Miami defense looks strong in scrimmage

The defense looked strong and the offense has made some improvements since the spring, said University of Miami football coach Larry Coker after the Hurricanes held their first fall scrimmage, Wednesday afternoon at Greentree Field.

"Our defense really stood up and made some plays down there on the goal line," Coker said. "You kind of take some of the good with the bad in that situation, but our offense did some good things today as well."

The Hurricanes defensive unit held the offense to two fields goals on seperate occasions down on the goal line, during the 55 minute scrimmage. Coker also praised the kicking unit for their efficiency on several extra point attempts.

Sophomore linebacker Jonathan Vilma, who has been lining up with the second-team for much of the week, suprised Coker with his performance in the scrimmage, despite missing most of the spring and several days earlier this week with a knee injury. Vilma damaged his left knee menicus while riding a jet ski several months ago.

"Jon has suprised us from the standpoint that we thought he would be a little bit rusty," Coker said. "It really looks like he hasn't missed a beat. He's definitely in the thick of things."

Freshmen Frank Gore and Sean Taylor also performed well in the scrimmage and undoubtedly are making the coaching staff aware of their ability on the football field. Gore holds the all-time rushing record for a single season in Dade-County after compiling 2,953 yards and 34 touchdowns as a senior at Coral Gables High. Taylor had over100 tackles at Miami Gulliver Prep.

"Sean Taylor is a goof football player. He is definitely going to help us," Coker said.

Although the offense did not find the end zone quite as often as he would have liked, junior quarterback Ken Dorsey did see some encouraging signs that the unit is improving.

"I'm never happy whenever we don't score, but I felt we did some good things and moved the ball," Dorsey said. "I was proud of the defense the way they stepped it up down there. I have confidence in that those guys will get the job done.

Dorsey also commended the receivers for some of the things the group accomplished.

"We've been working hard all summer and it showed today. Our timing is much better."


Redshirt junior defensive end Jerome McDougle, who collapsed near the end of practice Tuesday morning, could be released from the hospital as early as Thursday morning and could rejoin the team Friday, according to Dr. John Uribe.

Uribe said that McDougle would be kept overnight at HealthSouth Doctors' Hospital for further evaluation and a series of blood test. Uribe said that McDougle was cleared of any brain damage after performing an MRI earlier in the day. The test was done to reveal any swelling of the brain or tumor.

According to Uribe, a combination of the heat and over excursion caused McDougle to pass out. Uribe said the reason McDougle felt fatigued towards the end of practice was that he did not have breakfast before heading to school.

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