Miami football will limit what they do in spring game

ORLANDO, FL - DECEMBER 28: David Njoku
ORLANDO, FL - DECEMBER 28: David Njoku /

The Miami football team will play a vanilla offense and limit what they do on defense in Saturday’s spring game in Orlando. The Hurricanes coaching staff will be focusing on execution.

Most football programs use a basic game plan during the spring game. It’s a time for players to get in reps and make sure that they are in the proper place and understand their system. The Miami football team’s co-defensive coordinator Blake Baker reiterated that most programs do not show their hand in the spring game.

All eyes will be on the Miami Hurricanes quarterbacks on Saturday. Head coach Manny Diaz said during practice this week that Tate Martell, N’Kosi Perry and Jarren Williams will take an equal amount of reps on Saturday in Orlando. None of the three has done enough to emerge as the starter this spring.

The battle to be the first-team quarterback on the Miami football team will continue through fall. Martell has lingered behind Perry and Williams play this spring. He was an abysmal 4-11 in last Saturday’s scrimmage. Diaz added that none of the three Miami QBs are ready to play yet and that they all need reps.

The Hurricanes are also using the weekend as a DeFacto preseason road game. Miami will get used to the hotel, locker room and stadium in Orlando ahead of the season opener August 24 against Florida. Diaz stated that the setup in Orlando will be similar to how Miami ran scrimmages the last two Saturdays.

"“The setup will be very similar to what we’ve done the last two weeks where we’ll play a little bit of a minigame…We’re trying to just introduce our guys into game situations as much as possible…The only thing that we add this week is a road trip, so… we’re going to get dressed the same locker room [in which] we’re going to be dressed in August, and we’re going to be on the same sideline."

The entire Miami offense is learning a new system this spring. Keeping the play calling simple gives the players a chance to get acclimated to what new offensive coordinator Dan Enos expects. Enos wants to see how the quarterbacks handle adversity. He will also have a close eye on the offensive line.

Injuries on the O-line, at wide receiver and tight end, will give Enos a chance to grade players in a game situation who might not have gotten as many reps with a healthy Miami roster. Center Corey Gaynor, tight end Brevin Jordan and wide receivers Brian Hightower and Jeff Thomas are among the players who are out Saturday.

Baker wants to see the players limit their mistakes and to enjoy the process of playing together this weekend. The modern dissemination of information has added a lot of pressure to College Football. The spring should be about building team chemistry and developing the players’ talents.

Baker spoke to the Sun-Sentinel and the Miami Herald about what to expect from the defense at the Spring game.

"“The first thing is execution…But I want to see them having fun, play together. Obviously great, great effort and great energy, you know. If they can do those things, the rest will take care of itself.“We’ll limit what we do…Every spring game we don’t really show our hand. We’ll be simple. I just want to see them execute.”"

Next. Several Miami Hurricanes defenders look to make spring game impact. dark

The scrutiny on Saturday will be on Martell more than anyone else. His play has been uneven this spring. Perry and Williams have shown far more consistency. Defensively, defensive tackle and the secondary are the primary positions to watch. Developing depth at linebacker is also critical.