Welcome to the Duke Johnson show.
The Virginia Tech Hokies simply had no answer for Miami’s running back. Johnson accumulated 185 total yards through two quarters of play as the Hurricanes lead the Hokies 24-0 at halftime.
Miami came into Thursday night’s contest with the intention of establishing the run game, and Al Golden‘s squad did so in spectacular fashion.
As the Hurricanes dominated an undersized Virginia Tech defensive front, Johnson continued to churn out yardage. The junior running back accumulated 148 rushing yards on 19 carries.
The dagger at the end of the first half also came from the running back.
Already leading 17-0, Miami drove the ball to Virginia Tech’s 22-yard line with the clocking ticking within 15 seconds remaining before the horn for halftime blew. With the clock still running, the Hurricanes snapped the ball and freshman quarterback Brad Kaaya found Johnson open out of the backfield for his second touchdown in the half.
While the Hurricanes’ offense running all over the Hokies, Miami’s defense completely shut down the Hokies’ rushing attack. Virginia Tech ran the ball eight times for minus-13 yards.
Because of the Hokies’ inept running game, quarterback Michael Brewer suffered. When forced to throw, Brewer couldn’t step up and make a play. Virginia Tech’s signal-caller finished the half 7-of-12 passing for 49 yards.
The Hokies should expect the same approach from the Hurricanes in the second half. Golden may decide to lighten Johnson’s load (after he establishes a new career high), but Virginia Tech will then get a steady dose of sophomore Gus Edwards.
If Frank Beamer‘s squad has any chance of coming back in tonight’s game, Brewer must take his game to another level. That may be asking too much of the junior quarterback.