Manny Diaz did not seem prepared for his first season as a college football head coach at Miami. The Hurricanes were often disorganized, and Diaz’s gameday decisions were often misguided. The Hurricanes lost to FIU, Duke, and Louisiana Tech to close their season. Their offense scored 52 points against Louisville, and did very little else in 2019.
And, obviously, Dan Enos was a bust as offensive coordinator.
Diaz had to make changes to such an unacceptable situation. He has reportedly chosen SMU offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee as his new offensive coordinator.
SMU OC Rhett Lashlee is new OC at Miami, sources told @Stadium. Lashlee has been an OC last 9 seasons at Samford (2011), Arkansas State (2012), Auburn (2013-16), UConn (2017) & SMU (2018-19)
— Brett McMurphy (@Brett_McMurphy) January 3, 2020
The move might not work out – no move is guaranteed to bring supreme success; just ask Michigan about Jim Harbaugh or Texas about Tom Herman – but on paper, it looks like a decision which can revitalize Miami’s offense and give the Canes what they have lacked since Ken Dorsey: a reliably dynamic offense.
Yes, recruiting a strong offensive line has to complement what Lashlee brings to the table. Yes, Miami and Diaz have to put together a roster which can carry ideas from the realm of theory into applied practice. A good offensive system doesn’t mean anything unless the players can put it into action. Lashlee’s arrival guarantees nothing. We can all acknowledge that.
However, if one was to look at the offensive coordinator market and identify the various options Manny Diaz was considering, Lashlee is certainly better than most. He spent multiple seasons under Gus Malzahn at Auburn and was by Malzahn’s side when the Tigers reached the 2014 BCS National Championship Game.
The Tigers used RPO (run-pass option) concepts and a diversified running game which attacked defenses with a combination of tempo and varied angles to bedevil SEC defenses. Auburn won that season’s SEC Championship Game over Missouri by scoring 59 points.
That was Lashlee’s best-ever season.
This past year was his second-best season.
Lashlee helped Sonny Dykes guide the SMU Mustangs to a very rare and exhilarating 10-win season, a rapid climb few people in the college football punditocracy anticipated. Lashlee worked beautifully with Texas transfer Shane Buechele to maximize the potential of the SMU offense, which carried the Ponies throughout the season. When SMU lost, it was usually because the defense folded like a house of cards. The SMU offense did very few things wrong in 2019.
This is the man Miami is reported to have named as its next offensive coordinator.
Nothing is guaranteed in life, but if you were to make a quick “good or bad” call on this move, I’d certainly give it a thumbs-up. Only time will tell if Manny Diaz saved his hide and gave Miami a real chance to make a U turn on offense.
Hurricanes QB Williams intends to transfer
The only constant for the last two seasons with the Miami Hurricanes quarterback position has been change and with the addition of Houston transfer D’Eriq King earlier this week, it apparently means more changes are on the way for the competition.
Sports Illustrated college football Insider Pat Forde reported Thursday afternoon that the Miami starter for most of the season, freshman Jarren Williams, has entered the NCAA transfer portal:
SI source: Miami QB Jarren Williams is putting his name in the transfer portal. With the arrival of D’Eriq King, his circumstance has obviously changed at The U.
— Pat Forde (@ByPatForde) January 23, 2020
Williams won the starting job for first-year coach Manny Diaz and now-fired former offensive coordinator Dan Enos, during fall practice what had an up-and-down season. He played in all 12 games with a 61% completion percentage and had a 19/7 TD to INT ratio.
However, more importantly the Hurricanes offense as a whole went down the tubes. This was especially in their final three games Williams was at the helm for the stunning loss to Florida International, where he threw three interceptions.
He and the Canes followed that with a road loss at awful Duke, where Williams tallied only 142 yards with a TD. And, worst yet, with rumors swirling everywhere that Enos was about to be fired, a game in Independence Bowl where the QB had just 92 yards and an INT Miami failed to score in a 14 – 0 defeat to Louisiana Tech.
King is the presumptive starter after having a successful two seasons at Houston. His best year was 2018 with nearly 2,900 yards in the air with 36 passing TDs and only 6 INTS.
However, he was benched by new coach Dana Holgorsen earlly this year and is a graduate transfer that is immediately eligible.
Miami also has the part-time starter from the last two years N’kosi Perry, as well as former Ohio State quarterback Tate Martell, who transferred and was immediately eligible this past season. However, Martell couldn’t beat Williams or Perry out for playing time, but he did play briefly at time at wide receiver.
Back to Williams, he still has three years of eligibility remaining but unless he gained some kind of waiver he would have to sit hey transfer year next season.
Not so fast on QB D’Eriq King coming to Hurricanes?
24 hours later it doesn’t look dead certain that Houston transfer quarterback D’Eriq King will end up at the University of Miami after all.
In fact, it may be several days before we know the coveted grad transfer QB decides to do.
This after a report Sunday out of Houston from Fox 26 Sports director Mark Berman ,who got comments from King about his short term plans and visits:
D’Eriq King (@DeriqKing_), who is transferring from @UHCougarFB, says he has yet to make a final decision on where he’s going: “I haven’t committed to anybody yet. I’m still looking at my options. I visited Miami. I liked it, but there are other options I’m still trying see to..” pic.twitter.com/E4kz2xypWR
— Mark Berman (@MarkBermanFox26) January 19, 2020
It is interesting that King is considering Maryland in the mix in addition to powerhouse LSU and possibly trying to revitalize Miami.
As our Jamil King wrote on Sunday it looked like the Houston standout quarterback was “e-ticketed” for Coral Gables and to come as a package deal with newly hired offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee. Lashlee, who has previously been at Auburn and the SMU offensive coordinator the last couple of seasons, was hired two weeks ago to help jump start the Canes disastrous offense from the second half of last year.
Quarterback play plagued the Canes in 2019 with Jarren Williams showing flashes of great play followed by freshman mistakes and inconsistency. N’kosi Perry found his way into some games, but was also inconsistent in his own right. Miami suffered humiliating losses to FIU and at Duke to close the regular season.
Then, the Hurricanes were completely inept in the Independence Bowl, while being shut out 14-0. This, while rumors were swirling everywhere that coach Manny Diaz would be firing his first year offensive coordinator, Dan Enos. Enos, who had been the QB coach at Alabama, was fired the next day.
Back to King, if the Hurricanes are able to land him, they get a player who over his career at the University of Houston threw for 4,925 yards for an average of 8.2 yards per attempt and tossed 50 touchdowns with only ten interceptions.
King also completed almost 62% of his passes with the Cougars, adding another 28 touchdowns on the ground. He promises to bring some explosives, something the Canes desperately needed, if they can land him.
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