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Scrimmage night

Just got back home from watching the Canes scrimmage for the first time this spring. My first thought: I hadn't realized I'd forgotten what it is like to watch a good quarterback lead The U.

For those of you worried about how freshmen Robert Marve and Jacory Harris looked, let me just preface this by saying they looked better already than anything you've seen in quite some time. Both were sharp, poised, and deadly accurate in Patrick Nix's offense. And here's the best part if you are a Canes fan -- their receivers only made a handful of drops.

All in all, it was a very impressive night for UM's young quarterbacks -- even if the scoreboard doesn't reflect it. Miami's offense only put up 10 points on 13 possessions. But between Harris, Marve and Cannon Smith, Miami's pass offense went a combined 26 of 36 for 236 yards, 0 TDs and 0 INTs. No, there was no official statistician. But like many other writers on the sidelines, I took stats and account of the play by play.

Coach Randy Shannon was the only person available to speak with reporters after the scrimmage. (HIS AUDIO). Here are some highlights, lowlights and notes on who else was impressive...

* Running back Javarris James scored the scrimmage's only touchdown on a 7-yard run on the opening possession. James only had two carries for 11 yards, but he made a pretty move on the TD run, cutting back across the grain and breaking a pair of tackles on his way in for the score. He also caught 2 passes for 15 yards.

* Defensive end Allen Bailey made quite the impression when he leveled Shawnbrey McNeal in the backfield for a 4-yard loss. On the ensuing series, Bailey destroyed Reggie Youngblood off the ball and chased down Jacory Harris for a 14-yard loss. He also was on another half sack with linebacker Daryl Sharpton moments later.

* The centers -- Xavier Shannon, Tyler Horne and Matt Pipho -- all struggled with their snaps. I counted four bad snaps in all, two high, one short and another that Cannon Smith bobbled, then fumbled and defensive end Adewale Ojomo pounced on for a fumble recovery inside the defense's 20-yard line.

* Senior Kayne Farquharson led all receivers with five catches for 51 yards. But he also dropped a potential touchdown pass on a perfect pass from Marve on a deep route. Farquharson had burned Chavez Grant downfield. The drop was inexcusable.

* Sophomore Leonard Hankerson had the tough run of the night when he caught a short pass from Marve on 3rd and 15 and rumbled 14 yards and just short of the marker. Hankerson had 3 catches for 32 yards by my count. Freshman Aldarius Johnson caught four passes -- all short routes -- for 11 yards.

* Freshman kicker Jake Wieclaw ended the scrimmage by drilling a 44-yard field goal. Randy Shannon told reporters Miami kicked three field goals, but it was actually two. Junior walk-on Alex Uribe, the son of famed UM doctor John Uribe, missed a 41-yarder off the post on UM's second possession.

* I was impressed by the play of cornerback DeMarcus Van Dyke. On one deep Marve pass, he ran stride for stride with Sam Shields downfield before knocking the pinpoint pass away cleanly. He definitely looks like UM's best coverman.

* Freshman linebacker Sean Spence is without question talented and smart enough to be a starter on this defense (that includes if Colin McCarthy is healthy and available). Spence made several nice open field tackles and made a huge hit on Graig Cooper for a 5-yard loss, reading the play perfectly. Fellow freshman Arthur Brown made a nice play too, when he brought down receiver Ryan Hill in the middle of the field with one hand. Brown grabbed Hill by the shoulder pads and threw him to the ground.

* Coach Randy Shannon said he's not sure if receiver Jermaine McKenzie (who had a boot on his left foot) would return this spring. It definitely doesn't look good for sophomore defensive tackle Josh Holmes (he had a full cast on his left leg).

PASSING STATS
Marve:
13 of 18, 104 yards, 0 TDs, 0 INTs. His longest pass was a 15-yard completion to Khalil Jones. He had two passes dropped downfield -- one by Shields and one by Farquharson. Marve also made a pair of nice runs to pick up first downs.
J. Harris: 11 of 14, 78 yards, 0 TDs, 0 INTs. His longest pass was a 17-yard completion downfield to Kayne Farquharson. Jacory was sacked twice, but all in all proved to be not too far behind Marve in terms of touch, accuracy and poise in the pocket.
C. Smith: 2 of 4, 54 yards, 0 TDs, 0 INTs. Smith only played in three series -- so much for equal snaps. He hit a wide open Richard Gordon on a blown coverage for a 50-yard gain. He then bobbled and fumbled a bad snap inside the red zone.

RUSHING STATS: G. Cooper 6-15; J. James 2-11, TD; S. McNeal 4-0; Marve 3-12; D. Thomas 2-6; J. Harris 4-(-23); L. Chambers 8-8; C. Smith 1-0.

