Offense Makes A Move In Scrimmage

University of Miami left tackle Eric Winston isn't about to jump for joy over an offense that is still trying to find its way a couple of weeks before the Hurricanes' season opener. But Winston will take the results of Wednesday's first full scrimmage of the fall and run with them - for now.

"I'm not going to say that the offense is hitting on all cylinders just yet," said Winston after the Hurricanes' quarterbacks combined for 332 passing yards and a touchdown pass in the 69-play scrimmage at Greentree Field Wednesday afternoon.

"We're still putting the ball on the ground way too much so thankfully we have a couple weeks before the start of the season. And going against four potential All-American defensive linemen and guys that nobody in the nation has a clue how good they are like Rocky (McIntosh) and Baraka (Atkins) nothing is going to come easy."

Despite several ball-snapping miscues between starting junior quarterback Brock Berlin and center Joel Rodriguez, and turnovers, including a recovery by Al Marshall on a Tyrone Moss fumble, the Hurricanes' offense compiled 448 total yards (6.5 yards a play).

Back-up junior quarterback Derrick Crudup led the way with 152 passing yards and a 29-yard touchdown pass to freshman fullback Jon Beason. Crudup also directed the second unit down the field on a drive that ended with a Jarrett Payton eight-yard touchdown run.

Tyrone Moss paced all rushers with 48 yards on 11 carries, while redshirt-freshman receiver Ryan Moore had three receptions for 56 yards. Sophomore Mark Gent went 2-for-4 in field goal attempts, nailing 21 and 27-yarders respectively, while missing from 44 and 33 yards out. Gent's 27-yarder was set up in large part by freshman receiver Devin Hester who made a spectacular over the shoulder catch of a Marc Guillon pass.

"This is what we needed," said UM Coach Larry Coker. "We actually got to play the game today, and we saw a lot of good things, and we saw a lot of flaws. I think we moved the ball pretty well on offense, and I think both of our top two quarterbacks played well. We had a muffed snap and a couple of turnovers that were big."

Despite playing without a full deck, the defense managed to hold its own by allowing just two touchdowns in 17 drives. Antrel Rolle, Leon Williams, Tavares Gooden and Glenn Cook led the defense with five tackles apiece. Gooden added the only recorded quarterback sack of the scrimmage.

UM junior safety Sean Taylor was assisted off the field after apparently getting his right knee rolled over on the play in which Marshall recovered a fumble. But Taylor, who was noticeably limping, said after the scrimmage that the injury isn't serious.

"I'm straight, I'm straight," said Taylor. "Everything will be fine."

Starting middle linebacker Jonathan Vilma (pulled hamstring) and weakside linebacker D. J. Williams (left ankle sprain), who both did not practice Wednesday morning, were held out of the scrimmage.

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