Miami spring game comes to campus Saturday. How to watch and what fans should know

The Miami Hurricanes spring game will draw plenty of eyes at 4 p.m. Saturday at Cobb Stadium on campus — even if most of them are focused on a digital screen and not the actual football field.

The game, which will showcase the 2024 Hurricanes and their new transfer quarterback Cam Ward, is limited in attendance to about 5,000, with temporary bleachers added to the existing 500-seat permanent bleachers. Those seats have already been accounted for by season-ticket holders who are Hurricane Club members, plus students, former players, family members and a huge contingent of recruits.

The players, however, will surely compete with the same intensity as they do every year, eager to show college football fans what their talents can bring in 2024.

The game will be streamed live on ESPN+ and ACCNX from 4-6 p.m.

The ACC Network will televise a replay of the game at 2 p.m. Monday.

Ward, who spoke to the media for the first time Thursday, said fans can expect him to “play with an edge’’ this season, though he will keep it simple Saturday to avoid showing outside competitors any of the playbook.

“From the first snap to the last stop we’re going to play hard,’’ Ward said. “Everybody is ready to play together for sure.”

Campus return

UM coach Mario Cristobal is pumped about returning the spring game to campus.

“For the students, for the faculty, community, alumni, If you haven’t been back on campus in a few years it’s a whole different place now,’’ Cristobal said Thursday. “From a recruiting standpoint we’ve had a real steady and strong influx of talent coming in. It’s important that people come in and see what we do and how we do it. We always try to dial up the intensity and passion and energy behind it, and this spring game will be no different.”

Cristobal said the format will be “game-like,’’ with the first half live and the second half “thud’’ — contact without fully tackling teammates. And quarterbacks, of course, cannot be touched.

“It’s still playing ball,’’ Cristobal said. “We’re still live but not going to the ground. All these spring games are nationally televised. You just can’t do all the stuff you’ve been doing this spring. You want to see guys play with great fundamentals, great technique and try hard to win every single one of their 1-on-1s.

“Really fired up the way spring has gone. I want to finish it strong.”

The players are fired up as well, including the early enrollees who just arrived in January for the new semester.

The freshmen

“I’m real excited to be out there with the team, see how the vibe and feel is with the full unit,’’ said freshman linebacker Cam “Bobby” Pruitt . “I want to see how we react to adversity when we play against each other and how we bounce around on the field.”

Pruitt, from Theodore, Alabama, said he already gained 20 pounds to reach 195 on his 6-3 frame that will continue to get bigger and stronger.

“My personal goal is to be on the field and play with my brothers,’’ Pruitt said.

Cole McConathy II, a 6-5, 220-pound freshman edge from Spanish Fort, Alabama, said he missed the first week of spring while he waited for a pulled hamstring to heal. He’s “very excited” to show his family, traveling to the game, what he can do. “Really looking forward to that,’’ he said.

Fort Lauderdale’s Chase Stadium, formerly called DRV PNK Stadium, was the site of UM’s spring game the past two years. But the stadium wasn’t nearly full and UM wanted to make this year’s more recruit-oriented so that some of the top high school players in the nation could tour campus, see the athletic facilities and walk next door to the game.

“After Saturday, we don’t get to put on pads again until August,’’ Cristobal said. “And then it’s real after that.’’