Louisville and Miami captured the nation's attention Saturday night as the two teams combined for 13 plays of 20-plus yards. Several of those big plays were produced by running backs. CBS Sports tracked down some of the noteworthy performances from the weekend slate of college football action.
Cam'Ron Harris, Miami
Harris is a bigger back that has delivered some fireworks early this season. In each of the Hurricanes' two games, he has finished with exactly 134 rushing yards. Against UAB, it took 17 carries. Against Louisville, it took just nine. The Louisville rush defense has been a huge problem dating back to the 2019 regular season finale when Kentucky racked up 517 rushing yards on 40 carries.
On this particular play, the cutback was a bit off-kilter but the end result rendered that irrelevant. When Harris bounced it to the outside, it was a foot race to the end zone. The Florida native is more of a long strider than fast but was able to out run Louisville defensive backs with an angle for a 75-yard touchdown.
Tune in next week to learn whether or not Harris was able to rush for exactly 134 yards against Florida State! As an aside, true freshman running back Jaylan Knighton looks to be on a path for stardom. It will be a few more years before he is discussed as being draft eligible.
Miami won, 47-34.
Javian Hawkins, Louisville
In the draft prospects to watch piece from the weekend, Hawkins was featured because of his dynamic play-making ability. On any given play, he is capable of taking it to the house. His improvisational ability was on display against the No. 17 ranked Miami Hurricanes this weekend. There were several red plays but the focus is on the positive.
On this particular play, Hawkins takes the hand-off right but quickly finds himself bottled up. Miami edge rusher Jaelan Phillips had pushed Louisville's right tackle into the running back's path and the rest of the line was collapsing down. He made a jump cut towards the opposite side of the field but saw a defender approaching. Rather than sinking to the ground and taking the loss, he spun around the defender and found some open green grass. The Florida native gets a big block from quarterback Malik Cunningham to spring him for a 19-yard touchdown.
On the day, he finished with 27 carries for 164 yards and one touchdown. In addition to his burst, fans can trust Hawkins' ball security. He was not responsible for any fumbles in 2019.
Chuba Hubbard, Oklahoma State
The Oklahoma State offense looked out of sorts in their regular season debut against Tulsa. Running back Chuba Hubbard moved forward to accept an exchange from quarterback Spencer Sanders and the two were unable to get on the same page as the ball was fumbled to the turf. Sanders appeared to injure himself on the play and never returned. Hubbard managed just 35 yards on 13 carries in the first half and Tulsa carried a 7-3 lead into the fourth quarter.
The Alberta, Canada native did break a 20-yard run in the second half and plunged into the end zone for a three-yard score to finish the game with 27 carries for 93 yards and one touchdown. In the first half, the running back was averaging negative yardage before contact, according to TruMedia, which illustrates that the Golden Hurricanes were getting penetration. In the second half, the yardage before contact jumped to roughly 1.65. The Cowboys eventually pulled away to win, 17-6.
Elijah Mitchell, Louisiana
Mitchell had a big day rushing for 164 yards and two touchdowns on 16 carries. His two touchdowns required speed as opposed to finesse and elusiveness. On the 59-yard third quarter touchdown, he broke one tackle at the line of scrimmage and then was gone. His game-winning touchdown in overtime was to the wide side of the field as he got around the corner and rushed untouched to the end zone. He also had a 53-yard rush in the fourth quarter.
As the game progressed, he became more effective but, if you take away his three big runs, he finished with 33 yards on 13 carries. Four of those carries were negative. He needs to take fewer losses.