University of Miami running back Duke Johnson burst onto the scene as a true Freshman last year. He carried the ball 139 times for 947 times and 10 Touchdowns. Johnson also 27 passes for 221 yards and a TD and had two Kickoff Returns for TDs.
Going into 2013, Johnson was the clear No. 1 back for Miami, but the question was who would be the backup. Senior Mike James was the No. 2 back in 2102, even though he led the Hurricanes in carries, but his departure left a hole at the position. The competition was between Senior Eduardo Clements and Sophomore Dallas Crawford.
Over the last two weeks, Clements hasn’t received a single touch and Crawford has been the one to spell Johnson. In wins over Savannah State and South Florida, Crawford carried the ball 18 times for 82 yards and four TDs. Those two games were blowouts, so it was hard to gauge exactly what impact he would have for the remainder of the season.
On Saturday against Georgia Tech, the Hurricanes were out gained on the ground 335-227. However, the two biggest impacts from running backs came from the two UM players. Johnson carried the load with 22 rushes for 184 yards. He also caught one pass for 27 yards and had four kick returns for 114 yards.
In the fourth quarter, with only a one point lead, Crawford sealed the game for Miami; he scored on back-to-back drives from three yards out and 18 yards out to give Miami a 38-23 lead with 1:46 left. Crawford finished the day with only five carries for 31 yards, but had the two big TDs.
At 5-0, the Hurricanes are contenders for an ACC title this year, and with this pair of running backs, they could be set for the next two years as well.