I didn’t think we’d have this conversation again.
I didn’t think this was something that was still up for debate.
I didn’t think this was something that we would have to bring up again.
But, after benching N’Kosi Perry for Malik Rosier against Virginia AFTER 4 OFFENSIVE SERIES, here we are.
Before I go on, I have two outside arguments to dispel immediately:
- Cade Weldon isn’t going to start, even after he returns from suspension, so don’t mention him.
- By action it’s clear that Jarren Williams is going to redshirt this year. That means he’s not a viable option either. So he’s off the table as well.
Now, let’s continue.
On Monday, Tom D’Angelo of The Palm Beach Post wrote this piece saying that the Mark Richt and the Miami Hurricanes should start Malik Rosier at Boston College next Friday. And, just like Mark Richt, D’Angelo’s commentary is based on everything other than performance.
D’Angelo cites the fact that next week’s game is BC’s annual Red Bandanna game, an annual date celebrating the life of former BC lax player and alum Welles Crowther, who bravely saved at least a dozen people from the World Trade Center on 9/11 before being killed when the South Tower collapsed. Crowther famously wore a Red Bandanna from the time he was 6 years old, including under his lacrosse helmet when he played at BC, and the symbol has intense emotional significance for the BC community.
I am taking nothing away from this remembrance. Boston College and their community have made the Red Bandanna game a major annual event, understandably so.
Even with that being the case, that has nothing to do with the Miami Hurricanes.
Every road game is a hostile environment. Every stadium, full of energetic, emotional fans, gets up for a game against the Miami Hurricanes. They live for this. The love to see a team of Miami’s caliber and national brand come to their stadium, big or small, and they root as loudly as possible for their team to beat the Canes.
So what? Miami should make roster changes based upon the fact that opposing fans are going to root against them? Because the building is going to be loud? Because it’s homecoming, or the Red Bandanna Game, or some other event?
D’Angelo trumpets the faulty logic Mark Richt tried to pass off to people for the QB switch against Virginia: “Malik Rosier gives Miami the best chance to win because of his maturity”. That’s simply not true.
Maturity does affect things, but it doesn’t win games. Talent and performance do. And while Rosier is “mature”, based solely on chronology, his talent and performance are a clear downgrade from Perry, which matters at the game’s most important position.
Malik Rosier came in for N’Kosi Perry against Virginia and promptly went a mature 4 for 12 passing with an interception. Rosier went 6-8 on the Canes’ lone TD drive of the night, but the 2 incompletions were both interceptable balls, and would have been picked off if not for stellar defense played by Miami’s receivers down the field.
Where was the maturity then, gentlemen?
“But if Perry could not handle Scott Stadium on a homecoming Saturday night,” D’Angelo wrote, “nothing should give Richt confidence he can thrive in an Alumni Stadium environment next Friday that will be even more hostile.”
I disagree with the notion that Perry couldn’t handle Scott Stadium on Homecoming.
The performance left much to be desired, but Perry only got 4 drives on offense, and Richt even admitted that the 2nd interception wasn’t his fault. So then why the quick hook? Why the double standard? Why not support and coach up Perry the way Richt ONLY does with Rosier?
I can go back and point to MANY games from last year — North Carolina, Florida State, Virginia, Pittsburgh, Georgia Tech — in which Malik Rosier had far, far worse performances than Perry’s 3 for 6 passing with 2 INTs, and was allowed to continue playing. Hell, even after coming in for Perry against Virginia, Malik Rosier was arguably WORSE up until that last drive (when he still tried to give UVa the ball on multiple plays).
And yet, Rosier is afforded an extreme level of confidence and support by Miami’s coach that is singular to himself.
N’Kosi Perry has more talent than Malik Rosier could ever dream of having. He’s taller, has a stronger arm, is more accurate, and has the ability to make defenders miss in space that Rosier simply doesn’t. Rosier is a more physical runner due to his more compact frame compared to Perry, but that’s it. Oh, and he’s older. But that’s not a performance trait, despite Richt and D’Angelo trying to pass it off as though it is.
Continuing to play Malik Rosier is, quite simply, unacceptable. Rosier lowers the ceiling of performance for this team, and it’s quite obviously to anyone watching. The only area he has an “advantage” over Perry is age. And nobody cares about that. Well, no reasonable person, that is.
For both Richt and D’Angelo, the entire conversation regarding which QB to play comes down to things other than talent; other than performance. Age. “Maturity”. Richt’s comfort with Rosier — whom he has worked with for 3 seasons as opposed to Perry’s 2. Some other nebulous thing. And that’s telling, because if there were actual performance-based reasons to start Rosier, both the writer and the coach would have said them repeatedly and made sure that they were well known.
But those performance-based reasons to play Malik Rosier simply do not exist.
Malik Rosier is a 51% CAREER passer. He threw 1 interception vs UVa and had several other balls either dropped by the Virgina defense, or broken up by Miami receivers, who had to do their best to keep Rosier from throwing even more INTs. Yes, N’Kosi Perry threw 2 interceptions, but at 10-0, Richt should have been able to calm him down and gotten the youngster to elevate his performance; that’s what coaching is about.
We’ve seen this movie with Malik Rosier starting. We know how this is going to go. And, if he were such the better option at QB, Perry wouldn’t have taken his job during the FIU week, Perry wouldn’t have started against FSU — a team he beat by throwing 4 TDs vs 0 INTs I feel obligated to remind you — and he wouldn’t have started against Virginia. But he did. Because he’s both the more talented and better player at QB.
But, instead of supporting him like he did Rosier, Richt panicked and went back to “old faithful”, a player who has been around the program for a long time and who Richt knows is neither as talented nor as good as the younger Perry.
For who? For what?
Instead of messing with the kid’s confidence — even IF Perry were to start from here on out, he’ll surely be walking on egg shells, worried that any mistake will be the end of his time on the field — the clear and only decision to be made is to start N’Kosi Perry, upgrade/update/improve the offensive playcalling to give him and the offense a reasonable chance for success, and move forward from there.
I’m tired of talking about this. I’m tired of having to come here to write the same thing over and over and over.
The only decision to be made is to start and play N’Kosi Perry at QB. Any other thought is asinine.