The running back depth chart for the Miami football team has evolved significantly since August’s training camp. Entering training camp, Miami had five scholarship running backs. True freshman Tre’vonte Citizen who was expected to battle for carries suffered a season-ending knee injury during training camp.
Third-year sophomore Don Chaney did not return to practice until this week. Chaney was recovering from a torn ACL last season and a hip injury that occurred during training camp. The injuries to Chaney and Citizen left Miami with Thad Franklin, Jaylan Knighton and Henry Parrish as the sole Miami scholarship RBs.
Knighton led Miami with 561 rushing yards and eight touchdowns in 2021 and added 20 receptions for 280 yards and three TDs. Due to a muscle injury, Knighton missed the 2022 Miami season opener versus Bethune-Cookman. Knighton had five carries for 17 yards in the 30-7 Miami week two win over Southern Mississippi.
Parrish won the starting RB job out of training camp with sophomore Franklin as the primary backup. Parrish leads the Miami football team this season with 556 rushing yards and four TDs while adding 17 receptions for 120 yards and two TDs. Knighton is now second with 339 rushing yards and one TD.
Knighton had by far his best game of the season with 16 carries for 118 yards and a TD last week against Georgia Tech. Franklin has 217 rushing yards and leads Miami with five TDs on the ground this season. Franklin has only six carries for 15 yards in the last two games and did not receive carries versus Duke or Virginia Tech.
Head coach Mario Cristobal said on Wednesday that Chaney has practiced in his words full speed for the first time this season. Without tackling during practice it’s tough to gauge how much Chaney will be able to contribute against Clemson. Miami had its best rushing game against an FBS opponent in 2022 versus Georgia Tech.
Clemson is third in the ACC allowing 111.60 rushing yards per game and 3.57 yards per carry. Miami is eighth in the ACC averaging 140.40 rushing yards per game and ninth averaging 3.89 yards per carry. Miami will need a balanced offense to have a chance to pull a huge upset on Saturday.