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Aug. 15, 2007

CORAL GABLES, Fla. – – The Miami Hurricanes football team scrimmaged for the second time during this summer’s training camp on Wednesday morning, as the team completed its 12th day of preseason camp at the Greentree Practice Fields.

“We got a lot of work done today,” UM head coach Randy Shannon said. “We ran the ball pretty well. We had a couple of bad plays on special teams, which is why we practice special teams so much. Overall, the offense and defense did a great job on both sides of the ball. Special teams made a bunch of big plays and big runs, but some of the plays were called back because of petty fouls that we can’t have if we want to be successful.”

Miami’s second game-situational scrimmage included four eight-minute quarters, which included kickoffs, punts, TV timeouts and at least one instant replay challenge. The Hurricanes’ first scrimmage included four six-minute quarters.

“You have to have a pretty detail-oriented scrimmage, because you have to put players into those situations so they’re ready for game time,” Shannon said. “We practiced substitutions. We didn’t have any substitution busts, which is great. We didn’t have to a call any timeouts because we didn’t have the right personnel on the field. That was good.”

Shannon also said that both quarterbacks, Kyle Wright and Kirby Freeman, shared time with the first- and second-team units.

“They did a good job today,” he said. “It was a good opportunity for those guys to work and compete. It was funny, because when one of them scored a touchdown, the other one gave him a high-five and jumped up. One of them might not have had a good series and the other one came over and said, keep your head up. That’s what I mean by developing a team. Those guys have been developing this team to be great.”

Miami will hold one practice in shells at 7:50 a.m. Thursday. The team’s final two-a-day practices are scheduled for Friday.

Offensive line

Shannon said the biggest change in the second scrimmage was on the offensive line, where the Hurricanes sifted a lot of players around. “Sometimes we kept three offensive tackles. We played Derrick Morse at center sometimes and the moved him back to guard. We’re getting prepared for the season, because you never know what’s going to happen. That’s one thing we did different then the last scrimmage.”

Running Backs Coming Along
Sophomore running back Javarris James and freshman running back Graig Cooper have both practiced with the first-team offense. Cooper has also seen time as a kickoff and punt returner. Besides junior Derron Thomas and senior Charlie Jones, the Hurricanes have received a boost from freshman Shawnbrey McNeal.”They made some big plays, but then they also got stuffed a couple of time,” Shannon said. “That’s why you scrimmage. You almost have to treat this like a preseason game. This was our second preseason game. The next preseason game will be a little bit different.”

Update on Kylan Robinson
Redshirt freshman Kylan Robinson made his debut at linebacker in the scrimmage. “He made some good plays,” Shannon said. “He looked good out there. He’s a smart kid. He’s not busting anything. That’s promising for a guy with two days of practice after switching positions. The more he can keep picking up, the more he can help us.”

Special Teams
Shannon continues to drill in the importance of special teams. Kickoff and punt returns as well as field goal attempts have been a big part of scrimmages and daily practices. Freshmen running backs Graig Cooper and Shawnbrey McNeal, along with defensive back Chavez Grant worked in the return game. The kickoff and punt returners were better than last time,” Shannon said. “We made one made field goal and missed one. We have to correct some things on special teams. The first scrimmage special teams were great. After this one, we have to improve in some areas. If we keep putting them in situations, we’ll be fine.”

17 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.