Spring Game Report

The Offense bested the Defense, 35-16, as the Miami Hurricanes football team ended 2002 Spring Practice with a full-scale scrimmage before a crowd of 14,432 fans in FOX SportsNet CanesFest Saturday afternoon at the Orange Bowl.

An efficient passing game by the offense, along with a tough defense against the run, were the hallmarks of the Spring Game as the defending national champions went through an extensive scrimmage before the largest crowd ever at a UM Spring CanesFest event.

The Hurricanes played a full four quarters using a scoring system that enabled the defense to compete against the offense for points, allowing the team's units to perform intact in a game situation for a full 60 minutes. Points were awarded in the normal fashion for the offense (6 points for a touchdown, 1 for an extra-point kick, 3 points for a field goal) plus a bonus point for each first down. The defense was awarded 10 points for any touchdown scored via a turnover, 3 points for a turnover gained and 1 point each time they stopped the offense three plays without gaining a first down.

The UM offense scored two touchdowns (12 points), two point-after kicks (2 points), two field goals (6 points), and gained 15 first downs (15 points) to amass their 35 points. The Hurricanes defense collected 16 three-and-out possessions, but did not collect a turnover, for their 16 points. The team scrimmaged for 94 plays in the game and the offense amassed 298 total yards (3.2 yards per play), including 238 through the air and 60 rushing on 57 attempts (1.1 avg.).

Starting quarterback Ken Dorsey played the first three series of the scrimmage, completing six of 10 pass attempts for 86 yards without throwing an interception. He threw a short scoring pass to split end Andre Johnson on the game's third scrimmage, but the play was nullified by a penalty. That 74-yard, nine-play drive - the lone scoring march with Dorsey in command - was capped by a 23-yard field goal by Todd Sievers.

Second-team quarterback Derrick Crudup led seven possessions and completed six of 11 attempts for 70 yards and one touchdown without throwing an interception. Crudup led an 80-yard, nine-play drive that ended in a 13-yard touchdown pass to tight end Brandon Sebald early in the second quarter.

It was tough going for the UM rushing game as the Hurricanes struggled to make a dent in UM's imposing front line. The Miami defense showed why its front seven is expected to be among college football's best and the unit racked up nine quarterback sacks and held Hurricanes rushers to barely a yard per attempt. Tailback Willis McGahee led all rushers with 40 yards on 14 attempts, including one 19-yard burst. Tailback Jarrett Payton rushed for 29 yards on 11 carries and fullback Quadtrine Hill rushed for 22 yards on eight carries, scoring the only rushing touchdown of the day on a six-yard run in the fourth quarter.

Linebacker Leon Williams and defensive end Orien Harris, both redshirt freshmen, led all tacklers with eight stops each. Starting middle linebacker Jonathan Vilma had seven tackles and garnered two quarterback sacks. Other defensive standouts included end Jerome McDougle (seven tackles, one sack), end Jamaal Green (five tackles, two sacks), end John Square (four tackles, two sacks), end Javon Nanton (three tackles, one sack), and end Thomas Carroll (six stops, one-half sack).

Tight end Kellen Winslow was the leading receiver of the day with three catches and his 57 yards tied with flanker Roscoe Parrish (two catches) for the lead in receiving yards. Winslow had a 19-yard catch from Dorsey to highlight the games first scoring drive. Parrish had the game's longest catch with a 31-yard grab of a Crudup pass that keyed a touchdown march in the second quarter.

Miami's two outstanding kicking specialists - kicker Todd Sievers and punter Freddie Capshaw - closed Spring Practice with an excellent performance. Sievers made both field goal attempts - kicks of 23 and 51 yards - and averaged 45 yards on two punts as the backup punter. Capshaw had a 51-yard punt to highlight a day in which he punted four times for a 39.3 average.

The close of Spring Practice marked the end of head coach Larry Coker's second Spring in charge of the Hurricanes. Miami is slated to officially open Fall camp on August 6 when Newcomers are scheduled to report. Veterans are currently slated to return on August 8. The Hurricanes will open the 2002 football season on Saturday, August 31, against Florida A&M at the Orange Bowl.

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