Miami Hurricanes run offense needs continued 2021 improvement

LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY - SEPTEMBER 19: (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY - SEPTEMBER 19: (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /

The Miami Hurricanes rushing offense needs to continue to develop in 2021 after significant improvement in 2020. Miami was often inconsistent running in 2020. The rushing yards were often inflated by Miami in several games the Hurricanes dominated on the ground in 2020. The high mark was 337 rushing yards against UAB.

Miami improved from 3.8 yards per carry in 2019 which was 103rd nationally to 4.2 and 72nd in 2020 and 118.1 rushing yards per game and 120th in 2019 to 162.6 which was 67th in 2020. Miami was often explosive with 63 runs of 10 yards or more, but the explosive plays often made up too much of the rushing yards.

The Miami Hurricanes return all but the 16 carries for 63 yards and two receptions for 26 yards registered by Robert Burns who entered the transfer portal. The three main running backs for Miami Cam’Ron Harris, Don Chaney Jr and Jaylan Knighton and quarterback D’Eriq King all averaged over four yards per carry in 2020.

Harris had a stretch of games where he struggled in the middle of the season but rebounded to averaged over four yards per carry in five of the final six games in 2020. Chaney and Knighton pushed Harris as freshmen in 2020 for carries. Miami signed four-star freshman Thad Franklin to add another threat in 2021.

Miami rushing 2020 Game Log Table
12020-09-10Alabama-BirminghamW (31-14)523376.5313
22020-09-19@LouisvilleW (47-34)301605.323
32020-09-26Florida StateW (52-10)372005.4413
42020-10-10@ClemsonL (17-42)25893.614
52020-10-17PittsburghW (31-19)421092.6010
62020-10-24VirginiaW (19-14)481222.518
72020-11-06@North Carolina StateW (44-41)381945.1011
82020-11-14@Virginia TechW (25-24)481312.7212
92020-12-05@DukeW (48-0)422205.2313
102020-12-12North CarolinaL (26-62)27752.814
112020-12-29NOklahoma State*L (34-37)301565.218
11 Games41917934.31899

Provided by CFB at Sports Reference: View Original Table
Generated 2/26/2021.

Franklin adds size and power at 6’0, 225 pounds to the Miami Hurricanes rushing offense in 2021. Miami struggled in short-yardage in 2020. The Hurricanes averaged 2.59 yards per carry on third down with one to three yards to go. Miami had just 15 first downs with one to three yards to go on third down.

Miami also ranked 94th with a stuff rate (percentage of carries by running backs that are stopped at or before the line of scrimmage) of 20.9 percent. Miami needs to run with more consistency and have more success in short yardage. The Hurricanes often relied too often on quarterback D’Eriq King carrying the ball.

Next. Miami offense needs continued improvement for Rhett Lashlee to become HC candidate. dark

With Rhett Lashlee in his second year in Miami, the Hurricanes offense should continue to evolve. Having an experienced backfield should help. All four of the RBs on the Miami roster were four-star signees coming out of high school. Harris should lead a deep and talented Hurricanes ground game in 2021.