Though it’s early, the No. 25 Hurricanes are getting plenty of attention in the national rankings.
With 10 games left in the regular season, Miami (2-0) leads the country in team tackles for loss, with 28 total. The Canes also are No. 1 nationally in rushing defense, giving up an almost unfathomable average of 34.5 rushing yards in the first two games against FAMU and FAU.
And they’re No. 1 in the nation in sacks, tied with Pittsburgh with 10 (The Panthers’ opponents have lost 91 yards on those sacks, to 56 for the Hurricanes’ opponents).
Richt said other than FAU’s 38-yard touchdown run in which tailback Greg Howell, a Coral Gables High graduate, “broke two tackles,’’ UM “played extremely well on defense – just as we thought, a lot of guys running hard to the ball.’’
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Their team rushing total – 659 yards for sixth best in the nation – seems even more astounding when you factor in that their opponents have run for a total of 69 yards.
Mark Walton is ranked third nationally with his five rushing touchdowns, eighth with his 271 rushing yards and sixth with 30 points scored.
Richt said Monday in his weekly radio stint on WQAM that right guard Danny Isidora “is probably playing the best’’ among his offensive linemen, though the line’s overall run-blocking, with some exceptional help downfield from the fullback, receivers and tight ends, has been excellent.
Richt has instituted what he is calling “The Victors Club,’’ dependent on a weekly grading of each player.
“If you get a winning grade,’’ he told WQAM, “you’ll be on the Victors Club. And if you get enough of those at the end of the year you get a nice trophy or plaque or whatever it might be at the banquet.’’
The Canes were off Monday, before resuming practice Tuesday for their first road game of the season at Appalachian State (1-1) – noon Saturday on ESPN.