The second-seeded Miami football team advanced to the Sweet 16 of the virtual ESPN College Football Playoff in the East Region with victories over Missouri and Boise State. The mothership had Miami matched up against sixth-seeded Texas and first-year head coach Steve Sarkisian in the regional semifinal.
The Texas offense will be led by running back Bijan Robinson. Robinson was third in the Big XII in 2020 averaging 78.11 rushing yards per game and four touchdowns. The Miami run defense struggled often in 2020 allowing over 150 yards six times in 11 games. That culminated in the regular-season finale against North Carolina.
The Tar Heels ran for 554 yards, the most ever allowed by a Miami football team, in a 62-26 victory. Miami was 74th nationally against the run in 2020 allowing 174.45 yards per game. The Hurricanes have revamped their entire defensive coaching staff with new coaches for every position group in 2021.
Miami also lost their two best players from the 2020 defense, defensive ends Jaelan Phillips and Quincy Roche. The Hurricanes need their linebacking corps to improve in 2020. The neutralizing factor for Miami in any game is quarterback D’Eriq King. King allows Miami the opportunity to win high-scoring games.
"(6) Texas 28, (2) Miami 21: After a dynamic close to his freshman season, Texas running back Bijan Robinson is even better as a sophomore. He runs wild against a talented Miami defense with 210 rushing yards and three touchdowns to lead Steve Sarkisian and the Longhorns to the upset."
Robinson had three 100-yard games as a freshman in 2020. The virtual 210 rushing yards would set a career-high and three touchdowns would tie his high mark set against Kansas State last season. Robinson’s three 100-yard games came in the Longhorns’ last four contests of 2020. Robinson will have a bigger role in 2020.
The Tucson product had 12 carries in the first three games of the season for Texas in 2020 and never more than 16 in any game. In the last two games of 2020, Robinson had 19 carries for 355 yards and four touchdowns. Miami is not likely to face any RB with those kinds of numbers in 2021, but the run defense must improve.