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Hurricanes Scrimmage at Saturday Practice

Hurricanes Scrimmage at Saturday Practice

Aug. 19, 2006

Coral Gables – Head coach Larry Coker was pleased with the play of his young running backs and linebackers in Saturday’s scrimmage at the Greentree Practice Fields, but he reminded reporters that there is still plenty of work to do before the season opener against Florida State on Sept. 4.

“We’ll learn a lot from today,” Coker said. “We’ll get some good tape from today and we extended them pretty well. We still have a lot of things to do conditioning-wise.”

The defense showed its depth with plenty of players rotating in and showed its talent by chasing the ball well and creating turnovers, Coker said. The offense had its moments, despite the fact that running backs Charlie Jones and Derron Thomas did not scrimmage, leaving the bulk of the carries to Javarris James, Kylan Robinson and Andrew Johnson.

“I’m really pleased with the way our running backs ran the ball,” Coker said. “They were really aggressive going north and south.”

In addition to creating a strong run game, the offense has also put an emphasis on creating big play opportunities. Coker specifically mentioned receivers Darnell Jenkins, Lance Leggett and Sam Shields as three players who will be counted on to step up and make big plays this season.

“I was really pleased with our offensive style,” Coker said. “We really gave our playmakers opportunities to make plays. We just have to do a better job coming up with those plays. Players make plays. But it’s our job as coaches to put them in that position.”

The Hurricanes will not practice on Sunday, taking their first day off following 13 days of practice. They will return to the Greentree Practice Fields for the final double session of the preseason on Monday, with the morning practice at 6:20 a.m. and the afternoon session at 3:20 p.m.