TRAZ POWELL STADIUM -- If you took your eyes off the field Saturday at Traz Powell Stadium for even a second, you might have missed a lot. This year's Spring Football Game turned out to be about as action-packed as any played before it -- chock full of scoring from start to finish.
In the end, the team featuring UM's First Team Defense/Second Team Offense was able to rally for 58-53 victory over the First Team Offense/Second Team Defense. First, the stats and scoring and then few thoughts/highlights...
RUSHING: Mike James 10 carries, 64 yards; Damien Berry 15-42, 1 TD; Stephen Morris 4-24; A.J. Highsmith 3-16; Storm Johnson 4-15; Lamar Miller 8-10, 1 TD; Spencer Whipple 2-(-10).
PASSING: Stephen Morris 12-for-21 209 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT; A.J. Highsmith 11-for-20 131 yards, 3 TDs, 2 INTs; Spencer Whipple 7-for-16, 112 yards, 1 TD.
RECEIVING: Kendall Thompkins 8 catches for 84 yards, 1 TD; Travis Benjamin 6-171, 1 TD; Leonard Hankerson 3-61, 2 TDs; Davon Johnson 3-31, 1 TD; LaRon Byrd 3-26; Richard Gordon 2-22; Aldarius Johnson 2-20, 1 TD; Ben Bruneau 1-17; Allen Hurns 1-11; Billy Sanders 1-9.
- Highsmith 16-yard TD pass to Hankerson (Jake Wieclaw kick)
- Highsmith 3-yard TD pass to D. Johnson (Wieclaw kick)
- Morris 75-yard TD pass to Benjamin (Wieclaw kick)
- Miller 2-yard run (Wieclaw kick)
- Highsmith 39-yard TD pass to Hankerson (Wieclaw kick)
- Whipple 9-yard TD pass to Johnson (Wieclaw kick)
- Morris 5-yard TD pass to Thompkins (Wieclaw kick)
- Berry 26-yard TD (Wieclaw kick)
- Wieclaw 33 FG
DEFENSE: Sean Spence 8 tackles; Brandon McGee 7 tackles, 2 pass break ups; Vaughn Telemaque 6 tackles; Tyrone Cornelius 4 tackles, 2 PBU; Steven Wesley 1 sack, forced fumble; Marcus Robinson 1 sack; Allen Bailey 1 sack; Ray Ray Armstrong 2 INTs; Colin McCarthy 1 INT; Adewale Ojomo fumble recovery.
> THE GOOD: Better quarterback play and pass protection. Three weeks ago in a scrimmage at Fort Lauderdale's Lockhart Stadium, A.J. Highsmith, Stephen Morris and Spence Whipple had trouble just staying off their backs (they were sacked a combined seven times). Saturday, UM's offensive line played much better (only giving up three sacks). The extra time allowed for them to have a lot more success passing. After completing just 14 of their 23 attempts for 169 yards and one touchdown three weeks ago, the trio combined to go 30 for 57 for 452 yards, 6 TDs and 3 INTS... Ray Ray Armstrong stood out with two interceptions.
> THE NOT SO GOOD: Secondary got torched at times. Sophomore cornerback Brandon McGee is going to want to delete Saturday's Spring Game from his memory banks. He was beaten several times in coverage and got an earful from defensive backs coach Wesley McGriff, who told him "you are better than that." For what it's worth, with All-American junior-to-be Brandon Harris out of the game, Canes quarterbacks spent a lot of time picking on walk-on Nate Gholston (listed at 5-7, 170).
> INJURIES: Looks freshman running back Lamar Miller was the only one to suffer an injury. He went down with what I was told was a separated shoulder.
> FIRST TEAM OFFENSE: QB A.J. Highsmith, RB Mike James, FB Pat Hill, TE Richard Gordon, WR LaRon Byrd, WR Leonard Hankerson, LT Jermaine Johnson, LG Harland Gunn, C Tyler Horn, RG Brandon Washington, RT Ben Jones.
> FIRST TEAM DEFENSE: RE Adewale Ojomo, DT Micanor Regis, DT Curtis Porter, LE Allen Bailey, WLB Colin McCarthy, MLB Kylan Robinson, SLB Sean Spence, CB Brandon McGee, CB Demarcus Van Dyke, FS Jamal Reid/Ray Ray Armstrong, SS Vaughn Telemaque.
> SECOND TEAM OFFENSE: QB Spencer Whipple, RB Lamar Miller and Damien Berry, WR Aldarius Johnson, WR Travis Benjamin, WR Kendall Thompkins, LT Cory White, LG Jared Wheeler, C Shane McDermott, RG Malcolm Bunche, RT Stephen Plein.
I'll have more for you later including audio interviews and photos.