Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Miami football

Improved offense excites Miami Hurricanes

Plant High’s Robert Marve is competing to start at QB.

Plant High’s Robert Marve is competing to start at QB.

CORAL GABLES — In spring football at Miami, the defense is typically ahead of the offense. But entering today's game, that might not be the case.

Not after three freshman quarterbacks, including Plant High's Robert Marve, displayed impressive accuracy during a scrimmage March  6. Marve, Jacory Harris and Cannon Smith combined to complete 26 of 36 passes for 236 yards and no interceptions.

Marve and Harris — the two most recent Mr. Florida winners — were especially good, combining to complete their first nine passes. In addition, Marve, recovered from a left wrist injury that caused him to redshirt last season, looked comfortable, flashing speed when the pocket broke down.

"We had a lot of completions," coach Randy Shannon said of the scrimmage. "It was great to see."

In last year's spring game, veterans Kyle Wright and Kirby Freeman — both now gone — struggled to move the ball. They combined to complete just 15 of 33 passes for 177 yards, one interception and one touchdown drive.

This year's group also must work on getting into the end zone. In the scrimmage, Miami managed one touchdown and one field goal among 14 drives.

"We feel like if we can give our quarterbacks time, we can move the ball down the field," Shannon said. "But we have to score more points."

Helping the quarterbacks will be a group of receivers that appears to be much improved. The most notable is freshman Aldarius Johnson, rated the No.  1 receiver in Florida by

He graduated early from Miami Northwestern and has looked outstanding. Six more freshmen arrive in the fall, including Tommy Streeter, the state's second-best wideout, according to

Then there is touted Jermaine McKenzie, who redshirted last season after a car crash and has been hurt again this spring.

The running backs will be led by sophomore Graig Cooper and junior Javarris James, both of who have bulked up from last season. And the offensive line, keyed by NFL prospect Jason Fox at left tackle, appears set except for center.

Put it together, and second-year offensive coordinator Patrick Nix figures to have many more options.

"He has a lot more weapons," recruiting analyst Larry Blustein said. "Aldarius Johnson is a No.  1 receiver, and Nix will have a lot of talented players to choose from for the No.  2 and No.  3 spots. Miami won't be lacking for playmakers, which has been the case for the past three or four years.

"Based on the scrimmage, the 'Canes were able to use different looks with one-back sets, three or four wide receivers and sometimes a running back split wide. They ran the spread offense perfectly."

>>Fast facts

Spring game

When: 10 a.m. today

Where: Lockhart Stadium, Fort Lauderdale

What to watch for: With no experienced quarterback on the roster, freshmen Robert Marve, Jacory Harris and Cannon Smith compete to start. Defensively, new coordinator Bill Young gets a look at his personnel in action.

Improved offense excites Miami Hurricanes 03/28/08 [Last modified: Wednesday, November 3, 2010 11:00am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Alex Faedo, Florida advance to face LSU in College World Series finals


    OMAHA, Neb. — Alex Faedo pitched three-hit ball for 71/3 innings in a second straight strong performance against TCU, and Florida moved to the College World Series finals with a 3-0 win Saturday night.

    Florida’s Austin Langworthy scores on a single by Mike Rivera in the second inning during a 3-0 victory over TCU.
  2. Jones: Bucs need success to get national respect


    Tampa Bay Times columnist Tom Jones offers up his Two Cents on the world of sports.

    No respect

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Dirk Koetter walks the field during the second day of mandatory minicamp at One Buccaneer Place in Tampa, Fla., on Wednesday, June 14, 2017. LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times
  3. Rays journal: Jumbo Diaz falters after getting within a strike of ending rally

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Saturday's game got away starting with a leadoff walk in the seventh inning by Rays LHP Jose Alvarado, who was brought in exclusively to face Baltimore's lefty-swinging Seth Smith.

    Rays reliever Jumbo Diaz wipes his face as he walks off the mound after the Orioles score four during the seventh inning to give them a 7-3 lead. Diaz was one strike away from working out of the jam before he allowed a two-run double and a two-run homer on back-to-back pitches.
  4. Rookie Jake Faria dissatisfied with performance in Rays' loss to Orioles

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The rookie pitcher walked to his locker Saturday after tossing the fourth quality start in as many tries to begin his career. He held the potent Orioles bats to three runs and for six innings gave his team a chance to win.

    Orioles third baseman Manny Machado tags out the Rays’ Mallex Smith at third after a rundown in the first inning.
  5. Roger Mooney's takeaways from Saturday's Rays-Orioles game

    The Heater

    It was refreshing to see RHP Jacob Faria take the blame after the loss even though he gave the Rays a chance to win. Too often young pitchers are encouraged by what they did and not necessarily the outcome, but Faria, making just his fourth big-league start, came to the Trop to win, didn't, and pointed the finger …