The Miami football faces a tough challenge versus the elite Duke rushing offense and quarterback Riley Leonard. Miami has struggled in recent seasons against dual-threat QBs. The Blue Devils are 24th nationally averaging 205.86 rushing yards per game. Leonard is sixth nationally among QBs averaging 60 rushing yards per game.
Miami defensive coordinator Kevin Steele has a difficult challenge game planning for Leonard. Leonard ran 14 times for 130 yards including a 74-yard touchdown run versus North Carolina. Leonard was 20-31 for 245 yards, one TD and one interception versus North Carolina. Miami will have to decide how to defend Leonard.
The strength of the Duke rushing offense is runners by committee. Leonard leads Duke with 420 rushing yards. Jordan Walters has 360 yards rushing, Jaylen Coleman 307 and Jaquez Moore 251 at running back. All four average well over four yards per carry. It will be a difficult task for Miami to focus on more than one runner.
Miami ranks 12th nationally allowing 96.5 rushing yards per game. That is third in the ACC behind Clemson. Texas A&M and North Carolina are the only teams to run for over 100 yards versus Miami this season. Miami has held all of their opponents under four yards per carry. Miami has not allowed an opposing player over 100 yards.
Three Bethune-Cookman QBs ran 10 times for 65 yards in the opener versus Miami. Texas A&M QB Max Johnson ran three times for 23 yards. Middle Tennessee State QB Chase Cunningham had nine carries for 29 yards. North Carolina signal-caller Drake Maye ran 14 times for 53 yards versus Miami.
The Miami defense will be tested versus Leonard. Leonard is fifth nationally among QBs averaging 9.14 yards per carry. Miami will have to stay disciplined defensively and try to keep Leonard in the pocket. He is regarded as a pocket passer but proved against North Carolina he can take over a game with his feet.
Miami has been tested this season by mobile QBs. The Hurricanes have been better at defending mobile QBs than in past seasons. If Miami can limit Leonard and Duke’s rushing offense overall, the Hurricanes should prevail versus the Blue Devils. Duke is vastly improved from the team Miami dominated the last two seasons.