Yager Stadium was the land of opportunity Saturday.
Miami University’s football players competed in their final intrasquad scrimmage of fall camp, with the season opener at Ohio State looming Sept. 1.
“Today was a great stepping-stone,” said second-year receiver Jimmy Turvy, a Fenwick High School graduate who was among the projected backups to make an impact in the situational scrimmage.
“It’s the last time to really prove if you’re traveling or not,” added David Frazier, a sophomore receiver.
The offense took a step forward after last weekend’s scrimmage, which included four interceptions and one fumble. There were no turnovers Saturday.
“The kids are demonstrating a comfort (level with) the knowledge of what we’re asking them to do,” Miami coach Don Treadwell said. “You see very few missed assignments and misunderstandings, especially with the first two groups.”
No. 1 quarterback Zac Dysert was 8-of-11 for 80 yards but took a backseat statistically to Austin Boucher (12-of-20, 162 yards) and Drew Kummer (10-of-17, 99 yards). Boucher threw touchdown passes to Frazier and Willie Culpepper, while Kummer ran for a score.
Walk-on Robert Williams made his case to be the starting running back, gaining 98 yards on 14 carries. He ripped off a 59-yard run.
Spencer Treadwell ran 11 times for 24 yards and a TD, and true freshmen Jack Snowball (nine carries, 27 yards), Jamire Westbrook (seven carries, 20 yards) and Spencer McInnis (10 carries, 14 yards, TD) showed promise.
Justin Semmes, No. 1 on the depth chart, had two carries for 5 yards on the opening series. No. 2 Erik Finklea (bruised shoulder) did not play.
“We wanted to get a little bit more of a measure on running backs, so we forced some of the issues,” Don Treadwell said. “On certain series, I really wanted to run it regardless of what the defense (did).”
Westbrook showed flashes of being OSU-ready with leg strength and some quality moves. On one play, he carried several defenders for about 5 yards.
“I give it to my line and receivers for blocking for me,” said Westbrook, who has recovered from a back injury (he didn’t play last weekend). “It’s a learning lesson right now. I’m just trying to get some reps and listen to the seniors. They’re giving me good advice.”
Westbrook, a Kings High School product, caught a conversion pass from Boucher and also had an 11-yard reception.
Frazier was on the receiving end of the day’s hardest hit. He got leveled by Dante Taylor on a throw from Boucher.
“I didn’t see him at all,” Frazier said. “It was a perfect hit. I can’t say anything about it.”
Frazier (three catches, 38 yards) injured his left wrist on the play. He didn’t think it was broken but was planning to get an X-ray.
Taylor, No. 3 on the depth chart at strong safety, credited the line for pressuring Boucher and aiding his reaction time in breaking up the play.
“They pretty much made me look better than what it actually was,” said Taylor, who played a lot as a freshman but was hurt most of last season. “It’s a matter of coming out and showing what we’ve been coached.”
Turvy is listed fourth on the depth chart at the X receiver position. The walk-on gained 61 yards on six catches, with four coming on one drive.
“That felt like football,” Turvy said. “It brings you back to the old days when you’re just out there running routes and catching the ball. I feel like I’ve made a lot of strides since the spring.”
The kicking battle between freshman Kaleb Patterson and incumbent Mason Krysinski continues. Patterson converted 3-of-4 field goals and was 2-for-2 on extra points. Krysinski was perfect on two field goals, but was only 1-for-2 on PATs.
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