University of Miami

UM loses to ‘FAMU’ in scrimmage, as scout team plays role of Rattlers

Miami Hurricanes head coach Mark Richt does some instructing during the University of Miami Hurricanes football practice on Tuesday, August 23, 2016.
Miami Hurricanes head coach Mark Richt does some instructing during the University of Miami Hurricanes football practice on Tuesday, August 23, 2016. adiaz@miamiherald.com

Florida A&M defeated the University of Miami on Thursday.

In a practice game, that is, with the Miami Hurricanes’ scout team playing the roles of the Rattlers’ projected starters.

One more thing: coach Mark Richt said he spotted the scout team a 28-0 lead.

Miami fans can either bemoan the fact that UM’s first-teamers couldn’t overcome the 28-0 deficit to the scout team, or in the glass half-full scenario, be relieved that Miami’s scout-team players and backups — some were relegated to scout team to help depth-wise — hung in there for the victory.

Richt did not provide statistics for the game or give the final score.

“I couldn’t have asked for a better practice game than what just happened,’’ said Richt, the only person available to the media after the closed scrimmage at Greentree Field. “The scouts gave a great look. And the [UM] offense and defense, we had to feel a little anxiety trying to come back with a 28-point deficit.’’

The Hurricanes (8-5 in 2015) will meet the Rattlers (1-10 in 2015 and a member of the Football Championship Subdivision) at 6 p.m. Sept. 3 in the season opener.

“This is what you want. You want to put your defense under stress,’’ Richt said Thursday. “You want to put your offense under stress. You want it to be competitive. I told the scouts, ‘You’re not a punching bag today. Go compete.’ ’’

That, they did, though the UM team made enough mistakes to keep them from making the comeback.

Turns out starting quarterback Brad Kaaya, who threw two interceptions, including one for a touchdown that ended the game, played the whole time for UM, as backups Malik Rosier and Vincent Testaverde never had the opportunity to spell Kaaya.

The “FAMU” quarterbacks were redshirt freshman Evan Shirreffs and freshman Jack Allison, who “did a great job,’’ the coach said.

Richt said Kaaya threw one pass for a touchdown, “and we ran the rest of them in. [Tailback Mark] Walton had a long screen for a touchdown.’’

Freshman safety Romeo Finley intercepted Kaaya twice for the scout team.

“Romeo did a good job, was opportunistic,’’ Richt said.

“We’re driving the field with under three or four minutes or so to go, we look like we’re moving the ball real well and getting ready to make it where we can score for an onside [kick] and win it, and we get a dropped ball — a catchable ball that pops in the air. They intercept it and take it back for a touchdown,’’ Richt said. “Game over.

“That was our scout team celebrating the pick-6 to end the game,’’ the coach said of the celebratory cheers heard outside the practice. “We put a lot of quality players on that side of the ball to make it a quality game. We had some really good receivers making plays, quarterbacks I thought played a really nice game on that side of the ball.’’

Richt said UM had four turnovers Thursday. The Canes also had a targeting call on defense “that would have ejected a player for the rest of that game and the first half of the next game,’’ he said. “Not a lot of penalties — there weren’t many.’’

Practice continues Friday morning at Greentree.

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