The Miami Hurricanes wrapped up spring football Saturday with the annual alumni scrimmage.
Edgerrin James, Reggie Wayne, Kellen Winslow II, Jon Beason and Lamar Thomas were among the hundreds of Canes football alumni in attendance at Cobb Stadium to watch the 2018 Hurricanes practice for the 15thand final time this spring.
"I had former players come to me and say, 'I haven't been here in 20 years and now I feel wanted," Richt said. "'I feel excited about what's going on. I want to be here. I came because I've been watching from a distance and I like what I see.' That does my heart great."
In addition to the alumni scrimmage and barbecue on Saturday, the Hurricanes hosted the Football Alumni Dinner Friday night and the U Network luncheon on Friday afternoon. But all eyes were on the field Saturday morning, as the Hurricanes went through some situational work and some game-like scrimmage action.
"All the situational stuff was against each other," Richt said. "Some was ones [first string] versus ones, some was ones versus twos. Then at the end we pulled guys that have played a lot of football and didn't play them a lot. There were more guys, probably, on defense that didn't get reps than on offense, because we don't have a bunch of guys have played enough to think that they didn't need more work."
Malik Rosier hit Darrell Langham for the only score of the day, but Richt was happy with how the offense drove down the field on Saturday.
"We got down in the red zone and did not get in a couple of times, which is a little disappointing," Richt said. "As far as making plays, moving the ball, throwing and catching, really a pretty good day…we did some situations. Third downs first. Then we did a one-minute [drill] with each group. Then we did overtime, practiced overtime. A couple two-point plays…then we scrimmaged for a little while, about 27 plays, I think it was, after that. That's what it turned out to be."
Richt was especially happy with how Miami's offensive line performed on Saturday. While there is still work to be done up front before the season starts on Sept. 2 against LSU, the offensive line had its best showing on the spring on the final day of practice.
"We protected better. We did protect better," Richt said. "We probably went 50-50 on third downs, ones versus ones. We did third-and-three, [third-and]-four, [third-and]-five and [third-and]–six, then we did [third-and]-seven, [third-and]-eight, [third-and]-nine and [third-and]-10. We had a guy wide open on one that we just barely missed that would have probably put it at advantage offense, with the ones…it was good competition. We did have better pockets to throw out of today. It was, overall, a better job by the offensive line, protecting."