Clemson gashed Georgia Tech for 229 yards rushing on 43 attempts. The Tigers controlled the ball the entire game and did not allow for their quarterback to become a victim of Tech's zone blitzing scheme.
Unfortunately for Miami, the rushing attack has been anemic the past two games. Versus Duke, UM ran for just 30 yards and versus FIU Miami ran for 90 yards on 29 carries.
The inability to run the ball versus Duke was primarily due to a spread attack that was instituted that week in practice. Miami attempted a season high 41 passes and game planned new running plays out of the shot gun.
"We were trying to focus on our passing game and work on some new plays in the offense," running back Javarris James said. "The way we see it is the passing game is helping us out. We are facing eight men in the box and that is opening up the passing game for our receivers."
"We were running the zone read and the stretch play. We never ran it in a game, and it was just a different tempo and speed. We would see how the read worked out of the shot gun. I know me and Tyrone have got to get the running game going. Both of us did good in blocking and we did not give up a sack."
The offensive line will also welcome the return of guard Derrick Morse, who has been one of the top performing linemen on the team.
"With the suspensions, we were down a little bit because we didn't have all of those guys and some of them were leaders," James said. "But now having a guy like Derrick Morse back, we can get that energy on offense."
In last season's 14-10 loss to Georgia Tech, Miami could not establish a running game. UM finished with 30 yards on 30 attempts. Georgia Tech controlled the ball for nearly 10 minutes longer than Miami.
Quarterback Kyle Wright was sacked seven times in last year's game and finished 14-for-31 for 207 yards. Because the zone blitz has been effective for opposing defenses versus UM, it will be important for James and the running backs to help pass protect.
Georgia Tech is led on defense by linebackers KaMichael Hall and Phillip Wheeler. Hall and Wheeler combine for 15 tackles for loss and eight sacks on the year.
"We are going to put in a couple of new protections in this week and try to look at their reads and know when they are going to be blitzing," James said.
"Georgia Tech has a good defense. They have good linebackers that run to the ball. We watched the Clemson film and they were able to run the ball on them. Hopefully we will get the running game going and open the offense up."
On importance of Georgia Tech game:
"This is our season coming up," James said. "We have been playing pretty good, but now we have Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech coming up. Those are pretty good teams, so we are going to put it all on the line."
On Georgia Tech atmosphere:
"I have heard crazy things about the atmosphere up there. I know it is going to be packed and it is a big game in the ACC. They came off a tough loss against Clemson, so they are going to be very hyped."
On getting more pumped to play big games away:
"My first away game was at Louisville and that was crazy, but I heard this crowd is two times that. You just have to feed off the crowd. It feels good to go into somebody's house and shut the crowd up and that is what we are going to try to do."
On the effect of the return Ryan Moore has on Sam Shields and other receivers who look like they are hitting their stride recently:
"They all understand the situation. Sam was telling me that he understands that Ryan is back and if he does play and does start, Sam has no problem with that because he is a big time receiver and Sam can get the vibe off him and Lance. He doesn't feel like he has to make a play all the time."
David Lake can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
James Ready to Run vs. Georgia Tech
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