at SMU. Miami was about 19 short on the point total but just two short on the play total as it ran 78 plays.

“It was 78 plays and that’s with us taking the foot off the gas in the last part of the fourth quarter,” Diaz said after the game, adding, “I think you could the difference in terms of how that wore UAB down.”

Louisville’s defense will test UM. The Cardinals’ defense was led last week by middle linebacker Dorian Etheridge (eight tackles), weakside linebacker Monty Montgomery, outside linebacker Rodjay Burns and free safety Isaiah Hayes (five tackles apiece). Montgomery had 2.0 sacks and Etheridge had 3.5 tackles for losses.

Miami’s passing game, according to coaches, was bit ragged last week. But they know senior quarterback D’Eriq King will get better once he becomes more familiar with his receivers.

They also know they can adjust their gameplan, if necessary. Miami entered the UAB game wanting to be balanced offensively. It ended up with 52 runs and 27 passes.

“The way UAB decided to play the lent itself to running the ball,” Lashlee said.

And UM made a successful adjustment. It's a confidence-giving move that shouldn't be underrated.

"There's two different parts to that," center Corey Gaynor said of Miami's in-game adjustments. "Obviously you want to physically dominate somebody, but that just showed we were prepared for multiple things, that we practiced well."