RECEIVING STATS: Farquharson 5-51, Shields 1-5, Cooper 1-6, A. Johnson 4-11; L. Hankerson 3-32; R. Hill 2-13; D. Thomas 1-13; K. Jones 2-22; L. Chambers 2-11; R. Gordon 2-53; J. Calhoun 1-4.

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First? Thanks Manny

In honor of M.H.


JORTS!

Im glad to see the scrimmage was played because the weather seemed awful around 5:45

I had to go out of town but I'm glad you and my best friend were there to give me the info I wanted to hear. Looks like we will have a two-headed monster at QB from what I heard. I don't care as long as we can win some games...

Canes Fan In Charlotte, NC

first

looks like our running game/blocking might be a concern...althought our probable starter only had 2 carries one being a nice td apparently...

Thanks for the info Manny.....

Thanks Manny!

Wow, sounds much better than I expected. Very excited at all the potential talent on this team...

Go Canes!

WHAT IT COME DOWN 2 IS MARCH 29TH THE FULL AN FINAL SPRING SCRIMMAGE!!! COME OUT AND BRING THE WIFE KIDS EVERYBODY!!!

THEN WE WILL ALL KNOW WHATS GOING ON, AND MAKE PREDICTIONS!!!!!

iM DRIVING 3 HOURS DOWN, I KNOW YOU ALL CAN, SHOOT YOU'LL ARE CLOSER

MAnny- Colin Mcarthy may not come back>? what's that alll about? First time I heard that.
regardless, it seems that we may have something here.

TheUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU!

Harris appears to be just as good as Marve.

A. Bailey started slow but by a few series seemed unblockable.

Saw in the stands WR's- Collier, Johnson, Streeter and CB Harris all sitting together with their families.

Saw C. Luiget as well( seem like he really wants to be with UM, but....)

Didnt see TE Epps (dont know why?)

X. Shannon seem at times to float the ball to QB in shotgun (not good)

Cannon Smith startd out great with that pass to Gordon but man he is noticeably short!

Offensive play-calling was very vanilla...appears that all shotgun formation we passed and under center were runs. (it was only a scrimmage)

S. Spence was hitting like an upperclassmen!

J. Harris looked very poised in the pocket. (his head was always looking up field...reminiscent of NW days.)

I was shocked how fast Marve is! Very good speed when rolling out and scrambling.

Dropped passes by Kayne (2) and Shields (1)...each would have been long gains for over 50 yds.

DB were in man zone for much of the night.

TE Gordon appeared to be much faster than last yr.

FB Calhoun looked pretty big for a true freshman.

On 1 possession DE Bailey came up with 3 consecutive plays in the backfield. Lookout for a breakout season!

Running game seemed ineffective except for the stretch run play (however it was first scrimmage)

Hankerson and A Johnson were the best receivers tonight.

By the way...Streeter said he cant wait to go out on the field and play with J Harris again because they are so familiar with each other they shouldn't skip a beat! ( i can't wait either!)

Just my observations... GO CANES!

Great stuff Manny. for this point with this much young talent it looks good. many loose sight that there was much talent there last year that was not exposed alot, mabey intentionally?? that may work out good.
GO CANES

Great job Manny...

We really need our WR's to step it out this year.

- Canada's Cane Fan

**Step it up

**Step it up

I AM A BULLS 86 GRADUATE, RIGHT NOW TO BE HONEST I FEEL MARVE IS THE BEST Q.B. THUS FAR. SPENCE MUST START AS A TRUE FRESHMAN, HE IS AN ANIMAL.

just the begining of oUr next run for the other thumb

if competition make everyone better i think your making shandel work harder, but your still numbero uno nice post

does anyone know who is the kid that is thinking about walking on to miami

its about time we here some good news.

Great work Manny. It sounds like you're amped about these kids. That's a good thing.

Would you say Young or Nix won the battle of the coordinators? It sounds like a draw.

Mandingo...Oye, como va?

Great job on the scrimmage coverage. Any more insights you care to offer?

Manny,
Do you think Arthur Browns slow start will keep him from seeing big playing time this year?

anyone have video of the game

I was at the scrimmage....my thoughts.

MARVE IS THE TRUTH!!!! I don't pole ride college atheletes, but he looked like Mike Vick running and Tom Brady throwing. This dude was throwing rockets all over the field. Tight sprial every time. If nothing was there, he bolted and got yardage. We're not going to have this kid for very long, so let's enjoy it while we can.

Receivers looked great...ran sharp routes, caught the ball with their hands and looked dangerous after the catch. Hankerson is huge!!! The guy looks like a TE. Aldarius Johnson is so smooth...catches the ball so cleanly and gets upfield quickly.

All the running backs looked good. Cooper is a gamebreaker. This kid hits the hole going full speed.

