Miami football stopping run and making QB beat them key vs. Alabama per Manny Diaz

Sep 26, 2020; Columbia, Missouri, USA; Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 26, 2020; Columbia, Missouri, USA; Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports /

The key for the Miami football team against Alabama is to make Crimson Tide second-year freshman quarterback Bryce Young beat the Hurricanes. Young is making his first start after playing in nine games last season. As a true freshman, Young completed 13 passes in 22 attempts for 156 yards and one touchdown.

Alabama lost Heisman Trophy winner Da’Vonta Smith and Dolphins first-round pick Jaylan Waddle at wide receiver, running back Najee Harris at running back and Heisman Finalist Mac Jones at quarterback after last season. All four were 2021 NFL first-round picks. The Crimson Tide are young but talented at the skill positions.

Alabama enters the 2021 season with the most talented roster by far in the history of college football since 247 Sports began tracking that. Brian Robinson Jr. is replacing Harris as a fifth-year senior. Robinson ran for 483 yards and six TDs during the Crimson Tide’s 2021 National Championship season.

Miami head coach Manny Diaz spoke about the importance of the Hurricanes defense not allowing Young to feel comfortable during the first of his regular-season appearances on the Joe Rose Show on WQAM Tuesday morning to discuss Alabama and the outlook for the rest of the 2021 season, transcribed by Inside the U.

"“The key with defending any young quarterback is how do you do against the run game…It is easy for the quarterback to turn around and hand the ball off. We have to make it hard for them to run the football on us and to that point, you have to get a quarterback off his first look…It is about finding a way to make that quarterback go through his progressions and see if he can do it.”"

Alabama doesn’t rebuild, they reload. John Metchie returns at WR ready to be the next great Alabama wideout. Metchie was a key part of the Alabama offense when Waddle was lost for most of the remainder of the season following an injury in October. Waddle returned for the National Championship game.

If Alabama was vulnerable on offense in 2020 it was running. Alabama finished 30th averaging five yards per carry. Yards per carry is a more indicative measure of the effectiveness of a team running than yards per game. College football teams are passing more than ever. The Miami football team has to make Young beat them.

If Miami can stop Robinson and Alabama’s running game, the pass rush will have to be effective. The loss of defensive ends Jaelan Phillips and Quincy Roche are the biggest holes Miami has entering the 2021 season. Jahfari Harvey and Zach McCloud are the first-team edge rushers for Miami against Alabama.

Next. Kirk Herbstreit expects Miami competitive versus Alabama. dark

Deandre Johnson and Chantz Williams are the second-team edge rushers as the Miami football team is expected to use all four in a rotation. Alabama has to replace the left side of their offensive line. Future first-round NFL Draft pick Evan Neal moves from right to left tackle. Alabama was 25th in 2020 allowing 1.46 sacks per game.