Developing strength and contact balance on inside runs can be a step forward for fullbacks
The best offenses in college football find a way to mix explosive play speed on the perimeter in the passing game with a physical, powerful inside offense.
It’s the kind of mix that Coach Mario Cristobal seeks as head coach of the Miami Hurricanes.
With a talented quarterback like Tyler Van Dyke to distribute the ball in the passing game, the biggest question UM’s offense will have to answer in 2022 is finding a running back who consistently turns yards in the inside running game.
Over the past three seasons, Oregon has been impressive in its ability to pick up yards after contact. Here’s a look at the average yards per carry after contact for the Ducks over the past three seasons:
– 2021: 3h30
– 2020: 3.44
– 2019: 3.38
Any time a ball carrier can average more than three yards per run after contact is a good performance. For a team, that’s impressive.
Miami’s yards after contact have been less impressive over the past three seasons:
– 2021: 2.33
– 2020: 3.16
– 2019: 2.93
How much better was Oregon’s running game Mario Cristobal compared to what Miami did? In 2021, the Ducks totaled 1,675 rushing yards after contact. Miami ran for 1,532 TOTAL yards.
An important point for the running group in 2022 will be to develop a physical approach, especially with the inside running game.
The success of the Oregon running back Travis Dyewho is 5-foot-10 and 190 pounds, should be encouraging for the running backs room.
According to PFF, Dye is averaging 3.61 yards per carry after contact on carries that have crossed the A or B gap on the left or right side in 2021. That’s a high number for a back under 200 pounds. .
As a point of reference, Jaylan Knighton averaged 2.26 yards per carry after contact on runs through the same gaps in 2021. Ole Miss transfer Henry Parrish averaging 2.87 yards per carry after contact.
Having an offensive line that can be more physical and impactful in the running game will help establish the inside running game, but there will be times when running backs will also need to create their own positive yardage.
UM running backs certainly have plenty of speed to generate explosive plays on stretch runs, but the success of most running plays is defined by the ability to win that area of the court. Every yard counts in this phase of the rushing attack and Miami backs need to do a better job running with balance and contact strength.