Just a little over a week since the start of fall camp, the Miami Hurricanes had their first scrimmage Sunday night.
The scrimmage itself was closed to the media and public, with all known from the game coming from head coach Manny Diaz following the conclusion of the scrimmage.
With that being said, here’s what went down at Greentree:
— The new offense was pushing its tempo all night, showing the potential UM holds on that side of the ball. That started with graduate transfer quarterback D’Eriq King, who “really ignited the offense” Sunday night, recording 4 passing touchdowns and 178 total yards according to coach Diaz.
— Miami’s true freshman running back duo of Don Chaney Jr. and Jaylan Knighton shined in their first game-like atmosphere at the collegiate level. Chaney finished with 57 yards and a touchdown on 11 carries. Meanwhile, Knighton went for 126 yards and a touchdown on 10 rushing attempts.
— Coach Diaz noted how Chaney and Knighton’s impressive camps headlined just how explosive both backs can be “when they get out in the open field.”
— Through the air, junior tight end Will Mallory led the team with 4 catches for 71 yards and a touchdown. Senior receiver Mike Harley had 2 scores while freshmen Michael Redding III (3 catches, 41 yards) and Xavier Restrepo (2 catches, 54 yards, 70-yard rushing touchdown) showed flashes for the Hurricanes receiving core.
— On the other side of the ball, Miami saw solid production from young pass-rushers Cam and Chantz Williams. Per Diaz, Cam “really took advantage of his time tonight,” while Chantz recorded 5 tackles and 2 sacks in his first-ever college scrimmage.
— Both players “stepped up and played their part” for the UM pass rush, said Diaz.
— Junior Jaelan Phillips made an impact on the scrimmage despite only playing about a quarter in his first scrimmage at Miami. “He’s relentless of the edge… You like to see guys who’ve had a great week of practice come out on scrimmage day and put it together, and Jaelan did,” Diaz said.
— One position group that coach Diaz was very impressed with was his group of linebackers. He pointed out that both Bradley Jennings and Waymond Steed “made a lot of good things happen” in their first scrimmage coming off injuries.
— But the younger group of linebackers — Sam Brooks, Avery Huff, Tirek Austin-Cave and Corey Flagg — left their mark on the game, scoring some big hits that left a great first impression for coach Diaz and defensive coordinator Blake Baker.
— In the secondary, safety Gurvan Hall led all defenders with 7 tackles, while freshman cornerback Marcus Clarke recorded an interception in his first scrimmage at Miami.
— The press release by the Miami football program really gives the fanbase an optimistic view of the scrimmage. It’s hard to ignore the success the up-tempo offense had with D’Eriq King at the helm, but it also sounds like the defense stepped up and made plays as well.
— Overall, it’s something that the team and coaching staff will use to build on with a little more than three weeks before their first game against UAB on September 10.