Sunday, April 21, 2002

RedHawks put offense on display

QBs shine in spring scrimmage

By Ian Duthie
Enquirer contributor

        OXFORD — Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger led the white team to a 27-14 victory Saturday in Miami's annual Red and White scrimmage.

        But that wasn't what pleased coach Terry Hoeppner so much.

        “I am just happy we could split up and make two full teams,” Hoeppner said. “Due to injuries and the cut-down in numbers, a lot of schools cannot do this anymore.”

        Roethlisberger, who had his right (throwing) hand wrapped with tape, is still recovering from an injury that kept him out of the first two weeks of practice. He looked rusty early as he missed his targets throughout the first quarter and his passes didn't have their customary tight spiral. But the Freshman All-American found his rhythm in the second quarter and threw two short touchdown passes to give his team a 14-7 halftime lead.

        Roethlisberger played into the third quarter before giving way to third-stringer J.D. Vonderheide. Roethlisberger was 15-for-27 with 216 yards and three touchdowns.

        Quarterback Josh Betts led the red team and showed he is a capable backup. The redshirt freshman threw an incomplete pass in the second quarter that traveled 50 yards, showing the arm strength Hoeppner talks about. Betts finished with a game-best 225 passing yards.

        Wide receiver Martin Nance of the white team, a redshirt freshman, he caught all three of Roethlisberger's touchdowns and had a team-high six catches. The second TD came when he made a sprawling catch in the end zone, fully extending his long arms for the 7-yard score. On his third touchdown, he and Roethlisberger showed great timing with the stop-and-go, as the pump fake fooled the defense and Nance coasted in.

        Nance's emergence adds more talent to a deep receiving corps. The 6-foot-4 Nance and 6-6 Jason Branch give Miami a pair of big receivers to complement its shorter, speedy receivers. Andre Patterson, a transfer from Purdue, was impressive with 10 catches for 110 yards.

        Starting running back Cal Murray, playing for the white team, broke off a 25-yard run in third quarter. He finished with 85 rushing yards and 53 receiving yards. The red team's Mike Smith had a game-high 125 rushing yards. He is fourth on the depth chart.

        White ....... 0  14  13  0—27

        Red ....... 7  0  7  0—14

        First Quarter

        Red—Mike Smith 2-yd run (B. Jackson kick). Second Quarter

        White—M. Nance 7-yd pass from Roethlisberger (J. Parseghian kick).

        White—M. Nance 8-yd pass from Roethlisberger (J. Parseghian kick). Third Quarter

        White—M. Nance 35-yd pass from Roethlisberger (J. Parseghian kick failed).

        Red—Mike Smith 1-yd run (Brett Jackson kick).

        White- C. Murray 9-yd run (S. Brinkman kick).

        RUSHING—White: Murray 14-85, Wallace 10-58, Larkin 1-3. Red: M. Smith 23-125, Ciborowski 1-3.

        PASSING—White: Roethlisberger 15-27-0-216, Vonderheide 3-5-0-30. Red: Betts 22-38-2-225, Lucas 2-6-0-45.

        RECEIVING—White: Nance 6-84, Murray 4-53, Robinson 3-40, Larkin 2-14, Wallace 2-14. Red: Henderson, 10-110, Kirkpatrick 7-122, Tillitz 5-30, Mike Smith 2-8.


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