N’Kosi Perry came into the football game, much my my shock and awe, and lit up the FIU Golden Panthers in his coming out party. Perry finished 17-of-25 with 224 yards which was good for nine yards per passing attempt. The young passer also threw three touchdowns and one interception. Perry added 32 yards on the ground in his good-but-not-great performance. However, it was a learning experience and one that will hopefully guide Miami through ACC play this season.
Perry’s first touchdown of the afternoon was a frozen rope to Lawrence Cager. Cager then bounces off tacklers on his way into the end zone. Perry doesn’t look anyone off but there really isn’t a safety on the play. The effortless motion of his release is evident, and the sophomore led the receiver and had just enough touch mixed in with the heat. Miami hasn’t had a quarterback with that touch and strength combination in a long time.
Setting up the Second Touchdown
I like the poise that I saw from Perry on this throw. With time ticking down under a minute in the half, he snags a bad snap off the grass and fires a well placed throw to Mike Harley. Harley was the leading receiver on the day and has an obvious chemistry with Perry.
With a better snap you’d like to see Perry start using his shoulders and hips to look off safeties but again, there wasn’t really anyone deep to look off as Harley came free.
With Brevin Jordan’s athleticism, the Hurricanes have to be able to take advantage of what he offers in speed and burst over linebackers and pure size over defensive backs. Jordan is a mismatch guy for Miami and Perry places a perfect ball that can only be caught by his guy.
One of the knocks on Rosier was his inability to put touch on throws that needed it, or hit back shoulders. Here Perry places the ball on Jordan’s finger tips as he’s being held by the FIU defense. Great throw and catch for a touchdown. Perry also uses his shoulders here to go through his progressions and find Jordan.
On his touchdown in the third quarter Perry does a great job of avoiding the pass rush. He steps up in the pocket, feels more pressure, rolls out for spacing, directs his receiver and throws a strike to the back corner of the end zone. Cager caught two touchdowns and averaged 21.5 yards over his two receptions on the day.
On this third score you couldn’t ask for anything more. The entire play from Perry is what Miami has needed the past three seasons.
We can’t go too crazy about Perry’s performance as it was only FIU. However, the ability he showed gives Mark Richt so many more options across the board than with Malik Rosier that ‘Canes fans have to be excited about what he can bring to the table. A bigger test in some ways will come in a Thursday night game on September 27th against the UNC Tar Heels.
Perry will have to show that he can come into a game week as a starter and that he can look off safeties in order to get his receivers open. The overall command of the offense is important as well.