About 3,000 UM fans showed up to Spanish River High School on a beautiful, but very hot Saturday morning in Boca Raton. Palm Beach County fans really came up big for the Canes. The capacity was 2,600, and there was standing room only.
Those UM running backs showed why coach Al Golden has three of them -- Mike James, Lamar Miller and Storm Johnson -- all listed as first-teamers. They are mighty good, can catch the ball out of the backfield, are evasive, strong, nimble and invaluable to what this team could achieve this fall.
Offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch getting the tailbacks involved with those short dump passes reminds me of the days that Willis McGahee would take a five-yard toss and turn it into a 60-yard gain.
Mike James had 14 carries for 89 yards and three catches for 35 yards, including a 16-yard touchdown reception from Harris.
Lamar Miller had nine carries for 58 yards, a 2-yard rushing touchdown and one catch for 9 yards.
Storm Johnson had 11 carries for 63 yards and four catches for 39 yards, including a 13-yard touchdown thrown by Morris.
The running game, which included Maurice Hagens and John Calhoun, combined for 234 yards on 41 carries -- a 5.7-yard-per carry average.
Jacory Harris completed 14 of 21 passes for 120 yards and the touchdown to Mike James. Jacory also ran for a 2-yard score.
Stephen Morris completed 7 of 13 passes for 93 yards and a 13-yard touchdown to Johnson. Morris ran for a 20-yard touchdown.
Travis Benjamin had four catches for 49 yards and two rushes for 26 yards -- including a nice 17-yard reverse.
Defensively, linebacker Jordan Futch led the team with nine tackles and two sacks, a real bright spot for Futch, who had switched to tight end before the bowl because he wasn't getting a real opportunity to play at linebacker. He's definitely back where he belongs.
Linebacker Sean Spence had eight tackles -- with three tackles for losses and two sacks.
Safety Vaughn Telemaque had seven tackles and one pass deflection on a beautifully thrown deep ball by Jacory Harris to LaRon Byrd just outside the goal line. It seems like Byrd should have come up with it, but we were across the field and pretty far away at an angle.
Defensive end Adewale Ojomo, who had gone from first team to second team in the latest depth chart, had a very strong outing, with six tackles (four for losses) and two sacks.
Travis Williams also had a very good day, with seven tackles (two for losses) and one sack.
It was tough to at times truly see how dominant the defense will be, as quarterbacks, who were the only players on the field with white uniforms, were not to be touched.
In the kicking department, Jake Wieclaw missed a 49-yard field goal attempt. The ball fell short. Walk-on Ben Hopfinger from St. Thomas Aquinas hit a 22-yard field goal. Good for Hopfinger. Hope he can hit the long ones. UM will get two kickers (one punter) in the fall, but the Canes are really hurting now in this area.
Also, Coach Golden praised tight end Clive Walford, who had a 19-yard catch. "Clive looks like he's going to be a factor for us at tight end, so that's exciting,'' Golden said. "He was a basketball kid that was made a tight end. What I'm seeing now is his strength and development. He's not 230 anymore, he's 250. He's more of a presence on the line of scrimmage. He's got really good ball skills.''
Walford is listed as 6-4 in height and will be a redshirt freshman. He played at Belle Glade Glades Central High School.
--SUSAN MILLER DEGNAN