Canes take to Hard Rock for final tune-up, Diaz comments

Canes take to Hard Rock for final tune-up, Diaz comments

Stefan Adams
Head coach Manny Diaz and the Miami Hurricanes held their third and final scrimmage of the fall on Friday night, with all the action taking place at Hard Rock Stadium.

“It felt great to be back at Hard Rock Stadium. We had some players that never even seen Hard Rock Stadium,” Diaz said. “Tyler Van Dyke has never seen the stadium with grass on it. D'Eriq King was only here on his official visit so, just to get out here and get out and play and have the scoreboards on and just have some sort of gameday atmosphere I think was really good for our guys.”

With UM’s season opener against UAB now less than a week away, Diaz and the coaching staff tried to simulate a game day atmosphere as best they could for their players, with crowd noise blaring over the speakers and music played between downs. After using an offense vs. defense format for the first two scrimmages, the Hurricanes faced off against a set “opponent”, who were intended to mimic the Blazers.

“We put Miami on one sideline and had some other guys that are simulating UAB on the other sidelines, so you've got your kicking substitutions and mechanically I thought we were sound in terms of having the right guys on the field and procedurally,” Diaz said. “That was positive because with UAB playing a game ahead of us, they were able to work some of those things out. We've got to be ready to go on Thursday.”

In order to create a more challenging environment for his players, Diaz started the game with the Canes in a deficit to see if they could keep their composure.

“We wanted to create a bit of urgency, so we started down 24 to nothing at the start of the second quarter because you want to try to create that panic. Will there be any type of pressing? I was very pleased,” Diaz said. “We went out there and went to work.”

Redshirt senior QB D'Eriq King looked to be more than ready for his Miami debut next week, as he recorded a 24 for 34 passing line for 330 yards and six TD passes, plus 9 rushes for 94 yards on the ground.

“You're starting to see his ability, not only with his arm but with his feet, as well, so very encouraging,” Diaz said of King. “I thought everybody was pretty sharp; good tune-up to get ready for Thursday.”

King’s weapons had strong days as well, beginning with senior WR Mike Harley leading all receivers with 5 receptions for 78 yards and a TD. Redshirt freshman WR Jeremiah Payton also posted 3 catches for 95 yards and a TD, while junior WR Mark Pope hauled in 4 catches for 65 yards and a pair of scores. Junior RB Cam’Ron Harris and junior TE Will Mallory each caught touchdowns, while freshman WR Michael Redding also grabbed a pair of touchdown catches.

“That's the whole key. You've got to finish drives and I thought our execution, we did a bunch of different things down there and I thought we were crisp,” Diaz said. “No assignment issues and everyone seemed to know what to do and do it at a high level.”

Up front on defense, junior DT Nesta Silvera, redshirt senior DE Quincy Roche, redshirt freshman DE Cameron Williams, and sophomore LB Sam Brooks each had a sack, while redshirt freshman DT Jared Harrison-Hunte double-dipped for a pair of QB takedowns.

“We're going to have to have some depth as well, so even when the other guys went in, I thought we were able to be disruptive with the front like what you would expect,” Diaz said of his front seven. “It was a little bit of a mismatch the way was set up for tonight, but they still did their job and made it very difficult, not just on the running game, but for the quarterback to hold on the football, so we were pleased with that.”

Unlike most of the college football world, the Canes find themselves in a unique position in that they will have some 2020 tape of their first opponent available to study over the next few days. UAB defeated FCS program Central Arkansas, 45-35, in their first game of the season last night, and while that score might seem like it was a close game, Diaz felt UAB is a better team than they showed in their opener.

“The score was very misleading,” Diaz said. “The strength of UAB's team is their defense and Central Arkansas got a four-yard touchdown drive, 15-yard touchdown drive, they score on defense, they scored twice against the backups in the fourth.

“You still see a very, very good defensive football team in UAB, an outstanding rushing attack, very balanced, multiple guys going in there and running for big yards, and you still see (Austin) Watkins as their leading receiver and the tight ends were dynamic -- especially in the red zone. They’re a very experienced team who's been in games. The moment will not be too big to them and we know we'll have to play our best to beat them.”
 

Comments (28)

Six TD passes does not sit well with me. I expect to see an improved offense but enough that the defense cant keep the O out of the end zone? For a great Miami defense thats a lot of TD's for two games. On to UAB.
Somebody doesn't know how scrimmages work. The1st string offense was going against the scout team and vice-versa. Hence, the 24pt advantage for the scout team/ simulated UAB team.
 
Six TD passes does not sit well with me. I expect to see an improved offense but enough that the defense cant keep the O out of the end zone? For a great Miami defense thats a lot of TD's for two games. On to UAB.
Huh six td's concern you!...huh did you mean da defense concerns you?... Cuz it was da scout team not da 1's or even da 2's might've been da 3's and some walkons.
 
“We wanted to create a bit of urgency, so we started down 24 to nothing at the start of the second quarter because you want to try to create that panic.
At least Manny's using some lessons learned from last season! Wonder if they have any booing sound tracks, that would be a great motivator.
 
The one thing im going to be focused onnis slight improvement during the course of the game. Baby steps.
The other is that all high expectations transcends on the field.
 

2021 Commits

S
6'5"
220
Fort Lauderdale, FL
DT
6'4"
255
Miami, FL
OG
6'2"
295
Miami, FL
DT
6'4"
290
Miami, FL
DE
6'5"
210
Miami, FL
WR
6'2"
180
Miami, FL
RB
6'0"
225
Hollywood, FL
TE
6'4"
210
Frisco, TX
STR
6'3"
190
Melbourne, FL
S
5'11"
200
Miami, FL

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2020 Schedule

09/10
UAB
Miami Gardens, FL
W 31 - 14
09/19
Louisville
Louisville, KY
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Florida State
Miami Gardens, FL
10/10
Clemson
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Pittsburgh
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10/24
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11/06
NC State
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11/14
Virginia Tech
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11/21
Georgia Tech
Miami Gardens, FL
11/28
Wake Forest
Winston-Salem, NC
12/05
North Carolina
Miami Gardens, FL
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