The Canes are less than three days away from taking on LSU in Texas this Sunday and while the offensive side continues to figure out who the backup QB is behind Malik Rosier, the defense are have their eyes on taking away one major factor that could move the Tigers’ chains to the red zone - their running game.
In a recent interview with the Palm Beach Post on Wednesday after practice, Miami’s defensive coordinator Manny Diaz talked about strategies that would be critical to pulling a victory on Sunday. Sure, he manages to mention strengths in LSU’s starting QB and Ohio State graduate transfer Joe Burrow, stating that he could read a defense and make the passes to gain yardage.
However, Diaz states that the the defense’s main focus though would be to force Burrow to throw by taking away Miami’s running game. “Ultimately, whoever plays quarterback, as a defense your job is still to make his job as hard as possible and that’s to take away his best friend, which is the run game.” says Diaz, “So any time, no matter who’s quarterbacking for LSU, you still have a great challenge of stopping their rush attack. That still...will be first and foremost on our minds.
The Tigers’ current running game is kind of lacking compared to recent years. Their starter in 2017, Derrius Guice, was picked no. 52 overall by the Washington Redskins in the 2018 NFL Draft and now LSU has to find a stud that could have the speed, finesse, and confidence to put the offense on his back. Unfortunately, playing Miami may not be the best team to start this search, because The U has a squad of hitters that are as fresh as they are destructive. Not only will the Tigers’ offensive line have to deal with new D-tackles Pat Bethel and Gerald Willis, but they also have to deal with Shaq Quarterman, Zach McCloud and Romeo Finley.
Sunday’s looking like it’s going to be a great matchup between The U and LSU, but if the Canes can hold the Tigers’ running game and force Burrow to make those passes into the deep, we’re probably going to see the Turnover Chain make its season debut.