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Thursday 2 p.m.: UM scrimmage insight; NFL/Dolphins media notes; College football TV schedule

UM coach Mark Richt didn't reveal a ton about today's scrimmage, but here are some details, courtesy of Richt and another UM official in attendance:

• Brad Kaaya threw the ball well, and at least one of his interceptions to Romeo Finley wasn't his fault. Finley had two picks off Kaaya, one the result of a deflection that hit a tight end in the hands. The ball bounced into the arms of Finley when the intended receiver was hit hard. 

Finley was playing the role of a FAMU safety. The scrimmage pitted UM's offense and defense against the scout team, with UM's scout team players wearing FAMU numbers in advance of Miami's Sept. 3 opener at Hard Rock Stadium.

The scout team was given a 28-0 lead by the coaching staff, with UM's offense and defense forced to rally. UM drew to within three, but couldn't make up the entire deficit partly because of the late Kaaya interception that wasn't his fault.

The other Finley interception also was deflected, according to someone in attendance. At least one of those picks went off David Njoku.

• Njoku made a couple of great catches today, including one that was SportsCenter worthy.

• Mark Walton had a long touchdown run on a screen pass in which he cut back across the field. 

Overall, UM ran the ball well today.

• Ahmmon Richards started in three-receiver sets. He dropped a pass but also had some good moments and did a good job blocking.

• Richard McIntosh and Kendrick Norton were against disruptive. They've been UM's first-team defensive tackles for three weeks.

• Jaquan Johnson continues to work in the slot in nickel packages. Adrian Colbert and Sheldrick Redwine continue their battle to start opposite Corn Elder.

• Safeties Jamal Carter and Rayshawn Jenkins administered several hard hits today. Coaches have liked how they've played all camp.

• Even with the possibility of suspensions for Stacy Coley, Al Quadin Muhammad and Jermaine Grace, that hasn't affected their playing time during scrimmages. They're still getting considerable work (with the first team, of course).

• Linebacker Jamie Gordinier, battling Mike Pinckney at weakside linebacker, continues to usually be in the right spot at the right time.

• There were too many turnovers today (four) and penalties remain an issue. We hear the scrimmage began today with a false start penalty on the offensive line. There was also a targeting call when a defensive lineman hit Kaaya.

And Richt said the ball got knocked out "at least twice."

• Malik Rosier and Vincent Testaverde, batting for the No. 2 quarterback job, did not play, according to Richt.

MEDIA NOTES

• Mike Tirico works tonight's Dolphins-Falcons preseason game on NBC, with Cris Collinsworth, and this was supposed to be NBC's Thursday night booth for nine November/December games.

But it won't be, because of a ridiculous decision by the NFL to force NBC to use its Sunday night booth (Al Michaels and Collinsworth) on Thursday games, as well.

NBC hired Tirico away from ESPN believing that the NFL wouldn't make an issue of Tirico working the Thursday games, because of Tirico's cache and experience calling Monday Night Football for a decade.

But the NFL said NBC was awarded the package with the understanding that it would use its lead announcing team. The NFL says it is not favoring Michaels over Tirico, and that NBC reserves the right to use whoever it wants in the booth on Sunday nights --- as long as it promises to use the same announcers on Thursday nights.

And with Michaels under contract and still on top of his game, there was no way NBC would (or should) replace Michaels with Tirico on Sunday nights.

So Tirico is left without NFL games this season, beyond two preseason games in the next four days. And Michaels, 71, who had no interest in adding to his workload with a Thursday package, is essentially forced to call the Thursday games.

Shame on the NFL for not compromising.

• CBS released its NFL announcing assignments for the first month of games, and the Dolphins have been assigned CBS' No. 2, No. 3, No. 5 and No. 1 teams. The assignments:

Dolphins-Seahawks Sept. 11: No. 2 team Ian Eagle, Dan Fouts

Dolphins-Patriots Sept. 18: No. 3 team Greg Gumbel, Trent Green

Browns-Dolphins Sept. 25: No. 5 team Spero Dedes, Solomon Wilcots

Dolphins-Bengals Thursday Sept. 29: No. 1 team Jim Nantz, Phil Simms (This one is airing only on NFL Network and not on CBS nationally, but CBS produces the game as part of its Thursday package during the first half of the season.)

• Jason Taylor joins Adam Kuperstein for NBC 6's Dolphins pre-game show at 7:30 tonight.

• For those who sometimes question Pro Football Focus' metrics (and we run a lot of them in this space), it's interesting to note that 24 NFL teams and 15 college teams are paying PFF for their analytics, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer. Collinsworth is a part-owner in the site.

• For this season's college football TV schedule, please click our post here from a couple hours ago. This lists where and when to find all the early-season games, plus key games later in the season. The season opens Friday.

Twitter: @flasportsbuzz

 

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