The Miami Hurricanes football team lost a critical part to its offense this year when junior running back Duke Johnson declared for the NFL Draft. In addition, second string running back Gus Edwards is out for the season with an injury. With that being said, expectations for this upcoming season are very high on an efficient passing offense led by quarterback Brad Kaaya.
While the passing game has contributed to multiple scores in the first two games, everyone is noticing the breakout performance of running backs Joseph Yearby and Mark Walton. Although Yearby might be the starter, each of them have exactly 24 rushing attempts so far. Talk about equal production. Yearby has accumulated 186 yards rushing, two rushing touchdowns and one receiving touchdown, while Walton has gained 127 yards on the ground and an impressive four rushing scores.
My nicknames for these guys are potentially inspired by a fictional superhero. I consider Yearby to be Flash due to his speed and agility, and Walton to be Dash for his great jukes and explosiveness out of the backfield. The terms Flash and Dash both describe speed in a similar way, but I also refer to Dash as quick movements with your feet in any direction, thus being efficient at juking.
Walton best exemplifies Dash by his ability to shake off defenders and force three or four people to tackle him. This has resulted in him being productive in the red zone and scoring in short yardage situations. His longest rush is only 17 yards, but as time goes on, Dash will improve his running game and eventually break loose a play worthy of a highlight reel.
Yearby, on the other hand, displays pure speed as Flash. To exaggerate, you see Yearby’s dust and shadow after he takes off down the field, like Flash moving from one point to another in no time. One big play he had against FAU was actually a reception where he darted up the field for 52 yards before getting run down at the one yard line.
Last week’s game also showed that Flash and Dash can come up big when the game is on the line. After FAU tied the game early in the third quarter, Yearby and Walton combined to score 3 three touchdowns in the second half. Having a consistent running attack throughout the game is a good sign going forward for the Canes.
Although the Hurricanes have only played two games against the two arguably weakest opponents on the schedule, the team should have confidence in its offense with the emergence of Flash and Dash.
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