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Mark Richt drops the ball in Hurricanes shocking loss to Virginia

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Predictable play calling, indecisiveness at quarterback lead to a abysmal performance by Hurricanes offense

Miami v Virginia Photo by Ryan M. Kelly/Getty Images

When Mark Richt chose to start redshirt freshman quarterback N’Kosi Perry heading into the Hurricanes Thursday night game against North Carolina, it seemed to be a firm and decisive decision that redshirt senior quarterback Malik Rosier was no longer going to be leading this offense. A move like that tells the young quarterback that the head coach and his teammates believe that he is the best person for the job. It was a display of confidence and belief in his talents.

Perry hasn't been perfect in any sense of the word. Especially not tonight. In just six attempts, Perry threw two interceptions and it put Miami in a tough spot, which was a 10-0 deficit. In reality, that is not a big hole to be in. Ten points to a team averaging over 40 points per game heading into the matchup is very manageable. Instead of riding Perry despite his struggles, Richt pulled him in favor of Rosier because, you know, he’s “mature.”

Rosier went on to do virtually nothing aside from the last offensive drive of the game in which he made a couple of impressive throws. Rosier just barely completed over 50% of his passes.

But, I am not here to talk about Rosier. I am absolutely stunned by the vanilla, bland, boring, predicable and lazy offensive play calling and decision making by Mark Richt that put this team in this position. Rolling with a young quarterback means nursing him through his mistakes and helping him grow from it. When he makes a mistake you get in his ear and you develop him and push him to be better.

If Richt can’t trust Perry on the road at VIRGINIA then he should have never made him the starter in the first place. As a career backup, Richt should have a better understanding of the psyche of quarterbacks and how detrimental it was to Perry and the offense to make that decision so soon.

Just a week before, Perry overcame first half struggles to lead the Hurricanes to a win over Florida State. Even then, Richt admitted to being tempted to put in Rosier. For what? Rosier is who he is and that is all he will ever be. Rosier is playing the last games of football he will ever play in his life and his career numbers tell us that him completing a pass on any given attempt is literally a coin flip.

There is no excuse that an offense that features Jeff Thomas, Travis Homer, Deejay Dallas, Brevin Jordan, Lawrence Cager, Dee Wiggins, Mike Harley, etc. should be struggling. It is due to a lack of creativity and play calls that any average joe who has watched Miami’s film could decipher.

I feel bad for Manny Diaz and the Hurricanes defense on a day like this. Nine tackles for loss, three sacks, three interceptions and gave up only 231 yards. That is not just good defense that is utter domination. Manny Diaz is proving to be the most value asset in the Miami Hurricanes football program, which includes Mark Richt. Diaz and his defense masked the offensive struggles a week ago by giving Miami unbelievable field position on multiple occasions. There was no hiding it tonight. The defense did their job and then some, but the offense was quite simply exposed.

Richt needs to be accountable for this loss because it is not on anybody else but him. This was the most pitiful loss in his tenure so far, even worse than the Pitt loss at the end of the 2017 regular season. This is the worst loss this program has suffered since Al Golden left. And that is saying a lot.

Miami has a bye week before getting ready for a potent Boston College offense and a defense that gives up over 25 points per game. But if this is what the Miami offense is going to be, you can throw that number out of the window.