University of Miami

Miami quarterback Brad Kaaya dominates again, receiver Coley injured

Miami Hurricanes’ running back, Trayone Gray, 32, breaks away from defenders during a scrimmage at Oxbridge Academy in West Palm Beach, Fla., on Saturday, April 9, 2016. The game is the public’s first opportunity to look at Mark Richt’s team.
Miami Hurricanes’ running back, Trayone Gray, 32, breaks away from defenders during a scrimmage at Oxbridge Academy in West Palm Beach, Fla., on Saturday, April 9, 2016. The game is the public’s first opportunity to look at Mark Richt’s team. The Palm Beach Post

Brad Kaaya’s sharpshooting right arm hit its bulls-eyes again.

His defensive linemen showed muscle against an offensive line that at times seemed porous.

And his best receiver, senior Stacy Coley, sustained a crowd-silencing hamstring injury.

On a glorious Saturday afternoon, the University of Miami’s second spring scrimmage — the first open scrimmage of the Mark Richt era — drew a standing-room only crowd of about 3,000 to Oxbridge Academy in West Palm Beach.

“For all the fans that showed up, it was really awesome to see them,’’ said Richt, 56, a product of Boca Raton High School. “It was good for everybody, coaches and players. I think it means something to them. It really does.’’

The situational scrimmage revealed a little bit of almost everything and a lot of Kaaya. A week after going 12 for 21 for 186 yards and four touchdowns, Kaaya dazzled again, completing 16 of his 21 passes for 232 yards and three touchdowns.

“He’s a pretty unflappable guy,’’ Richt said. “The pressure doesn’t seem to bother him, whether it’s in the pocket or whether it’s just the pressure of his job, his role on this team. Very accurate passer. If we protect him, he’s going to hit his target.’’

Kaaya’s most impressive target, Coley, gained 87 yards on two catches, including the 47-yarder on which he injured his right hamstring after being stopped short at the 3-yard line. Coley, injury prone during his career, fell to the turf, clutching the hamstring and grimacing in pain.

“It looked like he tweaked his hamstring a little bit,’’ Richt said. “I don’t think it’s too severe, which is good. Stacy has had a great spring so far. I’m sad that he had that happen to him because he has really played well, and he’s a guy that has been a playmaker for this team for a while now, not just since I’ve been here.’’

Besides Kaaya, the other quarterbacks were not nearly as impressive. Redshirt freshman Evan Shirreffs, redshirt sophomore Vincent Testaverde and true freshman Jack Allison combined to complete 6 of 21 passes for 63 yards. Testaverde threw two interceptions.

Malik Rosier only played in two series and had no completions in four attempts.

The first-team offensive line — left tackle Trevor Darling, left guard Kc McDermott, center Alex Gall, right guard Danny Isidora and right tackle Tyree St. Louis — struggled in the second half, allowing Kaaya to be sacked multiple times.

“Yeah, there [were] a few,’’ said Richt, the only person who spoke on behalf of the Canes. “Lot of times the pocket was real pretty, and sometimes it wasn’t so nice. Some of that is Brad’s got to get rid of the ball, and then some of that is that pocket squeezing on him and him not wanting to throw the ball up for grabs. The good thing was, I don’t think he threw any balls that should have gotten picked.’’

Richt called the first-team offensive line “hot and cold. There were a lot of good things. A couple times on protections, when they really pressured us, we could have done a little bit better blocking our gaps.’’

Defensive ends Demetrius Jackson, Al-Quadin Muhammad and Chad Thomas each had two sacks. Tackle R.J. McIntosh added one, and cornerback Sheldrick Redwine had one.

Safety Robert Knowles had two interceptions, one he ran back for a touchdown and another he caught in the end zone.

Linebacker Mike Pinckney led the defense with four tackles.

“What we tell all the guys whether it’s offense or defense is you’ve got to play the next play, whether it’s good or bad,’’ Richt said. “You’ve got to focus. But it’s hard. We’re all human. Things go good we feel ready, things go bad we tend to want to go in the tank. We’ve got to learn to play every down like it’s the most important down.’’

Offensively, tight end David Njoku had four catches for 67 yards, including a 45-yard beauty from Kaaya that Njoku took for several yards before juking past a defender and accelerating like a race car to the end zone.

Darrell Langham also impressed with four catches for 53 yards, as did tailback Mark Walton, who had a team-high five catches for 12 yards — including an acrobatic, one-handed grab for a 6-yard touchdown.

Walton, who ended the scrimmage with a bag of ice on his left elbow, ran for 40 yards on three carries. Joe Yearby added 63 yards on 10 carries, Gus Edwards 42 yards on five carries and Trayone Gray 46 yards on six touches.

Oxbridge athletic director Craig Sponsky was elated with the event, calling it “possibly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for us.’’

“With the beautiful weather, the excitement of Coach Richt and the new era of Miami Hurricane football,’’ Sponsky said, “we knew it would be phenomenal.’’

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