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Opponent Stat Preview: Miami Hurricanes

Taking an in-depth look at the Hurricanes.

Joel Auerbach

Each week at FTRS we will be providing charts, graphs, and analysis into the characteristics of how our opponent plays, not just the quality of their performances. You can view all past Opponent Previews in the Football Analytics Story Stream.

Sorry for the delay, the bye week wasn't long enough for me to get caught up on everything, bloggers need a break too!!

Relative NCAA Ranks
Method GT Miami
S&P+ 47 18
FEI 32 37
FPI 52 40
Vegas GT: -1.5

Vegas currently lists Georgia Tech as the home favorite, which means it thinks Miami is about 1.5-2 points better than us on a neutral field. The current Money Line gives GT a 55% chance of winning this game.

When Miami Has The Ball

Going to try something new this week. This is a technique I have humbly borrowed from Joel Smith at The Key Play, give him a follow on twitter @joelestra. FEI calculates many descriptive statistics for team's based on their drive data (what percentage of drives are explosive, how often they gain at least 1 first down, etc...). Joel decided to look at the most similar teams across those categories to give the reader an idea of other offenses or defenses that your team resembles based on their quality and style of play. Right now the numbers are not adjusted for opponent, so the results may be a little wacky for now.

Miami's Offense is most similar to:

  1. Massachusetts
  2. Illinois
  3. Middle Tennessee State
Well that's not a very good sign for Miami's Offense....

Georgia Tech's Defense is most similar to:
  1. Akron
  2. Middle Tennessee State(!?!)
  3. Florida Atlantic

I'd argue its almost even worse for Tech.

Run Pass Percentages


  • The fact that Miami has the best running back in the ACC and a freshman at Quarterback means they should be running the ball a ton, but that has yet to happen. Miami runs the ball more than an average team only with 7-10 yards to gain for a first on 2nd and 3rd downs. This is probably to help out Brad Kayaa in passing situations, but you would think they would try and hand the ball off to Duke Johnson earlier and more often.
  • Georgia Tech's Opponents seem to have figured something out about our defense, mainly that they should run the ball a lot. When a team has short to gain on us they run the ball, and with our defensive line they may need to be running it even more.
Yards Per Play


  • Miami has hit some big plays this year, but has struggled to gain much yardage on third downs.
  • Georgia Tech's defense may be the cure for everyone's third down woes this year. We are allowing an average of around 9 yards per play on third downs with 4-10 yards to go, that is awful. If our third down defense doesn't pick up it really won't matter how well we do on third or second down.
Success Rate
  • A similar patter emerges here. Miami has done a decent job on 1st and 2nd downs with moving the ball and setting themselves up for opportunities to easily convert third downs, but then they just shut down. With Duke Johnson as your running back you should be converting more than 41% of your third and shorts.

When Georgia Tech Has The Ball

Georgia Tech's Offense is most similar to:

  1. Rice
  2. South Carolina
  3. Notre Dame
Miami's Defense is most similar to:
  1. Washington
  2. Wake Forest
  3. Boise State
Run Pass Percentages


  • With how frequently Miami's opponents have run the ball and how often they have passed the ball perhaps they are just constantly playing with a deficit. This would make their opponents run the ball more than average and have them pass the ball more than average, but they have only lost two games so I don't think it would be that big of an affect. Miami's opponents must just like to run the ball. This plot is only going to get more red after this week
Yards Per Play


  • Our offense has done a great job moving the ball at many different down and distances. We don't gain as many yards as we might expect on short to go situations but this could be our offense trying to do it's best job to gain a first, not necessarily running the play that will gain the more yards on average.
  • Miami's defense has been great. They are not allowing their opponent's to move the ball for much yards at all, and are especially great on 1st and 10's. Georgia Tech is going to have to move the ball on 1st down so we don't get stuck in passing situations.
Success Rate


  • My thought from earlier seems to be right. Georgia Tech does a great job, relative to an average team, of converting 2nd/3rd and shorts while we gain less yards on those plays than an average team does. implying we sacrifice some big play potential for running plays that have a higher change of gaining 1-3 yards.
  • Miami has actually done a very good job stopping teams from moving the chains consistently on them.
After looking at this I have come away impressed with Miami's Defense. They have played three offense's better than any that we have so far (MAYBE VT's offense is better than Duke's, maybe) and haven't looked nearly as bad as our defense has. I'm not sure how this one will play out, what do you guys think?