Miami football rushing offense versus Virginia Tech could be season omen

Nov 20, 2021; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 20, 2021; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports /

How well the rushing offense performs for the Miami football team versus Virginia Tech on Saturday could be an omen for the remainder of the 2022 season. The Miami football team ran for 657 yards, averaged 5.26 yards per carry and scored nine rushing TDs in the first three games of the 2022 season.

Seven of the nine TDs came in the season opener versus FCS Bethune-Cookman. In losses to Middle Tennessee State and North Carolina in the last two games, Miami has 102 rushing yards on 62 carries with two TDs. The Miami football team has an opportunity to run well against a struggling Virginia Tech defense on Saturday.

The Hokies have allowed 704 rushing yards, 5.82 yards per carry and nine TDs in losses to West Virginia, North Carolina and Pittsburgh in its last three games. Virginia Tech is seventh in the ACC in run defense. The Hokies are in the top half of the ACC in run defense largely because of its success in its first three games of the season.

Virginia Tech held Old Dominion, Boston College and Wofford to 126 rushing yards and 1.52 yards per carry in its first three games of the season. The Hokies faced far greater offenses in its last three games than the trio of contests to begin the season. If Miami can not run well versus Virginia Tech that doesn’t bode well.

Miami ranks eighth in the ACC in rushing but had only 42 yards on 24 carries against the 13th-ranked run defense in the ACC versus North Carolina. Miami still has games this season remaining versus Florida State who has the 11th-ranked ACC run defense, Virginia who is 12th and Georgia Tech who is last in the conference.

Miami has to be able to generate a balanced offense and not rely solely on the pass as they did often during the 2021 season and in the loss to North Carolina. Tyler Van Dyke threw for 496 yards versus North Carolina to account for 92.19 of the Miami offense in the loss to the Tar Heels.

If the Miami run offense continues to regress from its early season success teams will focus on stopping Van Dyke first. Miami running backs were involved in the offense as receivers. Henry Parrish had two receptions for 46 yards and a touchdown versus North Carolina.

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Jaylan Knighton had two receptions for 56 yards. One of the Knighton receptions came on a wheel route that he has often utilized in during his first two seasons with Miami. The Hurricanes simply need to get better running. Virginia Tech will provide a glimpse into how Miami can perform versus subpar teams stopping the run.