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Now Is The Time For Miami’s Running Game To Reappear

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In a must win against Boston College, the Canes need their running game back in full force.

Miami v Virginia Photo by Ryan M. Kelly/Getty Images

Rewind to weeks two-through-five for the Hurricanes, and you can obviously see that the running game was the strength for the Miami offense. In all four of those games, which were victories, the Canes averaged 246 yards on the ground, and the offense put up 51 points a game.

In the two games since then, the ground game has basically disappeared for Miami. Against FSU, the Hurricanes reached just 103 yards, and then 149 in a loss at Virginia. Take away a 70-yard rush from Travis Homer, and the Canes have just 79 yards for the night, averaging just 2.8 yards a carry.

Also, if Homer is able to outrun this cornerback who raced him down, Miami has a touchdown and maybe doesn't lose this game.

Currently, Miami ranks 46th in the country in rushing, averaging 4.7 yards a carry, last year they averaged 5.1 yards each carry.

This now presents a big problem for Miami, with a must-win game at Boston College Friday night, as the Hurricanes desperately try to keep their ACC Coastal division title hopes alive with a victory.

The 5-2 Eagles have been shaky against the ground game defensively, as they currently rank 70th in the NCAA in rushing defense. They’ve allowed two opponents to gain over 200 yards rushing the ball, and two other teams over 190 yards. However, in their last game against Louisville, Boston College held the Cardinals to just 1.9 yards a carry in a 38-20 victory.

Even with talented running backs in the past several years, a collective dominant rushing attack is something that Miami has been lacking on offense. Last year in 2017, the Hurricanes rushed for over 200 yards as a team just three times, winning all those games.

In fact, since Mark Richt has taken over as head coach in 2016, his offense has had 10 games where they’ve gained over 200 yards rushing. They’re 10-0 in those games.

So, what has changed for the Canes running the ball the last two games compared to the previous four games?

Well its obviously been a variety of issues, such as the offensive line struggles, bad play calling, etc.

The problems that Deejay Dallas has had in the last two games have definitely contributed to the sudden decline of the Miami rushing attack. During their four-game winning streak, the sophomore had two 100-yard performances, the first of his career, as the Hurricanes offense flourished.

Against FSU and Virginia however, Dallas was completely shut down. In those two games, Dallas has carried the ball a combined 20 times, gaining just 55 total yards and averaging only 2.7 yards an attempt and no touchdowns, with the Virginia game coming as his worst performance of the season.

Another bad note came for the Miami running game on Monday, as true freshman Lorenzo Lingard injured his knee during practice.

Though with Malik Rosier coming back as the starter, much to the chagrin of fans, it may help the Hurricanes rushing game. Rosier has proven to been an asset to the Canes running the ball, especially against Toledo, when the fifth-year senior gained 80 yards and scored three touchdowns. Rosier has rushed for a touchdown six times in 2018, compared to zero by N’Kosi Perry.