The Hurricanes are t-minus nine days away from its season-opening game against Bethune Cookman at Hard Rock Stadium.
Which means “fall camp” is pretty much over and it’s time for practice – game plan install and working on game-specific situations.
So the University of Miami scrimmaged against “Cookman” Thursday – not the actual Wildcats, but the Hurricanes scout team that was simulating B-CU’s offense and defense.
UM head coach Mark Richt said that the scrimmage simulated two game quarters – putting the Canes down 24-0 at the start of the third quarter. Richt said the final result was a 33-24 win for the Canes first team.
“We were trying to track down Bethune. Those guys really played well. We had some really quality players that played for the scout team today,” Richt said.
“They did a really nice job. The defensive line must have batted down three or four balls and put pressure on the quarterback pretty good. But anyway, we were down 24-0 and in the end, it ended up being 33-24. The [Miami] defense got a bunch of stops. The defense had two turnovers, we had a special teams blocked kick.”
“It was more about transitioning from offense to kicking, kicking to defense, defense to kicking, even pre-game warm-up,” Richt added.
According to Richt’s accounts and stats provided by the school:
Malik Rosier, who was named Miami’s starting quarterback Tuesday, had a solid performance – completing 18 of 32 passes for 222 yards and two touchdowns.
Rosier continues to show why Richt tabbed him to be the No. 1 signal caller. Beyond his being the only quarterback on the roster with game experience, Rosier has shown improved accuracy, a solid grasp of the offense and improved leadership qualities.
Evan Shirreffs, whom Rosier beat out for the No. 1 quarterback job, didn’t play in Thursday’s scrimmage.
“Shirreffs didn’t get in. He was the number two quarterback for Miami, and we never got in position to put him in…it wasn’t until the very late in the game that we put it away,” Richt said.
Freshman receiver Jeff Thomas had an impressive scrimmage, totaling 115 yards and a touchdown on six receptions.
“You could see his talent, but you see he’s not still sure of what to do. I don’t know if he has more of a problem of what to do or how to do it,” Richt said about Thomas. “There was a route or two that he probably didn’t take the proper angle. If he takes a better angle he may score instead of catching the ball down kind of thing – at least one time, I know for sure.”
UM’s receiver group may need an extra boost of playmaking since Richt called sophomore Ahmmon Richards “questionable” for Miami’s Sept. 2 game. Richards has been dealing with a hamstring injury for the past handful of days and it would appear that the Hurricanes are being overly cautious with their 2015 freshman All-American.
Freshman running back Robert Burns, who missed time during the spring and was in a non-contact jersey for much of fall camp after having shoulder surgery, was “full go” Thursday and carried the ball three times for 12 yards during the scrimmage.
Depth at running back continues to be an underlying issue for the Canes.
Junior Mark Walton, who had seven carries for 60 yards and two scores Thursday, is an every down back that will command a lion’s share of the carries and sophomore Travis Homer is the incumbent No. 2.
Beyond that, UM has Trayone “Choc” Gray – who is working his way back from his 2015 torn ACL – and Burns.
Sophomore cornerback Malek Young had an interception Thursday and sophomore linebacker Zach McCloud blocked a punt.
Testaverde Leaving Program
When UM announced Tuesday that Rosier would be the team’s starting quarterback, it was evident that some dominoes would fall thereafter.
The first domino fell Thursday when the school announced that redshirt sophomore Vincent Testaverde plans on leaving Miami.
The son of former University of Miami All-American and Heisman Trophy winning quarterback Vinny Testaverde, informed coaches of his decision Thursday morning.
“Vincent approached me this morning and indicated that he felt like he would have more opportunities for playing time at another program,” Richt said. “We wish him all the best in his future plans.”
Testaverde played on Miami’s practice squad this past season and appeared to be destined for that spot again with Rosier, Shirreffs, N’Kosi Perry and Cade Weldon representing the top four quarterbacks.
He began his college career at Texas Tech (2014) and appeared in just one game before he elected to transfer to his dad’s alma mater. In his two years at Miami, the closest Testaverde got to any game action was serving as Rosier backup in 2015 for the team’s game at Duke.
Jamie Gordinier To Miss 2017 Season
Miami announced this past week that redshirt sophomore linebacker Jamie Gordinier will miss the 2017 season after suffering a right knee injury.
It’s the second major knee injury for the Monmouth Beach, New Jersey native in as many years.
Gordinier sustained a season-ending knee injury during Miami’s 2016 game against Florida A&M.
According to the school, Gordinier will undergo surgery next week at the UHealth Sports Medicine Institute at The Lennar Foundation Medical Center.