CORAL GABLES, Fla. – The competition was fierce on the Greentree Practice Fields Wednesday as the Miami Hurricanes held their first scrimmage of #CanesCamp.
The Canes battled under the South Florida sunshine, opening practice with goal line situations before transitioning into a 12-series scrimmage that featured highlights on both sides of the ball.
Like he did six times in 2013, Duke Johnson rushed for a touchdown to get the Hurricanes' offense going in the goal line drills. Also finding the end zone were fellow running back Gus Edwards on a three-yard run and running back Walter Tucker, who scored on a pass from freshman Brad Kaaya.
Johnson made an almost immediate impact once the scrimmage started, juking past two defenders on a 21-yard run to give Miami a first down. On the next snap, the star running back went untouched for 54 yards into the end zone for a touchdown. Johnson also was a threat in the passing game, taking his lone reception of the afternoon for a scrimmage-best 30 yards.
Jake Heaps, Isaac Hoza, Brad Kaaya, Kevin Olsen, Malik Rosier and Michael Welch all took snaps at quarterback on Wednesday. Heaps used many different weapons to get the Canes moving on Wednesday, completing passes to five different receivers. Kaaya had several impressive throws, including an 18-yard completion to Stacy Coley and a 27-yard strike thrown to Clive Walford.
Five Canes – Coley, Walford, Tyre Brady, Malcolm Lewis and Herb Waters – had multiple receptions on Wednesday, while freshman Trayone Gray turned heads when he powered past defenders for a 25-yard touchdown run.
Miami's defense was active in the team's first scrimmage of #CanesCamp. The Hurricanes had seven pass deflections (four at the line of scrimmage), six tackles for loss, two sacks, two interceptions and a forced fumble that was recovered by junior Tyriq McCord.
The Canes defense was particularly good on third down, routinely stopping the offense and getting off the field thanks to a combination of pressure on the quarterback, good coverage and sure tackling.
Senior safety Dallas Crawford was an impact player for the Hurricane defense, tallying five tackles and forcing the fumble that was recovered by McCord. Crawford also picked off a pass and took it 50 yards for a touchdown to end Wednesday's action. Junior cornerback Ladarius Gunter had Miami’s first pick of the day, jumping an out route to stop the offense’s momentum.
Denzel Perryman was Miami's leading tackler with nine stops. The senior had three tackles for loss, including a huge hit on Joseph Yearby for a loss of two.
Defensive lineman Ufomba Kamalu and linebacker Jermaine Grace each had a sack, while defensive lineman Anthony Chickillo, linebacker Thurston Armbrister and defensive backs Tracy Howard, Hugo Delapenha and Ryan Mayes had pass deflections.
The Hurricanes are back in action Thursday for their second two-a-day session of #CanesCamp. The morning session is scheduled to begin at 8:20 a.m., while the afternoon practice is set for 3:20 p.m. For the latest information on Miami Hurricanes Football, follow @MiamiHurricanes on Twitter and the official blog for Hurricanes Football, www.theufootball.com.