College football: Miami preps for Spring Showcase

Miami (Ohio) coach Chuck Martin stands along the sideline during the second half of the team's Frisco Football Classic NCAA college football game against North Texas in Frisco, Texas, Thursday, Dec. 23, 2021. (AP Photo/Matt Strasen)

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Miami (Ohio) coach Chuck Martin stands along the sideline during the second half of the team's Frisco Football Classic NCAA college football game against North Texas in Frisco, Texas, Thursday, Dec. 23, 2021. (AP Photo/Matt Strasen)

Fans calling plays, players interacting at dinner with alumni, a children’s play area, a food truck – Miami’s annual Spring Showcase is about way more than football.

The RedHawks will scrimmage on Ben Roethlisberger Field inside the David and Anita Dauch Indoor Sports Center, adjacent to the north end of Yager Stadium,at 1 p.m. Saturday. The session is the 15th and last of Miami’s annual spring practice schedule, the ninth under coach Chuck Martin.

“We have a lot of stuff going on this weekend,” Martin said Thursday morning. “We put together on Friday a networking dinner at the Shriver Center for all the kids who have one or two years of eligibility left. One of the alums is sponsoring the dinner. Basically, if you have two years of eligibility, you can go to this dinner and check out potential future employment.

“The nice thing is it’s exciting for current players to play in front of people. Family and friends come in. We have a lot of alums and a lot of people in the community. It’s a fun day. It’s an interactive day. We’re going to get the fans involved in play-calling. We want to make it fun for the fans to spend the afternoon with us.

“It’s fun for me,” he added. “It’s fun for my family. Even my wife (Dulcie) is excited.”

Doors will open at noon on Saturday, the same time as a play area inside the center. Fans will be able at that time to buy game tickets and parking for regular-season games, including the “Victory Bell” game against Cincinnati on Sept. 17 at Paul Brown Stadium in downtown Cincinnati.

Concessions will be available at a food truck scheduled to open at 12:15 p.m. Free parking will be available at the Millett Hall West Parking lot.

Martin expects the RedHawks to take the field around 12:15 p.m. to start warming up with the “game” starting around 1 p.m. and lasting about 90 minutes. The game itself will feature the starting offense squaring off against the starting defense with backups on both sides also competing against each other. The winner to be determined by a scoring system described by Martin as “elaborate.”

“Under our scoring system, every yard counts,” Martin said. “Every down matters. Every play matters. Everything counts. If you jump offsides, that counts.

“We talk every year about how every yard matters. We’re going into this with the idea that every yard matters.”

Miami is scheduled to open the 2022 season on Sept. 3 at Kentucky, followed by the home opener against Robert Morris on Sept. 10.

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