Quincy Roche
Jet X Graphic, Getty Images

Sam Crnic analyzes the strengths and weaknesses of Miami EDGE Quincy Roche’s game with a look at his battle against UAB.

Sam Crnic

From an early age, Quincy Roche has been no stranger to challenges. Born with Tourette syndrome, a nervous system disorder, Roche had to teach himself how to deal with the condition on a daily basis.

In 2019, Roche lost his older brother, Tommy.

With challenge comes motivation.

After earning his degree from Temple in communications in 2019, Roche credits his success towards his late brother and growing up the youngest sibling out of seven:

“I am glad I am the youngest because I wouldn’t be where I am now if it weren’t for them and they taught me how to deal with a lot of things. Tommy drives me. I knew how he felt about me and what I wanted to accomplish.”

Before deciding to play football in college, Roche was an all-around great athlete in multiple sports. Quincy played both football and basketball at New Town High School in Owings Mills, Maryland. A star on the court, Roche was the driving factor in winning both 2015 and 2016 basketball state titles. Despite the initial consideration of playing basketball in college, Roche was even more talented at tight end and defensive end. Ditching his role at power forward, the athlete within Quincy pushed him towards football.

A little more than a week ago, Roche and fellow Miami edge rusher Jaelan Phillips declared for the 2021 NFL draft. Besides both having breakout seasons for Miami in 2020, they both were also in different schools a year ago. Phillips – a former five-star recruit – came from UCLA after an injury-ridden first two years. Roche transferred from Temple looking to receive more attention from NFL scouts. In 2019, he was projected as sixth-round or fifth-round pick at best. Fast forward to the end of 2020, and Roche looks to be a second-round player at worst.

Discussing his decision to transfer to Miami, Roche said:

“I just felt like putting myself and my family in a better position. After a successful season last year at Temple, my draft level wasn’t where I wanted it to be, so I figured Miami was the best fit for me out of all the schools that recruited me.”

During his last year at Temple, Roche earned the America Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Year with 49 tackles, 19 tackles for loss, 13 sacks, and one forced fumble along with two fumble recoveries. His sole year with Miami featured 45 tackles, 14.5 tackles for loss, 4.5 sacks, and two forced fumbles along with three fumble recoveries.

Today, we will be looking at Roche’s 2020 performance against UAB (September 10) using All-22 film angles. A speedy, fluid athlete, Quincy shows flashes of excellence in some areas but needs improvement in others.

Miami vs. UAB Game Recap

Starting out the season strong, Miami handled UAB with a comfortable 31-14 win. While Miami’s famous turnover chain didn’t make its debut, both edge defenders Phillips and Roche impressed in their first game as Hurricanes.

On the offensive side, Miami wore down the UAB defense by totaling 337 yards on the ground, with four different players hitting 50 yards. This ground-and-pound approach also led to three rushing touchdowns. Newly-transferred quarterback D’Eriq King also impressed on the ground as well as through the air. King went 15-for-23 passing with 141 yards and a touchdown. In addition, King added a touchdown through the run game, finishing with 12 carries for 83 yards.

On the defensive side, the Hurricanes dominated the trenches. Miami’s defensive line held UAB’s offense to only 80 yards on the ground, forcing them to commit to the pass. Phillips and Roche combined for 10 quarterback hits and 16 pressures in addition to disrupting the run game. Quincy ended the game with four tackles, one tackle for loss, and a sack.

While I was ultimately impressed by what I saw on film from Roche against UAB, there is still much improvement to be made in various areas of his game.

Pass Game

Speed Rush

Roche’s quick burst off the line of scrimmage is his best trait as a pass rusher by far. Whether cutting inside or winning the edge, Quincy is able to generate pressure in a hurry.

On this play, Roche beats the left tackle with pure speed and agility combined with impressive shoulder dip.

Quincy is positioned on the boundary-side in a two-point stance. Off the snap, Roche is just quicker than his blocker. Quincy gains enough depth out of his stance to then turn the corner on the left tackle. While doing this, he angles his hips and shoulders toward the QB, turning the corner on the tackle’s outside hip. To keep the blocker’s hands off him, he rips under the tackle’s arms, pushing his weight upward to allow himself to turn a tighter corner.

I really liked Roche’s bend once directing his weight towards the QB. A very fluid athlete off the edge, Quincy dips his inside shoulder and hip rapidly to produce an impressive low angle to the ground. This allows him to get to the QB for a near-sack. The QB gets the ball out just in time to avoid a negative play.

This time, Roche attacks inside and quickly breezes by his blocker to pick up the sack.

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