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Comparing Spring Football Reports from 2017 and 2001

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Miami’s best team struggled through the air

Ken Dorsey attempts to pass the ball

2001 Spring Scrimmage #1

Ken Dorsey looked like anything but a future Heisman contender and national champion QB finishing up 7-14 with 100 yards and 2 INTs. However future NFL stars Willis McGahee (11 carries for 121 yards and a TD) and Clinton Portis (7 carries for 37 yards and a TD) dominated. Ed Reed had six tackles and Phillip Buchannon came away with 2 interceptions.

Edward Reed #20

2017 Spring Scrimmage #1

The ‘Canes opened with a more situational based scrimmage working on things like 3rd and short or third and long and stats seem to be hard to come by. The QB competition saw Jack Allison knocked out by the defense that had anywhere from three to eleven sacks because why give us any real data to work with? In the first half the offense started -25 but in the second half with the offense at +40 and found more success.

2001 Spring Scrimmage #2

By the second scrimmage Ken Dorsey had improved, ever so slightly. Kenny finished 6-14 with 85 yards. Portis’ yards / carry dropped down to 3 yards per rush and McGahee stayed strong but slipped to 51 yards on the day. The receivers will still quiet with Shockey grabbing 4 balls for 40 yards. Ken Dangerfield led the team with 7 tackles, and the defense picked up 5 sacks against what’s considered the greatest Miami Offensive Line of all-time.

Rose Bowl X

2017 Spring Scrimmage #2

With no clear-cut starter like going into 2001, the QB’s are splitting more reps than back then. Even Sherriffs worked mostly with the 1’s throwing 16-36 for 139 yards. Malik Rosier was 13-26 for 142 yards, and a 1:1 ratio; Casey Weldon finished 5-9 with 30 yards and a pick; and Vincent Testaverde also played going 6-9 for 98 yards and a 65 yard TD. The running game was shut down with Walton and Homer not totaling 50 yards combined. Blocked field goals, multiple sacks, and athletic interceptions brought up the days of old for ‘Canes fans with young bucks like Mike Smith, Malek Young and Shaquille Quarterman playing well.

Miami v Georgia Tech Photo by Daniel Shirey/Getty Images

2001 Spring Game/CanesFest

The 2001 Spring Game was held on April 7th in the Orange Bowl. Ken Dorsey and the offense defeated the defense in one of those wacky point system games but only scored one touchdown, a 2 yard Portis run. Kenny was 7-15 for 92 yards in the air and the running game took off for 240 yards against the defense. The defense was without Jon Vilma after a knee injury. McGahee had 74 yards, Najeh Davenport had 69. Kevin Beard scooped and scored on a blocked punt which is fitting for a Miami kicking game that in 2001 dominated opponents. The O-Line gave up 5 sacks again but the offense didn’t turn the ball over this time.

2017 Final Scrimmage at Boca High School

With the final scrimmage of 2017 looming ‘Canes fans aren’t given a CanesFest or even a spring game at Lockhart Stadium this spring. Instead it’s a booster event for high rollers and alumni players, no media and no fans. Coming off a 9 win season and at a school desperate to sell season tickets- you would think they would do anything in their power to build hype and a positive vibe around the program. The fear has to be in the defense dominating the green QB’s and the bad Offensive Line while getting the two running backs killed. But as you can see, the 2001 defense shut down the Miami WR corps in 2001 that included Andre Johnson, Kevin Beard and Jeremy Shockey at Tight End.

There’s no doubt Miami is short RB depth and QB experience but every ‘Canes team has entered with some question-mark. In 1988 it was how do you replace Bennie Blades and Mike Irvin. In 1991 it was how do you replace Craig Erickson, Russell Maryland and Wesley Carroll. In 2001 it was how do you replace Dan Morgan, Santana Moss and Reggie Wayne. The great Miami teams have always found a way.