The most recent milestone of the Miami Hurricanes preseason, ahead of their bout with the Alabama Crimson Tide, has come and gone with the first official scrimmage now in the books. Prior to the scrimmage, we shared some Things We Needed and Wanted To See in the scrimmage. From all accounts, Canes Football team had what sounds to be an explosive performance on the offensive side of the ball, but despite that there is reason to believe that the defense may have found something it has been looking for since the end of the 2019 season. Most importantly (KNOCK ON ALL THE WOOD) there were no major injuries out of the event, which is always the greatest takeaway you can get. For a short recap from Coach Diaz, watch below, then we will jump into the takeaways. What We Loved Seeing from the ScrimmageDEriq King Doing DEriq King ThingsShemar Stewart, the number one prospect in South Florida and Eight overall nationally is a student at Monsigner Pace. Just as we are mostly going off stats and comments from the game, we cannot confirm nor deny this, but there is little doubt in my mind that the staff used this to get Stewart a bird's eye view of the scrimmage with access to whatever he may want to see. Despite the climate of the current schedule reading Fall camp, recruiting NEVER stops … _Jersey-19.Zack McCloud? Yes Zack McCloudWhile the tenure for Zack McCloud has been a tenuous one as of late, it seems as though the sixth-year senior has found a home at defensive end. The 63 250 end was spotted hitting for what amounted to a game changing sack late in the game on what was described as an nd Long play. Throughout camp McCloud has received accolades from just about anyone within distance, including players, Coach Simpson and Coach Diaz. While McCloud may not be a star at the spot, improving his ability to contribute to the defense will go long to protect the rotation and depth on the edges.Ok Maybe a Small, Teeny Tiny InjuryDuring the scrimmage it was reported that potential starting cornerback Tyrique Stevenson had to leave the game early due to an injury to his wrist, which was seen being attended to on the sideline. While Stevenson stayed iced on the sideline for the remainder of the scrimmage, the injury is not believed to be serious and should not become an issue too deep into camp.What Needs to Come NextDefensive AwakeningDeAndre JohnsonWhile it was good news to see the linebackers show both life and depth Bubba Bolden Jersey, it may be concerning that the offense is ahead of the offense at this stage of the game. Usually in camp settings it the reverse, with defense normally the side of the ball that controls the flow of the events. Context matters, however. The offense is as gelled and consistent as can be, mid-way through year two of both Lashlee and King, returning everyone on the line, in the running backs room and at receiver. Not to mention the additions of Rambo and the freshmen at RB and TE. There is plenty to like if you are on this offense and plenty of reason for a Coach like Rhett Lashlee to feel comfortable emptying the playbook with the consistency throughout the group.On Defense, we need to start seeing that awakening. While there were highlights, like the LB play, Leonard Taylor two sacks and James Williams interception, much of the rest of the defense felt as though they were quiet for the wrong reason. The defense that Manny prefers is built from the inside out, so most likely more reliability and consistency is needed up front at defensive tackle and echoing out to the edges. As we have seen with players like Gerald Willis, Kendrick Norton, R.J. McIntosh and, to an extent, Greg Rousseau, when you have multiple disruptors in the middle, the defense as whole benefits. Whether it is a pairing of Nesta and Jared Harrison-Hunte or more play for Leonard Taylor, we will need to see a sustainable spark from the middle of the defense or this could be 12 games of shootouts again like last year. Playmakers on DefenseGil FriersonWhile it may not seem fair to pile on the defense, it did feel apparent that the offense won the night. Whether it was the reaction of Manny Diaz post scrimmage or the dearth of info for the offense compared to the bereft nature of the defensive info, the defense needs sparks throughout its units. Keontra Smith, as highlighted by Coach Diaz … r_Jersey-9, is our hint that this is the case. If history is our friend, we know Coach Diaz is not afraid to say what needs to be worked on and where. I feel as though his highlight of Smith and his momentum changing play alludes to a desire to see much more of it. It may be fair to say as detail above that the group is trying to get completely comfortable with the changes on that side of the ball, it should be simple enough to find footing in a friendly defensive scheme, a coordinator who has been here for five years, and the extra help that the defense has on the sidelines in Coach Mike Rumph, Coach Todd Stroud and Coach Bob Shoop.We can point to a few players that have had that spark, with the likes of Bubba Bolden and Nesta Silvera, but now it's time to see players like Keontra Smith, Corey Flagg and Jahfari Harvey step up to meet those mentioned.

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