Former University of Georgia Head Coach Mark Richt is taking over the Miami Hurricanes. Richt will bring his proven pro-style offense and an aggressive 4-3 defense, which will hopefully lead the Canes to future success. In fact, UM fans should be particularly excited, as Richt’s offensive and defensive schemes are similar to what the Hurricane teams of the early 2000s ran with great results.
Above all else, Richt’s offense is predicated on the run-game. He uses a ground-and-pound style in order to set up the passing attack. During his tenure with the Bulldogs, Richt’s program produced several pro-level backs, including Todd Gurley and Knowshon Moreno. Richt’s ability to make opposing defenses respect both aspects of the offense was a key reason his teams averaged an impressive 403.2 yards per game over his 15-year coaching career with UGA.
Although Richt’s offense is based on running, his system is still friendly to quarterbacks. His passing attack features crossing routes and quick three-step drops, both of which assist quarterbacks in maintaining a high completion percentage. In another example of pro-style play, Richt employed the “Dagger” concept throughout the 2015 season. Dagger plays are commonly used to take advantage of Cover 2 defensive schemes in which the safeties split the field into two halves. This quick-strike system perfectly complements the strengths of sophomore quarterback Brad Kaaya.
Richt specializes in coaching quarterbacks, another bonus for Kaaya. He served as the Florida State quarterbacks coach from 1990-93 and then as offensive coordinator in addition to QB coach from 1994-2000. During that time, he coached two Heisman quarterbacks, Charlie Ward and Chris Weinke. He also coached several successful quarterbacks at Georgia, including Matthew Stafford and Aaron Murray. His success with previous quarterbacks indicates a strong year for Kaaya on the horizon.
Richt is not bringing his UGA defensive coordinator, Jeremy Pruitt, with him to the Hurricanes. However, expect Richt to implement a similar defensive style at Miami. Pruitt ran a 4-3 scheme, in which the strength of the defense was the front seven, just as it was for the last great UM teams.
Richt oversaw a first-class program at Georgia. He went 145-51 in his time with UGA and finished in the AP Top 25 in 11 of his 15 seasons. Hopefully, his success with the Bulldogs carries over to his time here with the Hurricanes.