Quarterback play has haunted the Miami Hurricanes’ offense for a few seasons and had highs and lows during Malik Rosier’s turn in the spotlight. Rosier, a back-up besides one start back in 2015, took the football as the starting quarterback and played as well as many expected- he was average but did great things over the course of the season. Rosier’s ability to avoid sacks, scramble for positive yardage, and be a key player in the run game on inside zone read, or the swing-draw P-RO (pass-run option) was huge for the ten win success of the Miami Hurricanes.
Rosier had great games against Toledo and Syracuse and great drives against Florida State and Georgia Tech that helped keep Miami undefeated and on a positive momentum swing. Toledo was his best performance throwing for 333 yards on 75% completions with three touchdowns and an interception. Rosier added a rushing touchdown to his totals in a 52-30 win. Rosier’s performance against Syracuse was strong as well throwing for 344 yards 60% completions and two touchdowns with no turnovers. His Notre Dame performance wasn’t fantastic but the defense put the offense into short field situations where Rosier threw a touchdown and ran another while compiling only 181 total yards.
The Pitt game would be Miami’s biggest disappointment as the Panthers came in as a big underdog at Heinz Field and Miami put up a dud of a performance. While Rosier did struggle to move the football, he threw two touchdowns and no interceptions, but only 44% completion on passes and 2.4 yards per carry. That was a lowlight but not the lowlight. To pick which game was worse, the Clemson or Wisconsin game, is like picking between two poisons.
Against Clemson, Rosier threw no touchdowns, two interceptions, and only completed 48% of his passes. He ran for only 1.9 yards per carry. Against Wisconsin, Rosier tossed a touchdown and three interceptions. He completed only 42% of his passes but ran for 4.6 yards per carry. Miami was in the game against Wisconsin much longer so the winner of the lowlight of the year is the Clemson game.
Position Grade: C+
Malik Rosier threw for 3,120 yards and 26 touchdowns with 14 interceptions. He added 468 rushing yards and 5 touchdowns on the ground giving him 31 total touchdowns on the season. The Hurricanes won ten games and played for their first ever ACC Championship since joining the conference in what was supposed to be an annual Miami-Florida State rematch in Jacksonville (now Charlotte). However, it wasn’t the complete dud others felt it was. Rosier was the glue holding together key moments and making chicken salad when previous quarterbacks fell apart on key drives. Rosier beat FSU, Virginia and Georgia Tech with key game winning drives and kept Miami in the game against Wisconsin. The ‘Canes were in the Orange Bowl and had a shot at a perfect regular season until the very last week.
I would actually give Rosier a B- for being so clutch except the final three games have left a sour taste. Also, it’s an overall position grade and Even Shirreffs played terribly while Perry was never given a snap and Cade Weldon is now in trouble within the program.
Mark Richt has assured fans that the quarterback competition heading into 2018 is wide open. With Malik Rosier being a redshirt senior and having fourteen starts under his belt, he has to be the front runner. Again, he commanded come from behind drives where he threw perfect throws to little known receiver Darrell Langham (watch the GT completion here), beat Miami’s biggest rival in Florida State, and got Miami into the Orange Bowl.
However, many feel N’Kosi Perry will use a season of practice squad duty, film sessions, and meeting rooms to usurp the starting role from Rosier this spring and through the summer and fall camp. Perry has all of the tools, even once being compared to Marcus Mariota, but the knock has been his lack of football IQ. Hopefully the quarterback meeting room will cure that issue and Perry will be ready to compete for the job with another redshirt freshman in Cade Weldon and incoming four-star prospect Jerren Williams.