Defense Wins the Day at Miami Hurricanes Scrimmage

RALEIGH, NC - NOVEMBER 19: Malek Young
RALEIGH, NC - NOVEMBER 19: Malek Young /

The Miami Hurricanes defense won the day at their first scrimmage on Saturday. Head Coach Mark Richt stopped short of calling his defense dominant.

There was clear separation yesterday in some positions. The upperclassmen at quarterback played better against the Miami Hurricanes defense.

The Miami defense was able to get to the quarterbacks and forced a few turnovers. The front seven was fairly locked in heading into training camp. All of the starting front seven returns and six of the seven second-string on the front seven is also back.

The question for the Miami Hurricanes defense heading into 2017 was the secondary. Miami had to replace three of the four starters from last season.

According to Richt the first string defense “won the day” against the second team offense. Richt elaborated:

"“Our defense is very good, we all know that,” (Defensive coordinator Manny Diaz) “was dialing up a few beauties and we were having a tough time picking things up at times so the ball got thrown to the wrong spots sometimes under pressure.”"

The lone returning starter is in the secondary is Jaquan Johnson who started five games last season. Cornerback Malek Young started four a season ago. Young is likely to be the nickleback in 2017.

The cornerbacks seem certain to be manned by two transfers. Dee Delaney comes to Miami as a Graduate transfer from the Citadel. He was a two time FCS All-American with the Bulldogs.

Jhavonte Dean was one of the most highly sought after Junior College Cornerbacks last season. He originally committed to Alabama but flipped to Miami.

Speaking about his defense on Saturday Richt said:

"“For the most part, the No. 1 defense had a good day,…Richt would not call the defense “totally dominant”."

Richt and Diaz were able to get a look at the majority of their roster defensively. Those who got on the stat sheet were:

  • LB Darrion Owens 6 tackles
  • S Romeo Finley, 5 tackles, INT
  • LB Shaq Quarterman 4 tackles
  • CB

    Malek Young

    2 tackles, INT

    Young has made an impact virtually every time he takes the field. He impressed his Head Coach. Richt said:

    "“He seems to have an interception every time we have a scrimmage”"

  • S Jaquan Johnson 2 tackles, Blocked FG
  • DE Joe Jackson, 2 tackles, sack
  • DL Scott Patchan 4 tackles, 3 TFL, 2 sacks
  • LB Bradley Jennings, Jr. 4 tackles

  • S Sheldrick Redwine, 4 tackles
  • LB Terry McCray, 3 tackles

    S Amari Carter, 3 tackles

  • LB Mike Smith, 3 tackles
  • S Derrick Smith, 3 tackles

    DB Tyler Murphy, 3 tackles

    Heading into the third week of practice and preparing for the second scrimmage next Saturday the defensive line and secondary are the areas to watch.

    The rebuilt secondary is still learning. Dean, Delaney, Johnson and Redwine should be the leaders of what is a mostly Young and inexperienced group. Carter, Finley, Derrick Smith and Young should all be in the mix.

    Upfront Miami has experience and talent. The backups should still be able to push for time. On the edges Trent Harris, Jackson and Thomas will make impacts. Demetrius Jackson, Freshman D.J. Johnson, and Patchan are all in the mix for playing time this season.

    R.J. McIntosh and Kendrick Norton also return at the tackles. Andrew Moten is a quality backup inside. Patchan could also be a candidate to play inside. Miami lost defensive tackle Gerald Willis who is taking the season off. His future with Miami is in question.

    Next: For Miami Hurricanes Football Legacies Are Important

    Miami will get back to practice Monday before playing their second scrimmage on campus Saturday. All of the scrimmages will be closed to the public.