UNC will challenge Miami football run defense

Oct 8, 2022; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Mandatory Credit: Rich Storry-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 8, 2022; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Mandatory Credit: Rich Storry-USA TODAY Sports /

Leading the ACC in run defense, the Miami football team will be challenged by North Carolina on the ground led by running back Omarrion Hampton who is second in the ACC in rushing yards per game. Miami enters the game on Saturday second nationally and first among Power Five teams allowing 58.20 rushing yards per game.

Hampton enters the game on Saturday averaging 92.20 rushing yards per game, is 15th in the ACC averaging 5.24 yards per carry and is third with seven touchdowns. At 6’0 and 220 pounds, Hampton will be one of the most physical RBs the Miami football team will play against during the 2023 season.

Hampton had a breakout game with 26 carries for 234 yards rushing and three TDs in a 40-34 double-overtime win for North Carolina over Appalachian State in week two. As a true freshman in 2022, Hampton finished with 88 carries for 401 yards and six TDs. Hampton has 88 carries for 461 yards and seven TDs in 2023.

Miami has to contend with RB British Brooks and quarterback Drake Maye supporting Hampton on the ground. Maye has 52 carries for 174 yards and four TDs this season. The rushing yards for Maye include yardage lost on sacks. Brooks has 40 carries for 165 rushing yards and one TD this season.

North Carolina has been inconsistent running the football this season. The Tar Heels got off to a great start on the ground in the first two games. North Carolina ran for a season-high 319 yards and five TDs versus Appalachian State. North Carolina combined for 182 yards, but five TDs the next two weeks versus Minnesota and Pittsburgh.

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The Tar Heels regained their footing last week with 48 carries for 202 yards rushing and one TD in a 40-7 win versus Syracuse last week. Miami allowed a season-high 99 rushing yards and 3.67 YPC on 27 carries with a 2023 tying two TDs in the loss to Georgia Tech last season. Miami has yet to allow 100 rushing yards in 2023.