The sun was beating down on the Greentree training grounds on Saturday afternoon as temperatures reached over 90 degrees, but that didn’t stop the Miami Hurricanes from having a physical fall scrimmage.
It’s something head coach Mario Cristobal welcomes in the relentless South Florida Heat.
“We have to be very proud of the elements we train in and use them to our advantage,” Cristobal told Miami Athletics after the scrimmage. “There must be a lot of pride in the fact that we train all summer… It also tests you, and on a day like today playing eight to nine, 10, 11, 12 from a drive, the movie is going to show. The film is going to show who is really in playable condition and who still has work to do.”
The team as a whole has shown growth, according to Cristobal. The attack, led by the returning starter Tyler Van Dykeperformed well throughout the scrum in their battle against a talented UM defence.
“[Miami’s offense was] more efficient in many ways, had big plays and had big drops… I can’t water it down,” Cristobal said. “At the end of the day, we have to keep improving, so we trust each other to run the playbook.”
The defense was bolstered in the offseason with the addition of instant impact transfers and highly touted freshmen.
Miami’s defensive staff emphasized the importance of players paying attention to detail and focusing on the little things, and this form of training led to improvements throughout the defense.
“We’re hitting better, we’re getting out of our hips better…we’re holding the point a bit,” Cristobal said. “I think in the passing rush, we work better on the edges. We get rid of the blockers… Our double team and double team recognition and the recognition of the reaching block, the man block, the block cutoffs have taken a drastic step as well.
“We finish the games a little better.”
The Hurricanes will have a lighter day Sunday and a mandatory day off Monday before returning to the practice grounds Tuesday. The team will continue to strive to improve in all areas of the game with their season opener just two weeks away.
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