Miami's Defensive Struggles - The Real #s

A lot of fans have strong opinions about Miami's defense. Some are much stronger than others. No matter what you think of the unit and its performance so far this season, here are some eye-popping numbers.

Miami's defense is very talented. Anthony Chickillo is a four-year starter. Tyriq McCord was one of the nation's most heavily recruited pass rushers coming out of high school. Olsen Pierre is a three-year starter. Denzel Perryman and Thurston Armbrister are two future NFL linebackers. Few teams have the speed, talent, depth, and and experience as Miami's secondary.

Despite all those things, Miami continues to be one of the worst defensive units in all of college football. While the overall numbers are up from year's past after the first four games of the season, lets take a closer look at some key numbers against the only two decent offenses Miami has played -- Louisville and Nebraska. Those are two teams whose offenses will likely finish in the middle of the pack this season so it's not like we're talking about Baylor or Oregon or Texas A&M here.

Total Yards: 336 against Louisville and 456 against Nebraska for an average of 396. That number, based on 2013 team stats in college football, would rank 58th nationally. Yards per play (5.73) would rank 72nd nationally.
First Downs Allowed: 21 and 27; 24/game; 106th nationally
Third/Fourth Down Conversions: 9-17 and 7-10; 16-27 overall; dead last nationally
Rushing Defense: 130 and 343; 237/game; 112th nationally
Time of Possession: 33:17 and 33:20; 33:19/game; 117th nationally
Turnovers created: 2 and 2; 2.0/game; 42nd nationally
Sacks: 4 and 0; 2.0/game; 59th nationally
Tackles for Loss: 8 and 0; 4.0/game; 118th nationally
Red Zone Percentage: 5-for-5 and 5-for-5; 8-10 touchdowns; dead last

Despite having a bigger, faster, more talented, deeper, and more experienced defense compared to the last few seasons, Miami continues getting gashed on that side of the ball.

Below is an interesting analysis (complete with screenshots taken of live action) of why these issues may still exist.


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