Miami football run defense tops ACC after stifling Clemson

MIAMI GARDENS, FLORIDA - OCTOBER 21: (Photo by Megan Briggs/Getty Images)
MIAMI GARDENS, FLORIDA - OCTOBER 21: (Photo by Megan Briggs/Getty Images) /

After holding Clemson to 31 yards rushing on 34 carries, the Miami football team leads the ACC allowing 79.57 rushing yards per game. Even when adjusting for sack yardage, Miami held Clemson to 70 yards rushing on 29 carries. Louisville is second in the ACC allowing 97.14 rushing yards per game.

The Miami football team has been dominant stopping the run all season except at North Carolina. North Carolina ran 43 times for 235 yards and one TD in its 41-31 win over Miami on October 14. Most of the damage by North Carolina on the ground was by Omarion Hampton. Hampton had 24 carries for 197 yards and a TD versus Miami.

The Miami football team was scorched by Hampton who had seven runs of at least 10 yards versus the Hurricanes. Hampton had a long run of 60 yards in the fourth quarter that helped set up a North Carolina TD to extend the Tar Heels’ lead. Miami flipped the switch on Saturday versus a talented Clemson backfield.

Phil Mafah and Will Shipley were regarded by many as the best backfield in the ACC. Shipley had 15 carries for 44 yards and Mafah had five attempts for a season low 14 yards. Mafah and Shipley each had their season low in yards per carry. Shipley is currently sixth and Mafah 19th in the ACC in rushing yards per game.

Miami utilized more linebackers versus Clemson in the 3-3-5 scheme explained by defensive coordinator Lance Guidry. Playing three LBs versus Clemson put more speed on the field defensively for Miami. The Hurricanes were also short of defensive linemen with Nyjalik Kelly and Akheem Mesidor out with injuries.

Mario Cristobal stated on Monday that Mesidor is closer to returning, but that Kelly is out for the remainder of the 2023 season. Miami will be challenged by the excellent rushing offenses of Florida State and Louisville in the final month of the 2023 season. Louisville is fifth in the ACC averaging 176.29 rushing YPG.

Florida State is sixth averaging 173.71 rushing YPG. The Seminoles are third in the ACC averaging 5.36 yards per carry and Louisville is sixth at 4.97 yards per attempt. In addition to leading the ACC in rushing yards allowed per game, the Hurricanes are also first in allowing 2.73 yards per carry in 2023.

Next. Miami line of scrimmage dominance difference versus Clemson. dark

Miami has held every 2023 opponent except for North Carolina under 100 rushing yards this season. Other than the Tar Heels who averaged 5.47 YPC, Georgia Tech had the highest average per attempt in 2023 against the Miami run defense averaging 3.67 YPC. Miami is eighth nationally in rushing yards allowed per game.