The importance of Miami football’s ground game was evident against rival Florida State as the offensive line was unable to generate any push up front. The Hurricanes generated 102 yards on 46 carries, an average of only 2.2 yards per carry. N’Kosi Perry was under pressure all game as he was sacked five times and lost a fumble.
The inability for Travis Homer and DeeJay Dallas to run the ball made it easy for the Seminoles to come after Perry because they knew the redshirt freshman quarterback was going to be throwing the ball. While Perry did orchestra a 20-point second half comeback, he needs more consistency in the running game for the team to succeed in 2018.
Homer and Dallas are running backs that are capable of getting over 100 yards every game, but the inconsistent play from the offensive line has made it hard for them to get positive yards at times. Dallas is a physical back that likes to run through contact, while Homer is more shifty that has the breakaway speed to score almost any time he touches the ball. Lorenzo Lingard is one of the fastest players on the team, but has not seen gotten a carry since the game against Florida International.
Trayone Gray is tied for second on the team in rushing touchdowns with two, but he is a short-yardage back that excels on the goal line. Mark Richt likes using his quarterbacks in the run game as Malik Rosier leads the team with five rushing touchdowns, while Perry has shown the ability to be a dynamic runner when given the opportunity. The only problem is the offensive line is liable to lapses and inconsistent play, which has hurt the Hurricanes’ offense this season.
When Miami football has been able to run the ball, the offense is dynamic as the Hurricanes have one of the best wide receivers units in the nation even with the career-ending loss to Ahmmon Richards. Jeff Thomas is a threat to score every time he touches the ball and is Richt’s best playmaker on offense. His ability as a run blocker has helped spring big runs for the offense this season and he will need to be a good blocker against Virginia on Saturday.
Homer and Dallas combined for 101 yards on 31 carries against Florida State as they struggled to get any consistent traction. Virginia boasts the nation’s 36th best rushing defense at 126.2 yards per game, but the Cavaliers have not faced a running back duo as good as Homer and Dallas. If both backs are able to run effectively between the tackles, the Miami offense will be in good shape heading into the bye week.