D’Eriq King expects RBs and OL depth to improve rushing offense

Jul 21, 2021; Charlotte, NC, USA; Mandatory Credit: Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 21, 2021; Charlotte, NC, USA; Mandatory Credit: Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports /

Miami Hurricanes quarterback D’Eriq King expects the return of all their running backs and the entire offensive line to improve the rushing offense in 2021. Miami was inconsistent running in 2020. Miami averaged over five yards per carry running in six games in 2020 and had five games under four yards per carry.

Head coach Manny Diaz mentioned Miami needs to limit the number of negative plays the Hurricanes have running. A reporter followed up asking D’Eriq King about the Miami run and their reliance on him often last season. Miami finished 94th nationally with a 20.9 stuff rate of their runs going for one yard or less.

D’ Eriq King expects the Miami offense to improve in the second year under offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee. Miami finished 67th in rushing yards per game in 2020 and 71st in yards per carry. The arrivals of King and Lashlee greatly improved the offense in 2020. The running game needs to continue to develop in 2021.

Miami focused on the run during the offseason according to D’Eriq King. In addition to the returning RBs, the Hurricanes added 2021 signees Cody Brown and Thad Franklin. Brown and Franklin will provide Miami with size and tough inside running the Hurricanes often did not have during the 2021 season.

"“Yeah, I think that was one of the main focuses of our off-season, was to limit our negative plays. We were decent in every other aspect besides negative plays. So we have three, four, five really good backs. All the backs came back, Cam Harris, Don Chaney, Jaylan Knighton. The second year in the system is always better.Last year we learned a whole new offense, not really a real off-season. The guys up front had a really good spring. All five of those guys were back. I think we’re deep at the O-line this year. Might be one of the deepest positions at our team.The O-line and all three running backs coming back, myself included, the running game, I think we’ll limit the negative plays.”"

Chaney, Harrison and Knighton are expected to compete to be the first-team RB in 2020. Head coach Manny Diaz stated during the offseason that he and Lashlee would like one of the three to emerge as the bell cow for Miami. August training camp will determine who emerges as the starter against Alabama on September 4.

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Miami returns its entire offensive line. The 190 starts the Hurricanes OL has in their collegiate careers in the highest as a unit in the history of college football. The stuff rate is also concerning for the IL. Miami needs more consistency upfront in 2020. The Miami offense can reach another level with more consistency running and the OL.