Miami Hurricanes RBs could be strength offensively in 2020

MIAMI, FLORIDA - NOVEMBER 09: (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FLORIDA - NOVEMBER 09: (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

During an appearance on the Joe Rose Show on Monday morning, Miami Hurricanes offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee stated they believe in balance offensively and that they will play to their strengths will praising the running backs.

With Cam Harris leading the way behind Rhett Lashlee and the new Power Spread offense, the Miami Hurricanes are expected to improve the nation’s 120th ranked rushing offense that averaged 118.08 yards in 2020. Harris will be backed up by redshirt junior Robert Burns and freshmen Jaylan Knighton and Don Chaney Jr.

During an appearance on the Joe Rose Show on Monday, Lashlee stated Miami believes in balance, running the football and that the Hurricanes will play to the strengths with some good RBs. Harris returns after running for 576 yards and five TD and making 18 receptions for 116 yards and another two TDs.

Harris appears to ready to become a bigger part of the passing game in 2020 with two TD receptions in Saturday’s scrimmage. Knighton and Chaney have also made an impact. Knighton has 22 carries for 169 yards and two TDs through the first two scrimmages. Chaney has 19 carries for 105 yards and two TDs.

A common misperception of the spread offense is that teams will throw far more often. With Lashlee running the SMU offense in 2019, the Mustangs averaged 38.6 pass plays and 41.1 rushing attempts per game. Miami is likely to have similar goals for 2020. Lashlee discussed the rushing offense with Rose.

"“We believe in balance, running the football. We’re not trying to throw it 70 times a game. Also the strength of our team, we’ll play to the strengths and right now we have some good running backs. (Cam Harris) has experience and the young backs have really shown they’re fearless and will be able to help us out”"

Xavier Jones led SMU in 2019 with 244 carries for 1276 yards and 23 TDs, Ke’Mon Freeman had 122 for 517 and five TDs. No one else had more than 41 carries for the Mustangs. The expectation for Miami in 2020 running the football is for Harris to be the primary ball carrier in 2020.

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Chaney and Knighton will split the majority of the remaining carries with Burns contributing maybe a few carries per game depending on the flow. Through the first two scrimmages the only reports of running the ball have been Harris, Chanrey and Knighton. Having Burns as a veteran presence will be important.