Lightning delays hampering Miami Hurricanes scrimmage, practices

Miami’s second scrimmage of camp started 70 minutes late because of lightning, and that wasn’t all.

Wednesday’s scrimmage was scheduled for 9:30 a.m., but began at 10:40. After a few minutes on the field, the lightning alarm sounded again, forcing players indoors.

The scrimmage was rescheduled for 6 p.m.

Not the ideal situation for Miami’s backup quarterbacks, who are competing today for the No. 2 job behind Brad Kaaya, and others trying to impress UM coaches.

Approximately 20 Hurricanes practices are delayed by weather every year, an annoyance UM hopes will end by 2018 with the opening of a new indoor practice facility. UM has identified a lead donor and is set to make an announcement on a naming gift in the coming weeks.

When?

“It’s on [the] naming donor’s time,” a UM source said.

Mark Richt speaks to reporters at his 2016 Paradise Camp at UM. (Matt Porter)

Mark Richt speaks to reporters at his 2016 Paradise Camp at UM. (Matt Porter)

For Miami coaches, that can’t be soon enough. After practice Tuesday morning, Mark Richt — who pledged $1 million of his own money toward the $28 million project — sarcastically lamented the “lovely horn” that sounded, forcing players off the field for a 20-minute delay.

“I think the closest strike was 28 miles away, but the horn did go off, because we predict lightning around here, we don’t detect it,” Richt said. “Anyways, we had to have a game delay, go in there for about 20 minutes and come back out and practice. It turned out to be a good day.”

Athletics Director Blake James made an indoor facility a priority before Richt was hired Dec. 4. Since arriving, Richt has been publicly pushing for donations. Though he’s had to deal with practice delays, Richt was fortunate his marquee summer recruiting event, Paradise Camp, avoided a weather-related mess.

When a reporter suggested Tuesday that Richt was chomping at the bit for an indoor facility, Richt said “it would be nice” to be able to finish practice indoors.

“The horn goes off, we go in there and we finish. We don’t get 20 or 30 minutes behind. We were at the mercy of the horn to go back on. If we had waited another five minutes, I would have shut it down, because I just didn’t want to wait all day. But then it was 63 miles away, the nearest strike, so I thought we had a good chance of the horn going back to let us get back out again.”

Richt, who didn’t have an indoor facility in 15 years at Georgia, has long had to deal with the weather.

“I’ve learned to just go with Plan A,” he said. “If I think about Plan B every day, it makes me crazy. I’ve been doing it for 15 going on 16 years now. I just start with Plan A and adjust on the fly.”

Scrimmage format: Richt said the scrimmage will consist of four drives by the first-string offense and four by the second-string offense. Each drive will have a different starting point: own 25-yard line, own 35, 50-yard line and defense’s 40. Richt said the team will work on one-minute drill, third-and-medium and third-and-long situations, in addition to overtime and two-point plays.

Asked what he wants to see at the scrimmage, Richt said “biggest thing for me and Jon [Richt, quarterbacks coach] in our room is who is going to be the No. 2 quarterback? We need to find that out. That’s the biggest question for me right now.”

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