5 things to watch in Miami football 2023 spring game

Apr 20, 2019; Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 20, 2019; Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports /

The Miami football program will conclude spring practice on Friday night at DRV PNK Stadium with their spring game at 7:30 PM. There will be 23 new players in the spring game and several new coaches making their Miami debuts in the spring game. All of the coaches and players have statements to make in the spring game.

After a 5-7 season this spring has been important for Mario Cristobal and his staff to reset the culture. Twenty Miami football players transferred to other programs following the 2023 season. Several positions should be upgraded entering the 2023 season. Several are worth watching in the spring game.

How will the system look under new offensive coordinator Shannon Dawson?

Tyler Van Dyke told the media on Thursday that Dawson lets the Miami QBs play with freedom. Expect more deep balls on Saturday. Van Dyke needs the WRs to become playmakers on Saturday. Van Dyke also stated to reporters that the offense will be more balanced. Backup Jacurri Brown’s accuracy is also worth watching.

Multiple fronts under new defensive coordinator Lance Guidry

Cristobal stated not to expect Miami to reveal much defensively or offensively on Saturday. Van Dyke mentioned to reporters that Guidry likes to use a lot of twists. Although not a lot will be revealed on Friday night, where players line up and some different formations used by Guidry are worth watching.

Which wide receivers can be playmakers?

Nathaniel Joseph, Xavier Restrepo and Brashard Smith have been impressive in the slot this spring. The slot will be the deepest position Miami receiver position in 2023. Jacolby George, Isaiah Horton and Colbie Young have had good springs. How they play in the spring game could determine how aggressively Miami adds transfers.

How will the rebuilt offensive line perform

Miami has rebuilt nearly its entire offensive line during the 2023 off-season. The Hurricanes are likely to have four new starters on the OL in 2023. Any performance by the OL in the spring game will be helped by the Miami DL missing several players in the rotation with injuries. Javion Cohen and Matt Lee have quickly become leaders.

How the positions with new coaches will perform

Dawson will coach the QBs. Other new position coaches are Tim Harris Jr. at RB, Kevin Beard at WR, Cody Woodiel at TE, Jason Taylor at DL and Derek Nicholson at linebacker. Harris Jr. has a difficult task with most of the RBs missing due to injuries and summer freshmen arrivals. The DL also has significant injuries.

Beard has already made an impact with the WR play improving throughout spring practice. Washington State transfer Francisco Mauigoa has made improving the LB corps easier for Nicholson. Taylor and Co-DL coach Joe Salave’a have the respect of the Miami players as long-time NFL players.

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The month of development has been critical for the Miami football program. The spring game will provide a glimpse into what the new systems and added players can provide Miami in 2023. Training camp in August will provide Cristobal and his staff more clarity with nine freshmen and any added spring transfers arriving.