Jaylan Knighton reasserts himself for Miami football

Nov 12, 2022; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 12, 2022; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports /

Running back Jaylan Knighton had 16 carries for 118 yards and a touchdown in the 35-14 win for the Miami football team over Georgia Tech on Saturday. Knighton had the second-highest rushing yardage total of his career behind the 162 yards he had against Georgia Tech in 2021. Knighton was critical for Miami versus Georgia Tech.

Knighton did not play in the Miami football game against Virginia two weeks ago after losing three fumbles prior to the game against the Cavaliers. After four carries for 60 yards last week against Florida State, Knighton started on Saturday versus Virginia with starter Henry Parrish out with an unspecified injury.

Knighton and true freshman quarterback Jacurri Brown who was making his first start combined for all but nine of the Miami yards on the first drive. Knighton had three carries for 17 yards on the first drive of the game. Brown was 2-2 for 25  yards and a touchdown with four carries for 18 yards on the opening drive.

Miami drove 11 plays, 75 yards in 6:16 on the opening drive of the game to take a 7-0 lead. After the teams exchanged punts, Miami drove 14 plays, 93 yards in 7:31 to extend the lead to 14-0. Knighton had three carries for 15 yards on the second Miami scoring drive that culminated with a Brown to Jaleel Skinner five-yard TD pass.

Knighton had eight carries for 76 yards in the first half. In the second half, Knighton had eight for 42 yards and a TD. Brown had 19 carries for 87 yards. Brown and Knighton allowed Mario Cristobal and offensive coordinator Josh Gattis to lean on the run. Three other players combined for three carries for 22 yards.

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The 118 yards rushing by Knighton versus Georgia Tech was the most by a Miami RB this season and the highest since he had the 162-yard game against the Yellow Jackets in 2021. The two 100-yard games versus Georgia Tech are the only ones for Knighton in his career. Knighton has redeemed himself from early season struggles.