The Miami Hurricanes will have two freshmen tackles and a freshman quarterback when they take the field on Saturday. They also have a first year coaching staff and a new offensive coordinator in Dan Enos. That doesn’t give Florida a lot of film to help prepare for the game but there is familiarity with Enos.
Enos was the offensive coordinator at Arkansas from 2015-2017 and a yearly opponent for Dan Mullen and his staff. Mullen was 2-1 at State when facing Enos’ offense at Arkansas, as does Todd Grantham who was Mullen’s defensive coordinator at State in 2017, a year they beat Enos and Arkansas 28-21. The Razorbacks amassed just 221 yards of total offense that day. The Bulldogs forced one turnover, created a sack and had six tackles for a loss.
“Dan Enos running their offense, I have a lot of respect for,” Dan Mullen said. “I think he’s always done a really good job. Got to go against him when he was at Arkansas, schematically I think a very sound and very challenging scheme they run.”
Enos deploys a pro-style system. While he was at Arkansas the Hogs had a heavy ground-and-pound style of offense but a lot of that was due to the kind of team and program that Bret Bielema wanted to have. If you go back to when Enos was at central Michigan it’s a much more even spread. The biggest similarity and what is a tenant in his offenses is the tight end. Enos loves to use multiple tight end sets. That’s a strength for Miami personnel-wise and it’s an area where the Gators had issues in 2018. Amari Burney is much better in pass coverage than Vosean Joseph was but, still, an area that Miami will see on film and will likely look to attack.
“Enos does a good job formationally with motions and trades and things like that to try to keep you off balance. He understands coverages and where the quarterback should go with the ball. He does a good job of trying to create a run game to get edges of the defense. He does like to run the ball, but then off of that he’s going to have his shots and things like that,” Grantham said. “It’s just a matter of having good eye control in the back end, paying attention to detail and then understanding the formations and how we need to leverage them up and make sure we can set the edge of the defense.”
On paper Miami is starting freshmen at both offensive tackle spots as well as quarterback. That normally would make Grantham salivate and try to sneak an extra guy on the field so he could blitz 12 players instead of 11 but there is a lot of respect for Enos. Miami has a lot of playmakers at the skill positions and Grantham knows that Enos will look call plays that protect a young quarterback and help build confidence. That means getting the ball out quickly and letting the skill position players make plays.
They’re dangerous in space and can vertically stretch you. Their tight ends are athletic, they can create mismatches athletically with what they can do. Runners run hard. Will run through guys. You’ve got to make sure you’re wrapping up and guys are running to the ball so a three-yard gain stays a three-yard gain, it’s not a seven or eight-yard gain because a guy runs through a guy.”
That means attention to detail and a disciplined approach, all things that can be difficult when you’re playing the first game of a season against a rival on a huge stage. It’s difficult but necessary and something that Grantham is drilling into his defense this week.