Now, in Part II of this series we will look at other specific areas that we thought were important to the Miami Hurricanes' success and failure in 2012. So, here are some more statistical findings that we thought made an impact.
One of the main areas of contention and complaints against the 2012 Hurricane football team was their inability to get off the field on defense on third down:
- Third down conversions allowed: UM allowed a 42% conversion rate on defense on 3rd down which ranked them at #80 in the NCAA. In the ACC, only Duke (83) and GT (86) ranked lower in allowing 3rd down conversions. Miami MUST find a way to get off of the field on third down IF they are to improve their defensive performance and W/L record next season.
- Third down conversions achieved: Surprisingly, on offense Miami converted a lower % of third downs (39%)than they allowed on defense (42%). Another 3-5 first downs a game that would increase UM's time of possession and keeps the defense off of the field could make a huge difference in Miami's success in 2013.
One area that I feel was completely overlooked was the critical time of possession. Too many times UM would go three and out and put the vulnerable defense back on the field with little or no rest. The defense often wore down at the end of the first half or in the fourth quarter. Here is what we found:
- Time of possession: Miami ranked #119 in time of possession. It is not only how much you score but when you score that matters. And for a team like Miami with a young and at times confused defense, time of possession can be a HUGE factor. Scoring is always good, but scoring with three minutes left in the half is not quite as good as scoring with :30 left in the half. Holding the ball on long, sustained drives, which limits an opposing team's offensive opportunties and gives the UM defense enough rest between series, could go a long way to seeing improvement in game results and game management.
Another area was penalties against Miami that killed drives, destroyed momentum or kept the defense on the field much longer than was necessary:
- Penalties: Miami ranked #107 in penalties against in 2012. Nothing kills an offensive drive like a penalty or a sack. In 2010, Miami was one of the most penalized teams in the NCAA. When Al Golden took over for Randy Shannon in 2011 he stated that penalties was one specific area that UM must address and reduce. In 2011 the Hurricanes did make a significant improvement in correcting the the number and type of yellow hankies that were thrown against them. But in 2012 the team reverted to their old careless ways and regressed to 2010 standards. If Miami is to improve their season record this year it is essential that Golden and the entire UM coaching staff demand better execution and fewer penalties in 2013.