Miami quarterback Tyler Van Dyke has seen a lot of change to the coaching staff during his time with the program. Now getting ready to enter his third season as the Hurricanes starting quarterback, he’ll also be on his third offensive coordinator.
After finishing just 10th in the ACC in points per game (23.6) and ninth in yards per game (367.1), Miami coach Mario Cristobal fired OC Josh Gattis. He brought in Shannon Dawson from Houston as his replacement.
With the Hurricanes wrapping up their spring game Van Dyke gave his first impressions of Dawson’s system, noting the “freedom” it allows him to play with.
“I’m not gonna compare anything,” he said of the differences between last year’s system and this year’s. “I was comfortable last year and comfortable this year. Just unfortunate circumstances last year with injuries. But this system gives the quarterback a lot of freedom to check plays, check routes depending what the defense gives you.”
Dawson spent many seasons under Dana Holgorsen at both West Virginia and later Houston running an Air Raid offense. There he worked with quarterbacks Geno Smith and most recently Clayton Tune, who threw for 40 touchdowns in 2022 with the Cougars. Houston ranked eighth in the country with 314 passing yards per game and 17th with 36.1 points per game this past season.
That has to be appealing to Van Dyke, who should get plenty of opportunity to air it out under Dawson. He gave fans a small glimpse of what to expect in the spring game, throwing a pair of touchdowns while finishing 13-of-18 passing for 184 yards.
“Some of the go-routes were checked based on man coverage,” Van Dyke said after the game. “Some other pass routes. They actually didn’t bring zero coverage tonight, which they do a lot in practice. That’s what we check a lot out of. We learned a lot about that in spring. But it’s been good checking the routes. The go-routes is kind of what coach last year did, so I’m excited about all that.
“I think the tempo helps that a lot. As soon as you get a 20-yard gain, you just get going. It gets the defense caught off guard and I think you can see we moved the ball pretty well. We’ve got to score better in the red zone, but other than that, I thought we moved the ball pretty well.”
Van Dyke played just nine games last season as he battled with injuries and finished with 1,835 yards, 10 touchdowns and five interceptions. But with the new offensive system, he’ll hope to bounce back as Miami aims to improve on a 5-7 record in Cristobal’s inaugural season.
“Spring was just kind of to get that taste in your mouth,” Van Dyke said. “It was very simple tonight. Very vanilla. So just get back in a couple of weeks and start really working hard getting connections with receivers. Start watching film on opponents of this year and just getting right. Just gotta keep working hard and put the foot to the gas pedal.”
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