This isn’t exactly the start that Manny Diaz envisioned when he coined the term “The New Miami”. The Hurricanes are now 2-3 on the season with two of the losses being in conference play. Last week the Hurricanes’ effort to come back down 28 points fell short as they fell to the Hokies 42-35. Could N’Kosi Perry at starting quarterback be the answer?
The most interesting development from the matchup was the quarterback play. There was both good and bad play from the positions as two quarterbacks combined to throw four interceptions. The bulk of that coming from starter Jarren Williams. Williams uncharacteristically threw three interceptions in the first quarter. He came into the game as one of the only starting quarterbacks in the nation without an interception. Diaz made the decision after the third interception to insert last year’s starter, Perry in the game.
Could N’Kosi Perry at Starting Quarterback be the Answer?
Williams has done well as Miami’s starter with last week’s performance being his worst to date. Although he has been solid, the Hurricanes offense has lacked explosive plays down the field. There was a noticeable difference with Perry running the offense against Virginia Tech. One of the beneficiaries from the switch at quarterback was Jeff Thomas, who prior to Virginia Tech did not have a reception over 20 yards. He also was without a touchdown with Williams at quarterback.
Everything shifted for Thomas once Perry entered the game. The quarterback found Thomas on several plays downfield. Thomas had his best performance this season with six receptions, 124 yards receiving, and two touchdowns. Tight end Brevin Jordan had a career night with seven receptions, 136 yards receiving, and a touchdown. Perry came in near the end of the first quarter but was able to put together a 422-yard effort with four touchdowns. Showing he is more than capable of leading an explosive offense and giving Miami hope for more in the future.
A Shot at Redemption
Last season Perry was the starter against Virginia but was pulled after throwing two interceptions in the first quarter. After his performance last week against Virginia tech coupled with the fact that Williams is dealing with a sore shoulder, Perry will again be the starter against Virginia. Although he started last season, Perry was switched in and out throughout the season shorting his development. Under Dan Enos’ tutelage, he has already shown improvement from last season. This game against Virginia could be the turning point in his career and regaining the starting quarterback position at Miami.
Perry came to Miami ranked as a top ten dual-threat quarterback and so far has flashed potential. After losing the job to Williams in camp, he remained positive and supportive of Williams. His teammates this week have stated they’ve seen a more “mature” Perry this season but always knew he could lead the team.
The Hurricanes like what they have in Williams and have stated that he is the starter moving forward. However, Diaz may have to change his mind if Perry leads the Hurricanes past Virginia and helps Miami net their first ACC Coastal win this season. Perry brings an explosive element to the offense that was not there with Williams. Also with Miami leading the nation in sacks allowed, Perry has shown the ability to create more time with his feet. There is a lot at stake against Virginia and the ‘Canes could possibly right the course. So, if Perry has a good performance, maybe he should be the starting quarterback going forward.
MIAMI, FLORIDA – OCTOBER 05: N’Kosi Perry #5 of the Miami Hurricanes throws a pass against the Virginia Tech Hokies during the second half at Hard Rock Stadium on October 05, 2019 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)