Miami Hurricanes limiting Louisville run will help pass rush

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

The Miami Hurricanes run defense will being able to limit Louisville running the football will help the pass rush against the Cardinals on Saturday night.

Louisville running backs, Sophomore Javian Hawkins and junior Hassan Hall scorched the Miami Hurricanes defense last season for 170 rushing yards on 21 carries with one touchdown in a 52-27 loss at Hard Rock Stadium last season. If Miami can limit the success of the Cardinals on the ground it can help their pass rush.

The 8.9 yards per carry that Hawkins and Hall combined for against Miami in 2019 was more than double what all but two other teams ran for against the Hurricanes last season. Miami has to be able to limit what Hawkins and Hall produce on Saturday night. Miami had 14 tackles for loss and three sacks against Louisville in 2019.

The ability for Miami to live in the Louisville backfield in 2020 is encouraging. Graduated linebackers Shaquille Quarterman and Michael Pinckney accounted for half of the Hurricanes TFLs against Louisville in 2019, combining for seven. If the Miami LBs can continue to penetrate into the Cardinals backfield it will help the pass rush.

Miami had six tackles for loss but a sole sack by graduate transfer Quincy Roche against UAB last Thursday. Keeping big gains by Hawkins and Hoover so to a minimum will help the Miami pass rush. Getting the Cardinals in third and long would play a big role in deciding the outcome of the game on Saturday.

The traditional stats Miami had against UAB belied the 16 pressures and 10 quarterback hits the Hurricanes had against UAB. The Blazers relied on throwing quick passes which limited Miami to the one sack. Expect Roche and redshirt junior Jaelan Phillips to have more success against Louisville Saturday night.

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Being patient and aware of the speed Louisville has from Micale Cunningham at QB, Hawkins and Hall and running back the Cardinals WR corps led the explosive and blistering Tutu Atwell will be important from the Miami defense, particularly upfront with Phillips and Roche. Miami needs to keep Cunningham contained.