Any time one player can account for nearly half of a team’s offensive production, it’s safe to say he’s had a good game. For Joseph Yearby on Friday night, that was exactly the case.
In front of a record 30,321 fans at FAU Stadium, Miami’s sophomore running back accounted for 243 of the team’s 526 yards and scored two touchdowns in a 44-20 win over Florida Atlantic.
Despite getting just eight touches in the season opener, the 5-foot-9, 202-pound running back from Miami Central High School was the focal point of the Canes’ offense both on the ground and through the air against FAU.
Along with 18 carries for 146 yards, Yearby also pitched in with three catches for 97 yards in his biggest performance so far at Miami.
“It didn’t really surprise me because I knew how hard I worked throughout the week,” Yearby said when asked about his performance. “My mindset is that one man can’t tackle me. Last year everyone was saying I was too small, too little, so I’m trying to prove everyone wrong this year.
While it was the motivated sophomore that stole the show, freshman Mark Walton had another solid outing in his second game as a Cane. Despite rushing for only 42 yards on 14 carries, Walton punched the ball in for three touchdowns to give him four already this season.
The two Miami natives were rivals in high school at Booker T. Washington and Miami Central, but it’s clear early on that the two have built great chemistry.
“We kept feeding off each other, kept motivating each other,” Walton said of his relationship with Yearby. “When he came out, he said, ‘Just keep it going for me.’”
Walton certainly made sure there was little drop-off from Yearby and gave the Canes a dangerous rushing attack for the second straight game. As the team continues to progress, the running back committee could dictate how successful this team can be in 2015.
The offense hasn’t proven to be as explosive as many predicted coming into the season, especially with injuries to key wide receivers Braxton Berrios and Stacy Coley and running back Gus Edwards. If Yearby puts on a show like he did Friday night each week though, it’s safe to say this Miami team has a good chance at winning the ACC Coastal Division for the first time.
The Canes take on Nebraska at 3:30 p.m. Saturday at Sun Life Stadium.