Offense...spread formations, wide line splits....west coast type of possession passing game, that took shots down field. They came out throwing big time and it created running lanes for the backs. The line looked good, QBs had enough time to throw. Passing game created tons of room for runs. They started throwing screens and quick outs when the D started blitzing them. Looks nothing like last year's offense...looked more like Green Bay late in the season. Except the QB can also run. This offense will gash teams that don't have speed on defense.

Mens BBall RPI just got that much better with Providence beating UConn tonight,

Go Canes!

Geez, I hate you all for making me feel so optimistic maybe even a 9-3 season after reading these comments. Please my BP can't take it come regular season.

Dude...I didn't even write coherent sentences....I can't structure my positive thoughts about the offense. I'm getting an autographed Marve jersey and a big frame...I recommend you all do the same.

Defense looked small (except Allen Bailey), but fast.

Sean Spence must really like the taste of the football...this dude sticks his head into every single play. He almost looks like he knows the play called, thats how good he is at getting to the football.

Allen Bailey is a monster! That hit on Shawnbrey was vicious...He's really active for an end...the guy has the ability to get off of blocks and get to the football. Bailey looks like a LB after he comes off of the ball.

The D started blitzing and stunting a lot after the offense had a couple of succesful drives. DVD made a fantastic play on the deep ball. I can't see very many receivers who would be able to shake him. We might be thin at CB, but if DVD and B. Harris can stay injury free, there is a ton of quality.

I was much more impressed with the offense. I thought the defense played decent, but they allowed a lot of yards after catch. I'm not so sure if it wasn't because they were playing an offense with so many weapons. There were times when they had good coverage, but Marve managed to pickup yards with his feet.

Glad to see D Thomas in the stats. Hope we get to see more of him this year!

canes looked so much improved since last year.

jacory looked good but marve looked great and i expect him to win the job.

rbs didn't do a whole lot but jj looked quicker and coop looked bigger and stronger

wrs are so much better. aldarius is going to be a stud from the start and hankerson looked good too. they caught the ball better but they gotta make the catches for the big plays

oline was up and down and they gotta work on the shotgun snap

dline was good. allen bailey is a beast, looks like the transition is going well. forston was good, very quick of the ball. thought the dline was very active

sean spence is another stud, all over the field and has amazing instincts. he has to start from day one

dbs were solid and DVD's play on shields was great. he had some nice tackles too and looks like a lockdown corner.

wieclaw's field goal was a nice sight to end the scrimmage as well

overall the canes are lightyears ahead of last year and should have a pretty solid season

OK, IT IS CLEAR UM NEEDS TO GO WITH TWO QBS TO KEEP DEFENSES GUESSES. LETS ALL SUPPORT BOTH OF THEM AND BUY INTO A ROTATION, AND IN THE 4TH GO WITH THE HOT HAND. QB CONTROVERSIES START WITH BLOGS LIKE THESE, SO AS A GROUP LETS CALL FOR A SEASON WITH BOTH MARVE AND HARRIS. MARVE GETS MOST OF THE PT, BUT PUT IN HARRIS AS A CHANGE UP AND KEEP MARVE ON THE SIDELINE FOR A FEW SERIES TO READ THE D FROM A DIFFERENT ANGLE. THEN, IF IT IS CLOSE IN THE 4TH, GO WITH WHO IS MOST EFFECTIVE. WE NEED TO MOVE INTO 21ST CENTURY THINKING AND GET AWAY FROM THE OLD ADDAGE THAT YOU CAN ONLY WIN WITH ONE QUARTERBACK. THE U HAS A CHANCE TO BE TREND SETTERS, AND WIN WITH BOTH MARVE AND HARRIS THIS YEAR. THE U HAS ALWAYS SET THE TRENDS, FIRST BLACK PLAYER IN THE SOUTH, FIRST TEAM IN COLLEGE TO USE OUR STYLE OF THE 4-3. LETS START A NEW TREND AND USE BOTH OF THESE GUYS, CUZ CLEARLY THEY ARE BETTER ALREADY THAN BERLIN, CRUDUP, WRIGHT, AND FREEMAN.

Good 2 hear about how a 3 phases of the team played well (except for the missed field goal). Whats up with Colin McCarthy not returning? Kicked off team? Transfer? What's the deal? Even though we are loaded at LB with this recruiting class, he is a good player with EXPERIENCE. I remember him sealing the victory up @ Doak last year. I hope we get him back. What's the 411 on him possibly leaving?

Thanks Manny!

Geoff....

I wouldn't have an issue with multiple QBs. All 3 guys were able to move the ball well yesterday. I would say that Marve was the most impressive, with Harris and Smith also showing good things. Its hard to believe Jacory Harris and Cannon Smith were in high school last year. They looked more composed than Kirby Freeman ever did.

Wieclaw hit from 43?? It seems like he could've hit from 50+. Uribe missed his fg, but he nailed the ball.

