What Canes’ metrics reveal about Van Dyke, O-line, RBs, WRs. And who’s not playing much

A six-pack of offensive-flavored notes and metrics on Miami Hurricanes football, one-third of the way into the regular season:

This UM offense is rolling, ranking seventh nationally in scoring (43.8 points per game), 11th in rushing (225.5 yards per game) and boasting a quarterback (Tyler Van Dyke) who is rated No. 1 at his position by Pro Football Focus.

New offensive coordinator Shannon Dawson has done a superb job accentuating his players’ strengths.

This is notable early on this season: Van Dyke’s deep ball metrics are even better than they were when he became a master of the deep ball in Rhett Lashlee’s offense in 2021.

Among quarterbacks who have thrown at least 10 passes that traveled at least 20 air yards, Van Dyke’s completion percentage (66.7) is tied for third best in the country.

Van Dyke has completed 10 of 15 of those types of passes for 332 yards, four touchdowns and one interception. That’s a very good 121.5 NFL passer rating.

Only Rice’s JT Daniels (9 of 12 for 382 yards, 5 TDs, no interceptions) and LSU’s Jayden Daniels (13 of 18 for 513 yards, 8 TDs, 0 interceptions) have completed a higher percentage of passes thrown at least 20 yards in the air this season.

Comparable to Van Dyke is Alabama’s Jalen Milroe, who is 10 for 15, for 379 yards, 5 TDs and 0 interceptions on passes covering at least 20 air yards.

Of Van Dyke’s 99 passes this season, 15.1 percent have traveled at least 20 air yards.

In 2021, with Lashlee calling plays in an up-tempo spread, 20.1 percent of his throws traveled at least 20 yards in the air, and Van Dyke completed 36.9 percent of those passes for 932 yards, nine touchdowns and two interceptions, according to Pro Football Focus.

In 2022, with since-dismissed Josh Gattis calling plays in a different system, just 11.1 percent of Van Dyke’s throws traveled at least 20 air yards, and Van Dyke completed 42.9 percent for 374 yards, three TDs and no interceptions.

So Van Dyke actually completed a higher percentage of 20-plus yard throws last season than in 2021, but nobody would have known that, because 9 of his 12 TDs on such throws (over his first two seasons as UM’s starter) happened in Lashlee’s offense.

This year, Van Dyke’s percentage of deep balls are in between what they were with Lashlee and with Gattis, but his completion percentage is way up.

And there’s this: On all throws, Van Dyke’s 141.1 passer rating (using the NFL formula) is fourth best in the country (minimum 99 throws), behind only USC’s Caleb Williams (152.3), Washington’s Michael Penix Jr. (146.1), and Notre Dame’s Sam Hartman (143.4).

The Canes have permitted just three sacks all season, and PFF said two have been yielded by freshman right tackle Francis Mauigoa and one by backup Logan Sagapolu.

Right guard Anez Cooper hasn’t allowed a single pressure in 115 pass blocking chances, and center Matt Lee has relinquished only one in 108.

Left guard Javion Cohen has permitted just two pressures in 113. Left tackle Jalen Rivers has yielded three pressures (and two quarterback hits) in 115 pass blocking snaps.

PFF rates Lee first and Rivers second as run blockers, among UM’s starting offensive linemen.

PFF rates UM’s sixth and seventh offensive linemen (Matthew McCoy, Samson Okunlola) as the team’s best run-blocking offensive linemen, but in very limited run blocking snaps: 43 and 20, respectively.

Lee is rated the 11th-best center overall by PFF.

All of UM’s backs are producing yards after contact at impressive rates.

Don Chaney Jr. is averaging 4.0 yards after contact, Henry Parrish Jr. 3.74, Ajay Allen 3.0 and Mark Fletcher Jr. 2.83. All are in the top half of the country in that category.

Freshman Chris Johnson is averaging 5.73 yards after contact on his 11 carries, which is 19th best in the country for all backs (no minimum number of carries).

Among backs, Parrish has played 101 snaps, Allen 54, Fletcher and Chaney 46 apiece and Johnson 20.

Allen didn’t play against Temple, and UM hasn’t clarified if that’s for on-field or off-field reasons; UM coach Mario Cristobal said after the Temple game that Allen is a good player and there’s ongoing competition at the position.

PFF ranks Parrish the 32nd-best running back in the country a month into the season.

This was inevitable: Some veteran players aren’t playing much at wide receiver and tight end.

Here’s how UM has allocated snaps in a crowded receiver room: Xavier Restrepo (173 snaps), Colbie Young (169), Jacolby George (157), Isaiah Horton (68), Ray Ray Joseph (46), Brashard Smith (45), Tyler Harrell (41), Frank Ladson (23), Michael Redding III (12), Robby Washington (7) and Shemar Kirk none.

PFF rates Restrepo third and George eighth among every FBS receiver this season.

At tight end, with Elijah Arroyo still sidelined by last September’s knee injury, former Oregon eight-year tight end Cam McCormick has played 155 snaps. The mild surprise is that freshman Riley Williams (104 snaps) has played far more than second-year player Jaleel Skinner (25).

It’s notable that PFF rates Riley Williams and McCormick as UM’s best run blockers, in that order. In fact, PFF rates Williams and McCormick the 12th and 13th best run blocking tight ends in the country.

Here are PFF’s 10 highest-graded Hurricanes on offense so far: Van Dyke (215 snaps), Restrepo (173), Chaney (46), George (157), Washington (7), Parrish (101), Smith (45), Lee (215), Rivers (233), Johnson (20).

If Washington and Johnson were moved from the list (because of limited snaps) and only players with more than 30 snaps were considered, then No. 9 and No. 10 on the list would be Allen (54) and McCoy (63).

Excluding Ladson, UM’s lowest-graded player on offense, per PFF, is right tackle Mauigoa (233 snaps).

▪ Snap counts for UM freshmen on offense: Mauigoa (233/nobody on the team has played more); Riley Williams 104, Emory Williams 57; Joseph 46; Fletcher 46; Samson Okunlola (30), Robby Washington 7, Jackson Carver 6.

Here’s my piece with defensive-flavored UM metrics and notes.