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Miami’s Defense Must Stop the Quarterback Run

The Hurricanes may have won big on Thursday night, but there are still negatives that need to be worked on.

NCAA Football: North Carolina at Miami Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

“Big” is an understatement, as the Miami defense scored 3 times on Thursday, and held the Tarheels to just 10 points. Despite this, there is still an issue that could play a major role in future contests.

This season, the ‘Canes have been burned by the quarterback scramble. In the latest edition of “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly” it was touched upon, as multiple quarterbacks have already had success running the ball against the ‘Canes this season.

For as poorly as Chazz Surratt threw the ball in Thursday’s contest, he managed to run for 69 yards, finding the endzone once. North Carolina ended up rushing for 215 total yards, a solid number for their offense, despite the turnovers and final score.

The majority of the conference opponents Miami has left on the schedule all have dual-threat quarterbacks on their team, and not preventing the quarterback run will surely give them an advantage.

The quarterbacks with scrambling ability that the Hurricanes will face before their bye week are: Florida State’s Deondre Francois, and Virginia’s Bryce Perkins. Francois hasn’t been such a threat due to Florida State’s offensive line situation, but that could change quickly; while Perkins has ran for over 100 yards in Virginia’s last 2 games.

We all know about Manny Diaz’s masterful blitz packages, but in order to prevent the scramble, an updated scheme may be necessary. We should keep in mind that Manny Diaz formulates a new defensive gameplan every game week, so he may begin installing the adjustments during this week of practice.

If the defense keeps dominating the line of scrimmage and shutting down receivers in coverage however, Miami should put down many more opponents with ease. It’s never good to have an achilles heel though, as teams are always looking for weaknesses to exploit.