Miss (in) Miami

You name the area and AState probably found a way to miss out on a good play against the Miami Hurricanes on Saturday.

Offensively Arkansas State had some missed blocks that blew up plays.

The offense also suffered from missed communication or missing attention with snaps that led to busted plays.

Scoring chances were missed after recovering an onside kick and after a Quashaun Lee interception.

There were missed passes, and they were short passes and screens that were too high or just off and a fake punt pass missed so low it was easily an interception when a completed pass would have been a probable TD.

Defensively there were missed tackles that turned tackles for loss into big positive gains and twice touchdowns.

The defense also suffered from some missed coverages that led to TD’s and big gains.

On special teams Luke Ferguson missed two field goals and a PAT.

Joining in the fun, the ACC officials had their own big miss that stunningly survived review with a missed call on a drive saving reception.

It wasn’t that It was a bad outing for Arkansas State, it was that the misses kept it from being a really good, maybe even great game for the Red Wolves. Fredi Knighten assembled very good stats, 22 of 40 passing for 217 yards, his 20 carries ended up being for 5 yards after sacks but he had a 1 yard TD and several nice runs with a long of nine yards, and also had a pass reception for 19 yards and a TD.

Knighten spread the ball among nine different receivers (he was the tenth to have a catch). McKissic became a bigger part of the game and he had seven receptions for 59 yards with many of those yards after contact.

The offense assembled drives of 89, 65, and 60 yards for touchdowns and a 46 yard drive that ended with a missed FG. AState has simply not scored often on drives of less than 50 yards, not capitalizing when the chances are there but also not winning field position battles.

For all the woes placekicking, Luke Ferguson had two more punts killed inside the 20 and averaged 39.5 yards on his six punts.

Despite some correctable mistakes, overall, the AState coaching staff showed better judgment than Miami. The fakes and trick plays mostly worked well (or would have with better execution) because AState saw things Miami was doing that could be exploited just as they did against Tennessee and Montana State. The defense figured out how to adjust and pressure their QB.

Contrast that to Miami where the Hurricane coaches were having a good day playing power football and using their receiver speed advantage and they made poor decisions like gadget plays when the AState defense was staying at home. With Brad Kaaya having had two disappointing outings they sent him to the bench after a very good performance then put him back in and he threw a pick, erasing some of the positive feelings he had left the game with.

I now better understand the complaints of Miami fans and wouldn’t think of trading staff if offered.

Not at all the day we wanted, the day we wanted would have seen Miami’s superior size, speed and strength offset by the sort of mistakes they had been making without killer mistakes by the Red Wolves.

Despite that the future of the season looks pretty good. No one else in the league is acting they are putting together a team that AState cannot match-up well with. Utah State next Saturday will give us a good picture of where we stand against peer schools and lead us into an open date where the Red Wolves can get healthier and correct mistakes.

The below photo may sum up how the game felt, but it was better than that.