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Aug. 10, 2007

CORAL GABLES, Fla. – – One day after holding its first scrimmage of the preseason, the University of Miami Hurricanes went through a light workout at the Greentree Practice Fields Friday morning. The team will conduct its first of three two-a-day workouts of the summer training camp on Saturday.

“We had a light practice today,” Miami head coach Randy Shannon said. “We did a lot of special teams stuff. Basically, we worked on mistakes from yesterday in the scrimmage. They did well. They responded. We got off the field quick. If we keep progressing the way we’re going, we’re going to be fine.”

The Hurricanes worked in shells (shorts and shoulder pads) for about one-hour and 30 minutes. Miami held its second full pad practice Wednesday morning at Cobb Stadium and scrimmaged for four-six minute quarters. Shannon said he was pleased with Wednesday’s scrimmage.

“We saw that the offense was doing a nice job,” Shannon said. “Then they got into a little rut because of one or two dropped passes. I keep telling them they have to stay focused because somebody’s going to hit a big play. Then it got spun around. Khalil Jones made four or five big catches. It brought the offense back around. I keep emphasizing that no matter what happens in a game, you’re going to have some down time. If you stay calm and keep fighting, somebody is going to come up with a big play. We have the athletes on this team to do it, but we have to keep everyone focused on doing it.”

Miami’s first practice session will begin at 7:50 a.m. Saturday morning. UM will return to the Greentree Practice Fields at 3:20 p.m. for its second workout of the day.

Linebacking Situation

Shannon said he’s not worried about the depth of his linebacking corps. “It’s not tough. Really, you play with only four or five linebackers a year. You don’t ever play with seven or eight. We have plenty of time to figure it out. It’s up to us coaches to coach whomever is there,” he said. Juniors Eric Houston and Spencer Adkins, sophomore Colin McCarthy and senior Tavares Gooden all rotated in with the first and second teams.

Injury Notes
Shannon had no update on the status of junior safety Lovon Ponder and senior linebacker Glenn Cook. Ponder is expected back for the first game against Marshall on Sept. 1. Redshirt freshman defensive tackle Josh Holmes missed practice but is close to coming back. Shannon said that senior running back Charlie Jones was a little banged up after the scrimmage on Thursday and sophomore offensive tackle Chris Barney was nicked up two days ago. Both sat out on Friday but should be back in the next few days. Shannon also said sophomore linebacker Darryl Sharpton is close to returning to practice. “Sharpton should be back any day now. We didn’t do much with him yesterday,” Shannon said. “He ran around some early with our athletic training staff. We expect him back soon.”

Rochford A Great Team Example
Shannon was asked about the play of senior guard/center John Rochford. Rochford, who has served as the team’s short snapper and long snapper the past few seasons, will spent more time along the offensive line this season. He’s working at center in preseason. “He’s doing a great job at center right now,” Shannon said. “That’s what I tell guys on this team. Rochford has played fullback, center, H-back, snapper and guard. He’s done it all. That’s what it takes to win games. You have to have his attitude. He doesn’t complain. Whatever position we choose him to play, he’s going to do it and do it the best he can.”

22 Days Until First Game
Hurricanes fans can purchase single-game tickets, a four-game Mega-Plan or season tickets through the month of August. Single-game tickets are $47 each, while the Mega-Plan, which includes a reserved ticket to the Texas A&M game and three other home games of choice, is $160 per pack ($7 savings per ticket ). Season tickets start as low as $190, which is only $27 per game. Tickets can be purchased at www.hurricanesports.com or by calling (305) 284-CANES in Miami-Dade or (800) GO-CANES outside of Miami-Dade. The Hurricanes open the season on September 1 against Marshall in the Orange Bowl.