Spring Game Analysis: White Team

A position-by-position breakdown of the White team, who lost 7-0 in the spring game yesterday.


Junior Kirby Freeman was not particularly efficient, going 8-for-19, but he did throw the longest pass play of the scrimmage. On the first play of the second half, Freeman threw a 41 yard pass to Khalil Jones. But on the next play, Freeman threw an interception to Chavez Grant at the one-yardline that was intended for Jones. Freeman had little time to throw the ball and often had defensive end Calais Campbell all over him when he dropped back to pass. Freeman utilizes his tight ends well and looked most comfortable during the two-minute drill in which he threatened to score at the end of the scrimmage.


The running backs did not have a productive day for the white squad. Javarris James rushed for 1 yard on 5 carries and his practice was cut short due to injury. After the scrimmage, James was seen on crutches with ice on his right ankle and right knee. Kylan Robinson did not have a stellar day either, rushing for just 12 yards on 12 attempts with a long run of eight yards. Both running backs had to run behind an offensive line that had trouble opening any holes.


Khalil Jones was the only scholarship wide receiver on the white squad and he still made an impact on the scrimmage. On the first play of the second half, Khalil Jones made a 41-yard catch from Freeman as he wrestled the ball from cornerback Carlos Armour. Jones led all receivers with 3 receptions and 54 yards. DajLeon Farr caught a 17-yard pass from Freeman on the second offensive series. Farr caught an 18-yard pass in the fourth quarter for a total of 35 yards for the scrimmage. Dedrick Epps caught 3 pass for 28 yards. For now, it appears Farr is the favorite to be the first team tight end for Miami next season.


The offensive line did not put a good performance together Saturday morning. The line provided little time for the quarterbacks in the passing game and opened no holes for the running backs. Walk-on guard Jonathan Teske was overwhelmed Josh Holmes and Teraz McCray on stunts. Cyrim Wimbs did not have an answer for defensive end Calais Campbell. The offensive line allowed six sacks on the scrimmage.


Eric Moncur was the most impressive defensive lineman for the White team as he applied pressure on the quarterback and provided good run support. Moncur finished the scrimmage with one sack and two tackles. Defensive tackle Antonio Dixon at times provided a good push up the middle of the offensive line stuffing a few runs for losses. Richard Gordon exhibited his speed and quickness during a sack in the fourth defensive series on a stunt play in the first half. Defensive end Courtney Harris was also quite active during the scrimmage. Harris led all defensive linemen with six total tackles during the scrimmage.


Senior Glenn Cook did an adequate job covering receiver Ryan Hill in the slot at times when the White squad lined up in a 4-3 defense. At times, however, Cook missed tackles in one-on-one situations with the running backs. On run defense, Colin McCarthy exhibited great closing speed. On one play McCarthy tracked down running back Derron Thomas from behind from the other side of the field. McCarthy was by far the most impressive young player who received little playing time next year. McCarthy finished the scrimmage with 4 tackles. He will undoubtedly make an impact this season. The unit struggled at times when Demetri Stewart took reps at linebacker. Stewart is a young player who still needs to learn his assignments and coverages. In the second half, Cook took reps at middle linebacker with McCarthy and Stewart rotating between weak and strongside linebacker.


Kenny Phillips was all over the field making plays for the defense Saturday. Kenny broke up two passes intended for tight end Chris Zellner, including one pass that would have been a touchdown. Kenny led the scrimmage with eight tackles. Randy Phillips had a rough scrimmage Saturday. In the second defensive series, Randy dropped an easy pick from Wright. Then, in the fifth defensive series, Phillips and McCarthy collided to allow Sam Shields to make a 24 yard reception. With 5.5 seconds remaining in the first half, Randy Phillips was beat by Sam Shields for a touchdown in the back left corner of the endzone. Despite not being on the roster, Bruce Johnson took reps at cornerback for the White team, and was never really tested by any throws.

David Lake can be reached at lake@canestime.com

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