Miami's Duke Johnson Out For Season

Sophomore tailback Duke Johnson broke his ankle on Miami's final offensive play of the third quarter against FSU attempting to convert a 4th-and-1. That's devastating news for both Johnson and the 'Canes. Now, Miami will try to bounce back against Virginia Tech without their best offensive player.

According to cfbstats.com, Johnson averaged 115 yards per game, that's second in the ACC only to Boston College's Andre Williams. Johnson is third overall in the conference in rushing average. He banged out 6.34 yards a touch. Duke was a threat as a receiver coming out the backfield, and he was Miami's primary kick returner. His loss cannot be understated.

Dallas Crawford, a 5-10, 194-pound redshirt sophomore, is listed as Miami's No. 1 running back. Crawford has netted less than a third of Johnson's total yards (294 to 920), but can punch the ball into the end zone. He rushed for 9 scores, and caught another. According to UM, he's averaging a TD every 7.5 offensive touches.

Earlier in the season against North Carolina, Crawford successfully stepped in for Johnson when he suffered a head injury.

Crawford rushed for two touchdowns in the fourth quarter, including the game-winner on a 3-yard run with 16 seconds left that lifted Miami to a 27-23 win over the Tar Heels. He finished with a career-high 33 carries for a career-best 145 yards. But as badly as Miami needed that kind of performance from Crawford against North Carolina, the Hurricanes need even more now.

Even though Crawford is Miami's new starter, don't expect him to be Miami's lone star in the backfield.

Offensive coordinator James Coley said replacing Johnson's production will involve a running back by committee approach. Still, expect to see Crawford handle the bulk of the carries with [Eduardo] Clements coming in on third downs and Gus Edwards likely participating in special packages. Freshman Walter Tucker is simply taking more reps in practice in case any of those three go down.

Gus Edwards is a bit of an x-factor. He's a true freshman, rated 3-star by the 247Sports composite, and is a load at 6-2, 225.

Edwards, has had only one carry in the past four games but ran for 113 yards on 12 carries against Savannah State and 53 yards on 10 carries against USF. "He's got deceptive speed," Golden said. "He's a big back that can play fast. ... Gus is ready for this now, and he's definitely going to be carrying the ball for us Saturday."

Obviously, whoever is carrying the ball for Miami Saturday will be something to keep an eye on.

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Comments

The Miami offensive line has generally won the battle against its opponents this season. Regardless of the RB, that issue, in my view remains key. Losing Duke Johnson is not good for Miami, but it is by no means debilitating for the U either.

This sucks, it's fun watching Duke play, was hoping to see our defense get a chance to redeem themselves after the BC game. Still doesn't solve our offensive issues, which I think can only be remedied by the Miami defense missing the bus to the stadium.

never want to see anyone get injured. As fortunate as it is to play someone without their star player, I really just want to beat everyone no matter who they have.

Ky Jarrett was saying yesterday he was disappointed Duke was out for the season because he was looking forward to tackling him, but he quickly added that he wishes for a speedy recovery.

That said, it doesn't matter who is in the backfield for Miami, they have the offensive line to do what Boston College did, control the LOS. I just hope that the Hokies make a team effort to win against the Hurricanes and stop the slide.

Let's go Hokies!

I support Logan Thomas and make no apologies for it.

I'll feel a lot better if Kyle Fuller is healthy for this; his tackling abilities are indispensable. Crawford definitely is no slouch, but losing Duke Johnson is rough for them. VT will need to play its best game of the year, to have a chance.

It's always a great day to be a Hokie

VT '10, Born & Raised in the 804. Hokies, Keydets, Army Black Knights, NY Giants, NY Rangers, and ATL Braves.

I believe Phillip Dorsett, their ridiculously fast WR, is also still out with an MCL tear.

"No, we will not die like dogs, we will fight like lions!"

While on paper losing Duke is a huge setback for the Miami offense and return game but their backup Crawford is just as talented. It will be interesting to see if the Hokie defense can force Crawford into turn overs and missed blocking assignments on the edge. The return will be a treat still as Miami is loaded with talented players they can stick back there to return the football. If Crawford does struggle then Morris is suspect when throwing the ball if pressure can get to him. The Hokes seem to be more focused against the bigger name teams or the teams that beat them last season.

Touchdown Tech - Bill Roth