Miami Hurricanes need more reliable running game in 2018


The one constant in losses during the Mark Richt era with the Miami Hurricanes has been the lack of a running game. Establishing a consistent running game in 2018 will be one of the keys to getting Miami back among the nation’s elite teams.

In the seven losses in Richt’s two years leading the Miami Hurricanes, they failed to average four yards per carry in all but one of those losses. The Hurricanes averaged six yards per carry in the Orange Bowl loss to Wisconsin last month.

Over a third of the yardage on the ground against the Badgers came from DeeJay Dallas. Many of his yards came out of the Wildcat formation. Dallas ran for 69 yards on eight carries in the game. Malik Rosier had 41 yards on nine carries and Travis Homer 12 for 64 and a touchdown.

In Miami’s other two losses in 2017, to Pittsburgh and Clemson, the Hurricanes averaged 2.8 yards per carry on the ground. Teams were able to stuff the box and dare Rosier to beat them. That resulted in Rosier’s three worst games of the season.

Rosier had two games under 50 percent completions during Miami’s ten game 2017 winning streak. He failed to reach 50 percent in each of the Hurricanes last three games of the season. Rosier completed 44.9 percent of his passes for 500 yards, three touchdowns and five interceptions in the last three games.

Getting the running game to succeed every game will be a key in 2018. The Hurricanes lacked depth at running back in 2017. The losses of Joe Yearby to the NFL a year early and Gus Edwards’ transfer to Rutgers hurt the Hurricanes depth in the backfield.

Mark Walton’s season-ending injury after the fourth game of the season against Florida State really limited Miami at running back. Travis Homer took Walton’s place and nearly ran for 1,000 yards this season. Dallas stepped in admirably after being moved from wide receiver to running back in the middle of the season.

Live Feed

Could Texas A&M Football Fans Outnumber Hurricane Fans At Miami?
Could Texas A&M Football Fans Outnumber Hurricane Fans At Miami? /

Gig Em Gazette

  • Miami vs. Miami (OH): How to watch, odds, injuries, weather, series historySaturday Blitz
  • Texas A&M Football: Schedule Preview - MiamiGig Em Gazette
  • Miami football: Could 2023 put Mario Cristobal’s future in danger?Saturday Blitz
  • FSU football: Fans react to Miami's new offensive coordinator hireChop Chat
  • FSU football: Fans react to Miami's new defensive coordinator hireChop Chat
  • Depth at running back in 2018 could be the strength. Miami is going to have to rely on a pair of Freshman to perform for that to happen. Homer and Dallas will be challenged by incoming Freshmen Lorenzo Lingard and Camron Davis.

    Lingard is a five-star running back and the second-ranked player at his position in the Class of 2018. He is more than likely to be no worse than Homer’s backup. Davis who is a four-star recruit will have to challenge Dallas for carries.

    The depth is no guarantee of success. Even with Edwards and Yearby backing up Walton in 2016, Miami still struggled to run the ball in their losses that season. In three of the four 2016 losses, the Hurricanes averaged 2.2 yards per carry or below. They averaged 3.9 yards per carry in the loss to North Carolina.

    Rosier gave Miami an added dimension in the run game this season. As much as a more consistent running game will take pressure off of the passing game, the reverse is also true.

    Richt has been consistent in saying that he will start the quarterback that first takes care of the ball the best and second who is most accurate. Rosier did a great job of taking care of the ball throughout the regular season games. It was the losses to Clemson and Wisconsin where that diminished.

    Next: Several Miami Hurricanes alums played in XFL

    Rosier had 25 touchdown passes and nine interceptions in the 11 regular season games this season. In the ACC Championship game and Orange Bowl, Rosier threw one touchdown and five interceptions. If he can improve those numbers that will significantly help Miami become a far more prolific offense in 2018.