We should all feel positive about the team. They played with great energy and flew around the field. These kids looked nothing like the teams of the past 2 years.

Our 2 QB system should go like this. Marve builds up big lead then Jacory or Cannon gets a chance to mop up.

GEOFF,

J. harris is not TEBOW.... Marve is the quarterback and Harris is the backup. THE U does not need to set a trend, WE ARE THE UUUUUUUUUUUU.

BAILY is the real deal. COuld you imagine Campbell and him together.... WOW.

Congrats Coach Shannon.

How does Sean Spence's talent and smarts make you not care if Colin McCarthy comes back or not? Regardless of his play—some considered him our best returning D player—you should hope he returns healthy to play. Maybe I am reading you wrong, but as a writer at a major paper you should chose your words better.

Thank you Manny!

I'm a little excited now. O-line sounds like it has some work to do.

Manny:

I'm sorry but i have to correct you on the James TD run. I was sitting on the 25 yard line on that side of the field and saw the play clearly. James put 2 sick moves on two different defenders all while going against the grain and went untouched into the endzone. He definitely looks like he's ready to rebound from last year.

OK, IT IS CLEAR UM NEEDS TO GO WITH TWO QBS TO KEEP DEFENSES GUESSES. LETS ALL SUPPORT BOTH OF THEM AND BUY INTO A ROTATION, AND IN THE 4TH GO WITH THE HOT HAND. QB CONTROVERSIES START WITH BLOGS LIKE THESE, SO AS A GROUP LETS CALL FOR A SEASON WITH BOTH MARVE AND HARRIS. MARVE GETS MOST OF THE PT, BUT PUT IN HARRIS AS A CHANGE UP AND KEEP MARVE ON THE SIDELINE FOR A FEW SERIES TO READ THE D FROM A DIFFERENT ANGLE. THEN, IF IT IS CLOSE IN THE 4TH, GO WITH WHO IS MOST EFFECTIVE. WE NEED TO MOVE INTO 21ST CENTURY THINKING AND GET AWAY FROM THE OLD ADDAGE THAT YOU CAN ONLY WIN WITH ONE QUARTERBACK. THE U HAS A CHANCE TO BE TREND SETTERS, AND WIN WITH BOTH MARVE AND HARRIS THIS YEAR. THE U HAS ALWAYS SET THE TRENDS, FIRST BLACK PLAYER IN THE SOUTH, FIRST TEAM IN COLLEGE TO USE OUR STYLE OF THE 4-3. LETS START A NEW TREND AND USE BOTH OF THESE GUYS, CUZ CLEARLY THEY ARE BETTER ALREADY THAN BERLIN, CRUDUP, WRIGHT, AND FREEMAN.

Posted by: Geoff Torretta | March 07, 2008 at 12:48 AM

How do you figure that it is clear that Miami needs to go with 2 QBs without seeing either QB play in a game? What the hell are you talking about? You pick the best QB after the competition and that's it.

Both QB's look good and its pretty clear there both gonna get playing time. It'll be just stupid to waste either of their talents.

Manny,
I was just reading Susan's piece about the scrimmage and noticed that the U was on the players' helmets, but it looked as though it wasn't on all of them. Can you comment on the removal and seeming return of the U to the helmets?? Were they all back or just on some helmets and if that's the case, can you ask Randy about how players have earned them back? Thanks.

lee,

What shandel CLEARLY meant was that spence should be a starter even if mccarthy comes back... he's good enough that he should be starting over mccarthy. As a reader of a major paper, you should learn how to read.

Spence was great...he closes on the ball really fast and is a solid tackler. Offensive line wasn't terrible, but I think the playcalls really favored them. The passing game created space for runs.

JJ looked really good...faster and bigger.

caneman... as a reader of a major paper you should be able to tell that this is Manny's blog not Shandel's.

Manny with Clemson losing last night is there any chance of us getting 3rd in the ACC if Clemson losses again to VT & we beat FSU?

i hate the idea of a platoon system
but if marve and harris are equal and both talented it may have to be considered.
not fair to either to leave them on the bench

Sounds like a decent day of practice...good thing they have the rest of spring ball and summer ball...that is a lot of time for them to tighten things up. Just think how much these guys should improve by the UF game. Things looking up and time is the the U's best friend right now.

Can someone who was there please tell me how Cannon Smith looked. It seems like no one is talking about him. Was he really that bad?

Ronny:

He wasn't bad at all. He just didn't get the reps Marve and Jacory got. He did good until he fumbled the snap (bad snap)in scoring position. One thing is for sure, he's a lot shorter than i thought. It seems like he has trouble looking over his lineman.

Cannon was very good,2/2with a 50 yrder.He would have played more,but scrimmage got called due to lighting.They were also 45min.late due to traffic,so I heard.

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