Who stood out in Miami Hurricanes first scrimmage of 2016 camp?

Miami ran through its first scrimmage of camp Wednesday, pitting its first-string offense against its second-string defense, and vice versa. It was closed to the media.

“The ones on each side of the ball won the drill, in my opinion,” coach Mark Richt said afterward. “The one offense did well. The one defense did well. We let the threes get reps, and there’s just too many guys who have no earthly idea what to do on just Day 1 plays. But that’s what happens. First scrimmage of your life in college, you get a little nervous, and you forget everything and you can’t even get lined up.”

Quarterback Brad Kaaya was 16-of-19 for 258 yards and a touchdown, with an interception returned for a touchdown and “one, maybe two” drops. Richt said Kaaya “did exactly what I asked him to do” on the interception, which cornerback Ryan Mayes grabbed. “That’s on me.”

He also mentioned Kaaya first when asked who stood out.

“I’ve just been very pleased with Brad. Brad has been very, very solid,” Richt said. “Today, locked in and taking care of business.” He added that sophomore tight end David Njoku caught a third-and-19 pass “a few yards short of the sticks, guys were just BB’ing him,” bouncing off, and “he kept his balance, kept his feet and made a nice run.”

Al-Quadin Muhammad (Miami Herald)

Al-Quadin Muhammad (Miami Herald)

Richt liked how junior Joe Yearby (four carries, 25 yards) fought for a first down on a similar third-down play. Junior wide receiver Braxton Berrios had three catches for 75 yards and one touchdown, on a go route from Kaaya. Sophomore Dayall Harris had two for 80 yards.

With Miami working with a short field and in situational drills much of the time, sophomore running back Mark Walton had 29 yards and a touchdown on seven carries.

He was also pleased with the edge pressure, which was “too much” for the second-string offensive line to handle. Junior defensive ends Al-Quadin Muhammad and Chad Thomas had two sacks each, while Trent Harris had two sacks of his own and tied freshman safety Romeo Finley with five tackles. Freshman defensive end Pat Bethel had a pair of sacks. Sophomore safety Jaquan Johnson had four tackles and two forced fumbles.

The backup quarterbacks, Richt said, “were locked in” and produced some solid numbers: However, Richt said he has shared his frustration with that group that no one has stood out among Vincent Testaverde (3-for-3, 62 yards), Evan Shirreffs (3-for-5, 16 yards) and Malik Rosier (2-for-5, 1 yards).

“There are redeeming qualities in every one,” he said. “They’re all doing some very nice things but they’re also doing some thing that give me pause in naming one.”

 

 

Also of note: Freshman linebacker Michael Pinckney, limited by hamstring injury the past few days, had three tackles. “He’s been hobbling around a little bit with some kind of soft tissue issue,” Richt said. “We did every test you could to maybe give him peace that he’s OK, and he went. … It’s hard. I think he’s a guy that’s just never been hurt, so he doesn’t even know what a pulled muscle is — is it truly a pull or is he just cramping?” Richt said team trainers believe Pinckney has “tremendous strength” in his legs, and will be OK.

Elsewhere:

“We had a few penalties, but I didn’t think we had a massive amount of penalties,” Richt said, noting UM used ACC officials calling to a game standard. “We had a holding on a screen you should never have … I don’t remember any defensive penalties. We didn’t have any alignment issues.”

 

Additionally, nobody “got hurt to the point where they had to come off the field for any reason, which was a huge blessing,” Richt said.

 

 

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