Spring Game Recap: Defense

MIAMI - The Hurricane defense dominated the spring game holding the offense to 204 yards on 73 plays and held them without a first down in the first six possessions.

SPRING GAME SCORING BREAKDOWN

Offense
1st Down = 1 point
Field Goal = 3 points
Touchdown = 6 points
Extra Point = 1 points
Gain of 30-plus yards = 1 point

Defense
3 & Out = 1 point
Turnover = 6 points
Defensive TD = 10 points

SPRING GAME RECAP: DEFENSE

MIAMI - The defense dominated Miami's spring game as the offense managed just one scoring drive, which resulted in a 28-yard field goal by Jon Peattie.

The offense failed to score a touchdown and managed just three plays of 10 yards or more.

The final score was UM defense 31, UM offense 14.

The Hurricanes defense has consistently been one of the best in the country since Randy Shannon took over as coordinator in 2001, so its success should come as no surprise despite having three top players out with injuries: defensive backs Brandon Meriweather (shoulder), Glenn Sharpe (knee) and Anthony Reddick (knee).

Kenny Phillips recovered a Charlie Jones fumble on the first series of the game, and Bruce Johnson and Lovon Ponder had interceptions.

Phillips, who was a Freshman All-American in 2005, was pleased with the defense's performance. But he doesn't believe the offense, under new coordinator Rich Olson, showed everything they are capable of doing.

"You can't show everything," Phillips said. "With the things they have put in, they have done a lot of positive things throughout the spring when the practices were closed."

Four players on defense tied for the team-high in solo tackles with five. James Bryant, a converted fullback, was one.

"He can make plays at linebacker," head coach Larry Coker said. "He is very aggressive and very physical. He just has to learn what to do at the linebacker position."

Coach Larry Coker said he planned on keeping things "pretty generic" in the spring game, but he could not have been pleased with the offense starting the game with six straight possessions without a first down.

"Obviously defensively we are pretty dominant," Coker said.

TOP PLAYERS

S Kenny Phillips - 1 fumble recovery, 3 tackles

LB James Bryant - 5 solo tackles, 3 for loss

DE Vegas Franklin - 5 solo tackles, 3 for loss

CB Bruce Johnson - 1 interception

S Lovon Ponder - 1 interception, 5 tackles.

DE Calais Campbell - 2 tackles, 1 sack

LB Jon Beason - 3 tackles, played a lot as the nickel back

DL Bryan Pata - showed his versatility by playing defensive tackle

DT Luqman Abdallah - provided plenty of pressure up front

S Willie Cooper - recorded a team-high 6 tackles

Christopher Stock can be reached at stock@canestime.com


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