The last 3 home games have been the perfect time to break-in N’Kosi Perry; he’s played (and won) in his first ‘big’ game -- now it’s time to head out on the road to face a Coastal foe.
Virginia boasts a 3-2 record, but is coming off a bye week, giving them much more time to prepare than Miami. Virginia is a team that always seems to play the ‘Canes tough, as just last year Miami found themselves down by 14-points twice in the contest. Before Mark Richt took the reigns, Virginia had the Canes’ number, beating us 3 times in a row from 2010-2012.
No matter what team it may be, playing a conference opponent on the road offers a dynamic challenge.
Virginia quarterback Bryce Perkins has 11 touchdowns passes this season, and has also ran for 341 yards. With the quarterback run being something the ‘Canes have been allowing this year, adjustments in the game plan should be in place. On Saturday the ‘Canes oftenly left a man to spy on Deondre Francois, and this week we should expect the same.
Last season, Miami broke a 7-year losing streak against Florida State, but almost lost in heartbreaking fashion the following week against Georgia Tech. As we all know, it took another miracle-catch by the trusty Darrell Langham to secure the victory. This year, Miami faces another conference opponent after Florida State, providing a new test for N’Kosi Perry in particular.
Next Saturday will be the first time N’Kosi Perry starts in a hostile environment - another pivotal challenge for a young quarterback. Against Florida State, Perry was affected by the pressure and hits that they got on him. The pressure forced some ill-advised passes, as his completion percentage was under 50 by the end of the contest.
With that said, Virginia doesn’t have the same defensive talent that Florida State has; but giving Perry time to throw will be vital to our success.
Saturday proved to be an emotional rollercoaster, as the news of Ahmmon Richards’ football career being over surfaced soon after the ‘Canes completed their comeback. Hopefully the team can regroup, remain focused, and be ready to take on anyone, home or away.