University of Miami

Defense crushes and rolls again in UM spring scrimmage No. 2

UM coach Mark Richt on scrimmage

UM Coach Mark Richt reviews second spring scrimmage with stats -- including QB play -- on Saturday, April 15, 2017.
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UM Coach Mark Richt reviews second spring scrimmage with stats -- including QB play -- on Saturday, April 15, 2017.

The University of Miami defense crushed and rolled again on Saturday in the Hurricanes’ second spring scrimmage.

The quarterbacks, who were not allowed to be tackled Saturday — unlike last weekend’s first scrimmage — did not have particularly good performances, at least according to the statistics that coach Mark Richt read to reporters, who were not allowed to watch the scrimmage at Greentree Field.

Several Canes football alums, who were allowed to watch but asked not to be identified, basically said the offense has a great deal of improving to do.

Going into the scrimmage, redshirt sophomore Evan Shirreffs was believed to be the leader and had been taking a good deal of the first-team snaps, according to multiple sources. But when asked when he’d have a quarterback leader ready to announce, Richt said, “I don’t know. After today I don’t know if my thought process is changing.’’

The coach reiterated that after next Saturday’s final scrimmage and spring session he will “have some type of pecking order’’ for the quarterbacks “going into the summer.’’

The quarterback numbers, according to Richt: Sherriffs: 16 of 36 for 139 yards (no touchdowns, no interceptions); redshirt junior Malik Rosier: 13 of 26 for 142 yards, a touchdown and an interception; true freshman Casey Weldon, who didn’t play last week: 5 of 9 for 30 yards and an interception; and redshirt junior Vincent Testaverde: 6 of 9 for 98 yards and “one long [touchdown] bomb’’ — 65 yards long — to DeeJay Dallas.

According to Richt, there were at least seven sacks.

Is Richt at least feeling good about his defense?

“I don’t know,’’ he said, “because I don’t know what kind of challenge they’re getting right now. I’d love to say, ‘I hope they’re going to be that dominant against everybody else.’ If they’re dominant against our offense because we’re struggling offensively, then it’s hard to gauge how good they are.

“They’re playing hard. They’re making plays. A lot of juice on that sideline. A lot of enthusiasm.’’

UM Coach Mark Richt reviews second spring scrimmage with stats -- including QB play -- on Saturday, April 15, 2017.

UM’s run defense proved as dominant as its pass D.

Travis Homer had 10 carries, Richt said, “for a whopping five yards.’’

“[Mark] Walton had a couple carries for four yards, so, not a whole lot of running room,’’ Richt said.

However, the two did combine for 10 catches, Richt said, six of them by Homer.

Receiver Darrell Langham, a 6-4, 220-pound redshirt junior who is listed as only having played in four games last season, had five catches for 73 yards, the most aerial yards that Richt conveyed. Tight end Malik Curry had four catches for 31 yards. Tight end Chris Herndon and receiver Dionte Mullins each had “a couple catches,’’ Richt said, adding that there weren’t many dropped balls, if any.

Redshirt junior receiver Dayall Harris ended the scrimmage with a touchdown in the red zone during a one-minute offensive drill. “He made a big grab from Malik.’’

“I’ve probably got to watch the film to really get a good feel,’’ Richt said of the quarterbacks, “but it just wasn’t great execution by the offense on the whole.There were some plays that were made here and there. Nothing that you could consistently try to drive the ball.

“At best [we] probably averaged 1-yard per rush. ...I still want to learn about these guys.

“I have to watch the tape to really see.’’

Defensively, the Canes picked up from their dominating performance last week.

Cornerback Ryan Mayes had four tackles and a pass breakup. Anthony Moten had a blocked field goal, which linebacker Shaq Quarterman recovered. Defensive end Demetrius Jackson had a sack. Linebacker Mike Smith had a sack and four tackles. Tackle R.J. McIntosh had four tackles and three sacks.

Cornerback Malek Young had “another pick’’ and pass breakup and five tackles — “and one of the most acrobatic interceptions I’ve seen on a deep ball where the offensive player really had the advantage of where the ball was coming down,’’ the coach said. “Malek just went and jumped and twisted and found it and snatched it. You just don’t see that very often. ...It looked like a sure touchdown and he found a way not only to break it up but intercept it.’’

Safety Sheldrick Redwine had four tackles. Walk-on defensive back Tyler Murphy had four tackles, a pick and four pass breakups -- “did a great job.’’

Lineman Pat Bethel had a sack. Defensive end Trent Harris had a sack.

The coach said he has to watch more tape on the offensive line, but that he was feeling good about left tackle Kc McDermott, center Tyler Gauthier, right guard Navaughn Donaldson and right tackle Tyree St. Louis. He said left guard Trevor Darling “still has to show me something that he’s going to be the guy.’’

Injury-wise, Richt said guys were “bruised up a little bit, but I don’t think we had anything serious.’’