Miami Hurricanes run defense will be challenged by NC State RBs

MIAMI, FL - OCTOBER 06: (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FL - OCTOBER 06: (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images) /

The Miami Hurricanes run defense will be challenged by the North Carolina State rushing attack with running backs Bam Knight and Ricky Pearson Jr.

North Carolina State running backs Bam Knight and Ricky Person Jr will challenge a Miami Hurricanes run defense that allowed 185 yards and 5.3 yards per carry in their last game against Virginia. Clemson and Louisville both ran for over 200 yards against Miami earlier this season. Miami needs to tighten up the run defense.

Person has 74 carries for 346 yards rushing with a 4.7 yards per carry average and three touchdowns in 2020 and has added eight receptions for 48 yards. Knight has 69 carries for 406 yards, 5.9 YPC, three TDs and 12 receptions for 106 yards. Knight is explosive with 16 carries for 10 or more yards.

The Miami run defense has been good limiting opponents to explosive rushing plays. Miami is tied for sixth in the ACC allowing 36 runs of 10 yards or more. The Hurricanes run defense improves significantly when it comes to allowing excessively long plays. Miami is seventh in the ACC with nine runs of 20 or more yards.

Miami is in a five-way tie for first with two runs of 30 yards or more against them. The Hurricanes are sixth in the ACC in run defense allowing 150.83 yards per game. Miami is seventh with a 4.19 YPC against. The Hurricanes run defense has to limit what NC State can do on the ground. The Wolfpack will be starting a backup QB.

NC State starting QB Devin Leary suffered a broken fibula three weeks ago against Duke and expected to be out at least another couple of weeks. Former Florida State QB Bailey Hockman will start for the Wolfpack. True Freshman Ben Finley shared time with Hockman two weeks ago in the Wolfpack’s 48-21 loss to North Carolina.

The North Carolina State QBs are not a threat on the ground. If Miami can take away the run from the Wolfpack it would put a lot of pressure on a pair of inexperienced QBs. Stopping the North Carolina State run would also help the Miami edge rushers, particularly Quincy Roche and Jaelan Phillips.

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Limiting the run and putting the Wolfpack in third and long would allow Phillips, Roche and the Miami edge rushers to get after Finley and Hockman. The offense getting ahead early can also make a difference in taking away Knight and Person. NC State WR Emeka Emezie will be a play to watch in the deep passing game.