Miami football ready for their dress rehearsal in Orlando Saturday

ORLANDO, FL - DECEMBER 28:. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
ORLANDO, FL - DECEMBER 28:. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /

Throughout the last month of practice, Head Coach Manny Diaz has referred to the Miami football spring game as a dress rehearsal in Orlando. With all the practices in Coral Gables behind them, the Hurricanes head to Orlando for their final scrimmage this spring.

The Miami football team will begin their 2019 season in Orlando at Camping World Stadium against Florida August 24. The Hurricanes initially made the decision to have the game near the Magic Kingdom because the Rolling Stones concert was scheduled to be held at Hard Rock Stadium this weekend.

When the Stones had to cancel their concert tour because of an illness to lead singer Mick Jagger it was too late for the Miami football team to back out. Manny Diaz has also repeatedly said this spring he views it as a dress rehearsal for the Camping World Kickoff game in August. Over half of the Miami football staff is new for 2019.

The trip to Orlando gives the Hurricanes staff a chance to get into a road game-day routine. It will get the players and staff familiar with the stadium, locker room and being in Orlando before they concentrate more on playing Florida. Diaz wants the team to get acclimated to being on the road together.

The Miami football team has an entirely new offensive coaching staff entering Diaz’s first season. The Hurricanes also have new co-defensive coordinator Blake Baker and defensive line coach Todd Stroud. The hotel and locker rooms are what Miami will use in August. Diaz set up the weekend with reporters after practice Thursday.

"“This is the first time that we’re going to be, you know, in the hotel with [offensive coordinator Dan Enos] or [defensive coordinator Blake Baker] and [see] how we do things.We’re going to get dressed in the same locker room that we get dressed in in August and we’re gonna be on the same sideline, as opposed to where we were last week and [we’ll] try to create as much of that game-day feel.We know it’s going to be ramp up to 11 on August 24. But at least we’ll have been there and taken a few cuts in the on-deck circle.”"

Diaz has quickly set a new culture and way of doing things in Coral Gables than his predecessor and former boss Mark Richt did. Diaz has infused a new life into the Miami Football team. Cornerbacks coach Mike Rumph who had the same job under Richt loves Diaz’s idea to have the spring game in Orlando.

"“I think it’s a genius idea by Coach Diaz to put us in a situation that we’ll be in on the 24th of August when we play the Florida Gators. I think is great because you see how the kids react when they stay overnight. You see how they are with their roommates. You see how they warm up or how they react and how they progress to the game.This is the situation where we can mentally pretend that we’re getting ready for the game. … We can’t get enough of those reps and preparation for what we’re going to do in August.”"

The team that takes the field at Camping World Stadium on Saturday will be different than the one that takes the field against Florida in August. The Hurricanes are missing several players this spring. Injuries and players that haven’t arrived yet have limited the Hurricanes depth this spring. Reinforcements will arrive this summer.

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Diaz, Enos, Baker and co-defensive coordinators, Baker and Ephraim Banda have had to move players around to be able to practice and scrimmage. The offensive line has had a few players in new positions. On defense, Baker and Banda have had to deal with a plethora of injuries at backup linebacker.