Miami football gets better match-up versus Duke than Wake Forest

DURHAM, NC - NOVEMBER 30: (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
DURHAM, NC - NOVEMBER 30: (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /

The Miami football program will have a more advantageous matchup against Duke on Saturday than Wake Forest would have been.

Wake Forest canceling their game against the Miami football team on Saturday due to COVID-19 restrictions should benefit the Hurricanes. The Miami football replacement opponent for Wake Forest is Duke. Wake Forest is 4-3 overall, 3-3 in the ACC compared to Duke who is 2-7 and 1-7 in the ACC and 14th out of 15 teams.

Wake Forest is fifth in the ACC in total offense averaging 447.3 yards per game. Duke will challenge the Miami defense, but not as much as Wake Forest. The Blue Devils are ninth in total offense averaging 400.3 YPG. Duke has a better defense than Wake Forest and their pass rush is fierce.

The Blue Devils are ninth in the ACC allowing 427.4 yards per game. Wake Forest is 12th allowing 457.4.  Duke is tied for fifth in the ACC averaging 3.22 sacks per game. Miami allowed nine sacks against Duke last season. Miami could not block Duke defensive end, Chris Rumph, in last year’s game.

Rumph had eight tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks and one forced fumble as Duke defeated Miami 27-17 in 2019. Miami has done a better job in pass protection this season, but controlling Rumph will be critical on Saturday. Rumph has 44 tackles, 11.5 TFLs and eight sacks in 2020. Victor Dimukeje is the other Duke DE.

Diimukeje has 33 tackles, 8.5 TFLs and 7.5 sacks this season according to the

official Duke website

. Neither Duke nor Miami was able to move the ball much last year against the other with both teams finishing under 300 yards. Miami has a different offense this season. Duke added former Clemson quarterback Chase Brice.

Miami running back Cam’Ron Harris ran eight times for 44 yards against Duke. Redshirt junior  Robert Burns received most of the carries last season against Duke with 18 for 48 and two receptions for 21 yards. Expect the Miami football team to try and beat Duke on the ground on Saturday.

Duke is 14th in the ACC allowing 200.11 rushing yards per game. The Blue Devils are fourth in the ACC in pass defense allowing 227.3 yards per game. Wake Forest would have presented different challenges for the Miami offense. The Demon Deacons are ninth in the ACC allowing 182 rushing yards per game.

Wake Forest is 14th in the ACC in pass defense allowing 275.4 yards per game. Slowing the Duke pass rush and pounding their weak run defense will be critical for Miami. The Hurricanes proved they can beat a team by featuring the run in a season-opening 31-14 victory over UAB. Miami ran for 337 yards on the Blazers defense.

The Wake Forest passing offense has been one of the most productive in the ACC under head coach Dave Clawson. Led by QB Sam Hartman, the Demon Deacons have the third-best pass offense in the ACC averaging 271.7 yards per game. Miami sits right behind that at 268.9. Duke is ninth in the ACC in passing.

Led by Brice, Duke averages 242.2 passing yards per game. Wake Forest is seventh in the ACC in rushing averaging 175.7 yards per game. Duke is 10th averaging 158.11 rushing yards per game. The Blue Devils have a pair of capable RBs in Deon Jackson and Matteo Durant. Miami was able to contain Duke on the ground in 2019.

Jackson had 14 carries for 44 yards and a TD last season against Miami. Durant was more efficient with seven carries for 59 yards. This season, Jackson has run for 634 yards and four TDs. Durant has 642 and seven TD on an eye-opening 6.6 yards per carry. The Miami focus on offense and defense will be on the run.

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With a two-game losing streak against Duke, Manny Diaz should have his team’s attention in practice this week as Miami returns from a two-week hiatus. Having to switch gears in the middle of preparing for Wake Forest and changing to Duke will be a challenge. Miami watched films on three teams preparing for Saturday.