Practice Report: Aug. 19

CORAL GABLES, Fla. - The Hurricanes held a scrimmage in the morning and will have their first day off tomorrow after 16 practices in 13 days.

"We'll learn a lot from today. We extended the team today pretty good. We still have a lot of things we need to do conditioning-wise. As a football team I don't think we are good enough to beat Florida State right now, but we don't play for a few days. We got a lot of work we need to do. I don't know how good Florida State, but we are not as good as we can be. I'm just assuming that's not good enough to beat Florida State."

"I was really pleased with the offensive style. We really gave our playmakers opportunities to make plays. We just have to do a better job of coming up with those plays."

· The defense recorded four interceptions today including two returned for touchdowns by CB Randy Phillips and S Willie Cooper. CBs Bruce Johnson and Chavez Grant also had interceptions.

· RB Charlie Jones was held out of practice today after practicing yesterday for the first time since Aug. 9 due to a hamstring injury. Derron Thomas was also held out with a groin injury. Coker said: "He hasn't practice and we didn't want to put him out there on a day like today when he really hasn't practiced."

· WR Sam Shields had a good day catching "five or six passes" including a 50-yard reception according to quarterback Kyle Wright.

· OL Chris Rutledge has been the first-team right tackle this week with Cyrim Wimbs rotating in as Tyrone Byrd is still out with a knee injury. Rutledge still has progress to be made in order to be a starter on the team. Byrd was progressing well before the injury and will re-gain his spot once he is healthy.

· The running backs on the first unit are having a tough time running against the first unit defense. They typically get their yards against the second and third-team defense. Coker praised the backs today for running north-south, which is encouraging to hear on the younger backs.

· WRs Darnell Jenkins, Lance Leggett, and Sam Shields are expected to be big-play receivers this year. All three are amongst the top five fastest players on the team.

· OLs Anthony Wollschlager and Derrick Morse has been the most consistent linemen this fall.

· TE Greg Olsen is still a solid option in the passing game. "Greg is always going to get the ball no matter what," Kyle Wright said. "Teams will try to double-team him and take him out of the equation, but we have some guys on the outside they are going to have to respect."

· The Hurricanes checked in at number 12 in the preseason AP Poll released yesterday. "It's a starting point," Coker said. "In college football, as you win games, you move up. It doesn't matter where you start; it matters where you end."

· The team resumes practice Monday in the morning after their first day off on Sunday.

Christopher Stock can be reached at

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