2nd Scrimmage... Bottom Line
August 21, 2022
The Miami Hurricanes conducted their second fall scrimmage on Saturday afternoon at Greentree Practice Field. It is Miami’s 14th practice of fall camp.
The press was not allowed to attend. Therefore, this report is an aggregation of reports from publications, websites and sources. When using a single source, we will do our best to acknowledge the source. When information comes from multiple sources, we will designate it as coming from “sources.”
Miami head coach Mario Cristobal summarize the approximate 120-play scrimmage immediately after the action ended.
“Today we found out a lot about our team,” said Cristobal. “More efficient in several aspects. We had some big plays and we had some big drops. There is no other way to cut it. Can’t sugarcoat that. At the end of the day, we have to continue to get better so we can trust ourselves to run the playbook.”
With the opening game just two weeks away, here’s the bottom line from the second scrimmage.
Miami’s defense is for real.
The staff brought in eleven (11) transfers and 15 true freshmen in the offseason. Seven of those transfers are on the defensive side of the ball. It shows. They are proven veterans with experience and toughness. Their physicality stands out.
David Lake, of InsideTheU, is impressed with Miami’s defensive line depth and “the way they can come at an offense in waves.” He pointed out DT Darrell Jackson play on Saturday.
Dave also reported LB Caleb Johnson continues to shine during these scrimmages and brings a higher level of physicality to the linebacker room.
He also reported Tyrique Stevenson was working at the STAR position during the second scrimmage. Stevenson’s position versatility and the play of Terry Couch, DJ Ivey, Daryl Porter and Isaiah Dunson at corner allows Miami to use Stevenson at STAR. Miami is definitely using a rotation of Avantae Williams, James Williams, and Kam Kinchens at safety.
DMoney, of CanesInsight, noted true freshman CB Chris Graves had the best overall performance of the entire defense, with at least four pass breakups and outstanding physicality. He also felt the linebacking play of ILB Caleb Johnson and freshman CB Chase Smith stood out during the scrimmage.
Gaby Urrutia, of InsideTheU, agreed with DMoney that Caleb Johnson played “fast and physical.” Gaby felt Charlie Strong’s linebackers looked much improved.
Coach Cristobal concurred…
“We’re striking better, holding the point a little bit. In pass rush, we’re holding edges better, getting rid of blockers.”
The bottom line is Miami’s defense will be much improved in 2022. This defense will be one of the best in the ACC, if not the nation.
Miami’s offense improved…
From reports, it appears the offense made progress from the first scrimmage but there are still concerns with the wide receivers and running back depth.
Gaby Urrutia said drops are still a major concern. Keyshawn Smith flashed at times but still plagued with drops. Same with Frank Ladson. He thought Xavier Restrepo was the most reliable wide receiver on the field yesterday, making several big plays. Michael Redding display consistency and is quickly becoming a reliable possession receiver. He also felt Jacoby George had a solid day.
DMoney pointed out that while the wide receivers are still having an issue with dropped balls and contested plays, the OC Josh Gattis’ offensive scheme is getting them open. He pointed out an outstanding TD route from Jake Garcia to Jacolby George and some good yardage after catch by true freshman TE Jaleel Skinner and a TD catch by TE Elijah Arroyo.
DMoney also noted the offensive line gave the quarterbacks better pockets yesterday and did a better job opening running lanes for the backs. He reports that walk-on RBs Devon Perry and Terrell Walden II stood out, particularly Perry with a 50+ yard TD run. DMoney noted Thad Franklin was particularly effective with runs between the tackles.
David Lake says Key’Shawn Smith could emerge as a playmaker on the outside but must be more consistent first. He also feels that while Michael Redding III “isn’t the most dynamic receiver on the roster, he is the one receiver that consistently executes.” David also heard the offensive line play was solid, impressive given the constant pressure by the deep defensive line.
The bottom line is Miami’s offense is still a work in progress. How quickly they assimilate th new offense will tell how good this unit can be in 2022.
No additional major injuries coming out of the scrimmage
There were no additional major injuries reported on Saturday. While RB Tre’Vonte Citizen is out for the year, RB Don Chaney’s injury appears less serious with a return projected in six weeks, i time for ACC play. TE Will Mallory and RB Jaylen Knighton were held out on Saturday as a precautionary measure.
Miami’s defense again won the day but the offense did improve despite the continued drop passes. The offensive line play was improved and could be turning the corner. And there were no new major injuries reported.
Miami’s players start school on Monday and must adjust to these new demands and challenges. Fall practice continues Tuesday until the end of the week, when game preparations begin.