Football, Sports

Miller, Spence provide highlights in spring game

Coach Al Golden watches the spring game from the sideline at Lockhart Stadium on Saturday, April 16. Olivier Vernon (35), attempts to tackle Jacory Harris (12). Autograph signing took place at 10:00 am and kickoff was at noon. Green defeated the Orange team 30-17. Carissa Harris//The Miami Hurricane

The University of Miami football players had their final opportunity to compete and impress in the 2011 spring game on a cloudy and humid Saturday afternoon at Lockhart Stadium.

The green team defeated the orange team 30-17 in the intra-squad scrimmage, but the final score was not what the Miami faithful took away from the game.

For fans, it was a chance to get a lasting impression to carry into the fall after an offseason that completely remodeled the coaching staff following the Canes’ forgettable 2010 season.

Several position battles, highlighted by the duel for the starting quarterback position between junior Jacory Harris and freshman Stephen Morris, were highly contested Saturday.

“I’m just going to keep working,” Harris said. “It’s like anything else in life. You have to compete for everything.”

Morris, who started in four games last season, is embracing the competition as well.

“It makes you go hard, makes you work hard in the weight room,” he said. “Competition only brings good.”

Offensively, Miami was most effective in the running game. Sophomore Lamar Miller utilized his 10 carries to total 166 yards and three touchdowns. In the passing game, Jedd Fisch drew up plenty of check-down passes to get his quarterbacks comfortable, and he mixed in the occasional deep ball.

The two quarterbacks, who were without wide receivers LaRon Byrd, Aldarius Johnson and Travis Benjamin, threw for decent completion percentages but turned the ball over on several plays that were reminiscent of last season’s struggles.

Harris was 18 of 30 for 149 yards, no touchdowns and two interceptions, while Morris completed 14 of his 22 passes, threw a touchdown pass to Kendal Thompkins and also tossed two picks.

“I thought the quarterbacks struggled,” said Brad Kenin, a first-year graduate student and Hurricane fan. “They didn’t display good pocket presence.”

Head coach Al Golden attributed the turnovers more to the solid defense than to mistakes by the quarterbacks, with whom the defenders could not make contact. He did not name a starter for the fall.

“That’s too far in advance. I just want to see them compete,” Golden said. “We’ll let them compete for the next 140 days and see who’s going to start.”

The team’s defensive ends were strong, with Sean Spence and Ray Ray Armstrong highlighting the day’s action behind them. Spence returned an interception for a touchdown that resulted in a bench-clearing celebration at the goal post that he deemed similar to the notorious celebration in the Florida-Georgia game in 2007.

Questions still remain on what the Canes will do at cornerback after losing seniors Demarcus Van Dyke and Ryan Hill and junior Brandon Harris, who decided to forgo his senior year to enter the NFL draft.

“You can’t replace those guys,” Spence said. “But I think guys are doing a great job of stepping up, taking ownership and playing their role.”

More than 100 football alumni filed onto the sidelines to watch their alma mater’s scrimmage.

“It’s a special group,” Golden said. “That’s a family.”

Thirty-three members of the 2001 Hurricane team, who brought Miami its fifth national championship in football, were honored at halftime.

“It kind of makes me feel old,” said former Cane great and All-Pro Minnesota Vikings left tackle Bryant McKinnie.

For fans looking forward, the Canes’ next game is their regular season debut at Maryland, a Labor Day showdown that will air on ESPN Sept. 5.

David Furones may be contacted at

April 16, 2011


David Furones

Senior Sports Writer

Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

A six-pack of Canes notes on a Thursday: • Defensive coordinator Manny Diaz has an interesting theor ...

Juwan Dowels vividly remembers his first winter on the Syracuse University campus. Like the other 11 ...

The University of Miami football team has another player with a season-ending injury — and this one ...

University of Miami men’s basketball coach Jim Larrañaga received a grand jury subpoena for his phon ...

Get ready for an avalanche of University of Miami defensive backs and linemen descending on the Hard ...

Univeristy of Miami’s Wynwood Art Gallery holds its annual faculty exhibition featuring thought-prov ...

From a game simulating how whales navigate to a tribute to Ella Fitzgerald, the U showcased some of ...

A new mobile game called Blues and Reds, now available worldwide, aims to help researchers study int ...

A major Lancet Commission report, a three-year project headed by UM’s Professor Felicia Knaul and co ...

With a $6.8 million NIH grant, the UM School of Nursing and Health Studies and FIU Robert Stempel Co ...

The Miami soccer team registered a 3-0 victory over Pittsburgh Thursday night at Cobb Stadium behind ...

Five members of the Miami women's tennis team will open play Friday at the ITA Southeast Region ...

As a Hurricane Club member, you are invited to participate in the 25th Annual University of Miami Ha ...

Here are three matchups to watch Saturday as the Hurricanes take on the Syracuse Orange at Hard Rock ...

The University of Miami men's basketball team will begin the season as No. 12 in the USA TODAY ...

TMH Twitter Feed
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.