The Miami football team has a lot to improve on for the August 24 opener against Florida in Orlando. The players were confident in the progress that has been made this spring following Saturday’s second scrimmage.
The Miami football program has a lot of new faces for 2019. Eight players have joined the team through the now legendary transfer portal. That is in addition to several freshmen that could make an impact this fall. Building team chemistry and being competitive this spring is one goal for the Hurricanes.
Miami’s most impressive unit during Saturday’s scrimmage was the running game. DeeJay Dallas and Cam’Ron Harris thrived on the ground. Dallas looked in midseason form. Harris picked up where he left off at the end of last season. Dallas is poised to be the first team running back with Harris backing him up.
Lorenzo Lingard who came in higher touted than Harris as a freshman in 2018 has been out this spring because of a season-ending knee injury in 2018. Dallas finished had 13 carries for 108 yards and three touchdowns and added one reception for 11 yards on Saturday. Harris ran for 61 yards on ten carries.
Dallas and Harris have big shoes to fill in the Miami ground game. Travis Homer ran for over 900 yards in each of the last two seasons and totaled 2,400 yards from scrimmage in his collegiate career. Dallas spoke to the Sun-Sentinel and Miami Herald following Saturday’s scrimmage about the offense’s performance.
“As a unit, I just feel like we’ve jelled a lot better this week. I feel like if we can keep jelling and keep meshing together and get our chemistry up, we’ll be fine come August.
The last scrimmage, everybody was kind of sluggish and didn’t know what to expect. This scrimmage felt more like a game. We came out and competed. That’s what I like to see.”
Hey, just wait for August, man,’…They came a long way [from last year]. I know Cam played a lot last year. Best one-two punch in the country…Watch.’.. I don’t know how to explain it…We’ve got a hole in our line and they’re meshing how it’s supposed to be. Next man up.”
The Miami running game wasn’t the only part of the Hurricanes offense that thrived on Saturday. With Ohio State transfer Tate Martell continuing to struggle at quarterback, Jarren Williams and N’Kosi Perry were efficient. Harris praised Williams’ play in Saturday’s scrimmage.
“Jarren did well’…He’s a little sick right now but he’s getting up there. He’s getting to the next level. All the quarterbacks are doing great.’’
Williams overcame a slight illness on Saturday. The Hurricanes scored three touchdowns and a field goal on the Williams’ drive. The Georgia native finished 7-12 for 79 yards. Perry started the game with the first team offense. The rising redshirt sophomore finished 9-15 for 78 yards.
If the Hurricanes can solidify the offensive line heading into summer training camp the running game might be able to carry the Miami QB and the passing game. Dallas, Harris and Lingard provide a lot of depth and versatility on the ground. While the Miami passing game struggled in 2018, the running game was effective.
The Hurricanes finished 45th in FBS averaging 191.46 rushing yards per game. Miami was 23rd with a 5.2 yards per carry average in 2018. The expectation is for the Hurricanes passing game to improve under new offensive coordinator Dan Enos.
With the uncertainty at QB and in the passing game, the Hurricanes would be wise to rely on the run early in 2019. They will get tested opening night against Florida August 24 in Orlando.