Hurricane Offense Gets Whippled Into Shape by New Offensive Coordinator

Mike BurkeCorrespondent IMarch 30, 2009

PITTSBURGH, PA- AUGUST 31: Mark Whipple, quarterbacks coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers watches play against the Carolina Panthers on August 31, 2006 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, PA. (Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Images)

Finally, someone has brought creativity back to The U.  His name: Mark Whipple. 

For the last thirty years, the University of Miami has long been known for bringing not only swagger to games but an offense that can put up 40+ points on any given Saturday. 

However, over the last five years those numbers have been in steady decline, barely touching the mid 20's as of last year. 

Luckily, Miami has also been blessed with being known for a fast, aggressive, and turnover driven defense that has hid the blemishes of Miami's lack of offensive production. 

However, when Randy Shannon, Miami's defensive coordinator for much of that time, was promoted to head coach, that defensive Band-Aid was ripped off.  This exposed not only how much Randy Shannon's creativity on defense meant to the U, but just how far Miami's offense had fallen off since its last national title in 2001.

This lack of production from the offense and Pop Warner style of play led Randy Shannon to make the move every Hurricane fan needed: hire a creative, proven, NFL-minded guy named Mark Whipple.

Whipple comes to Miami with tons of experience at every level.  He has won national championships at the Division 1-AA level while also setting records for scoring and offensive yardage. 

He has spent the last five years in the NFL—most recently for the Philadelphia Eagles and the Super Bowl Champion Pittsburgh Steelers. 

So with this new playbook, how has Miami looked?

Well, by all accounts during spring practice Miami is doing something they have not done in the past three years: throw the ball deep and score some points off those throws.

According to Whipple, Jacory Harris, the clear starting quarterback, is very consistent and has a ton of potential.  Harris has stated on numerous occasions how this offense reminds him of the offense he played while winning a national championship with several of his current Hurricane Teammates at Northwestern High School.

Harris stated that the offense is wide open, allowing him to put the ball in the hands of his playmakers quickly and often, in turn keeping defenses guessing and allowing the offense to dictate the pace of the game. 

During the spring game held this last Saturday at Lockhart Stadium, it seemed nearly every past Hurricane great showed up to see what Whipple is cooking up.  

About 10 percent of the Hurricanes playbook was brought out in the spring game.

The Miami offense executed by rushing for over 157 yards and Jacory Harris completed 75 percent of his passes for 141 yards. 

According to the Miami Herald, there were multiple plays of over 30 yards.  Of course, there were some interceptions and mishaps but overall Miami should give fans something to finally cheer about beyond a defensive touchdown this year

Get used to the idea of Miami as an ACC national champion contender because the winds of change are coming in the form of a Hurricane.