3 things to know about Duke Johnson, Miami's star RB

Joel Auerbach

Miami's sophomore halfback could give the Hurricanes the edge over intra-state rival Florida. Here's what you need to know about him.

1. When Duke Johnson goes big, Miami wins.

Duke Johnson, the 5'9, 196-lb. sophomore halfback at the center of Miami's offense, has played in 13 games as a Hurricane. In the seven games where he has topped 70 yards rushing, Miami is 6-1. In the six games where he has been held below 70 yards, the Hurricanes are 2-4.

The worst news of all for Florida: Johnson has been held below 100 yards just once in his last five games, and that was by design: He was held out of the fourth quarter of Miami's blowout win over South Florida last season after racking up 66 yards and a touchdown.

2. The unstoppable force meets the immovable object.

Florida has allowed two runs of 50 or more yards in the last decade. Johnson has six such carries in his career. In Miami's opener against Florida Atlantic last week, Johnson ran for 186 yards on 19 carries, the fourth time in his last five games that Johnson has averaged more than nine yards per carry. Florida has not allowed an opponent's top rusher to exceed five yards a carry since the 2012 Gator Bowl win against Ohio State. And Miami is 7-0 in games where Johnson scores a rushing touchdown. The hurricanes are 1-5 in games where Johnson is shut out.

3. Recruiting battles matter.

Johnson was a five-star halfback from Miami, pursued by nearly every major program in the country. He committed to the Hurricanes early in his junior season, but Florida had a scholarship offer on the table and kept up the pursuit. Johnson stuck with Miami despite the NCAA's ongoing investigation and postseason sanctions, and gets his first -- and likely last -- chance to face the Gators Saturday. State of the U is optimistic:

I know Miami hasn't fared well in big time non-conference games recently, but I think this is where they turn the corner. It will be strength vs strength when Miami is on offense and Florida is on defense. If Stephen Morris, Duke Johnson and company can score some points on Florida's defense, they should be in good position to win.

For more on Duke Johnson and the Miami Hurricanes, visit State of the U.

More from SB Nation:

Week 2 betting guide | And TV schedule guide

Explaining that hand gesture Manziel’s Aggies use

SB Nation’s all-access with Mississippi State coaches vs. Oklahoma State

The most important stats from Week 1: South Carolina, Washington impress

The behind-the-scenes story of Johnny Manziel’s Time cover photo shoot

Today’s college football news headlines

Week 1’s 39 best college football photos:

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.