Before we get off and running, I highly recommend following along with this video here. Shoutout to BJ Wilkes for putting together a great compilation so quickly.
N’Kosi Perry had his first collegiate start Saturday and while the defense and rushing attack took the pressure off the young gunslinger, the redshirt freshman still looked impressive with limited passing opportunities.
Perry starts the game with a dandy, a perfectly executed pass that showcased something Malik Rosier struggled with; timing. Perry executes play action and then finds slot receiver Mike Harley over the middle for a big gain. While the pass is a little high, Perry puts it to where Harley doesn’t need to slow down to get it and the defender has no chance of knocking it away. Harley is able to gain about ten yards of YAC as a result.
Nothing too complicated here. Perry delivers an on-target pass to Darrell Langham just as the receiver’s turning back to the QB while running a curl in. Langham easily scoops it up and gains five on third and long. Perhaps, on a third and long early in the game, this was the read all the way. It is also possible that Perry saw a one-on-one situation for Langham and wanted to see if his big receiver could make his man miss and gain a first down.
Perry makes a great throw in a situation that has underrated difficulty; passing to the far-side of the field, especially when there is some pressure flashing in front of him. The pass is a smidge low for Brian Hightower but the freshman receiver is able to make a clean grab and pick up a first down. As well, the ball is in a spot where only no. 7 can get it.
An “easy” throw this time, as Perry throws to Jeff Thomas on a WR screen. The pass could be a little more out in front of Thomas but the RS freshman still does a nice job of throwing a catchable pass that can generate some serious YAC.
No. 5 started the game 5/5 and completed a first down to Darrell Langham on this play. We see the good; nice timing and reading of the defense, letting Langham clear UNC’s zone before throwing it. However, Perry’s pass is behind big no. 81, who needs to gear down to catch it.
Kosi’s first truly errant pass comes on his sixth throw of the night. Looking for Lawrence Cager on a comeback, the QB puts a little too much mustard on his pass and watches it sail wide of his intended target. Perry’s footwork isn’t great here, in particular he’s got a wide base while throwing, and it likely contributes to this incompletion.
In a slight oversight, this play isn’t included and I can’t find a video of the game that includes it (no full game vids out at the writing of this article). But on this first and ten, Kosi throws incomplete in Cager’s direction.
This is Perry’s best throw all game and the type of pass that a Miami QB hasn’t completed in a long time. After play action, no. 5 rolls to his left, not something you typically like doing with a right-handed QB. Keeping his eyes downfield, Perry sees Mike Harley wide open down the sideline and twists his body to deliver the throw. It’s not perfect and doesn’t allow Harley much YAC but simply getting this ball into his wide receiver’s hands is no small feat.
The dreaded red zone fade route. Perry steps back from under pressure, turns to Cager and lofts it high into the endzone. It’s a pretty pass with good placement, floating down toward his receiver and allowing him a great chance of making the catch. The UNC DB does a nice job of breaking it up though and Cager isn’t able to make the second and third effort for it.
If throw eight was the best then this is a close second. What Perry does here is simply beautiful and if that sounds like me gushing then ok, you caught me. Taking the snap, Perry sees no UNC defender dropping back into the deep middle of the end zone. He knows Langham, working sort of a hitch-and-go type route, will come open. Recognizing this, he looks toward no. 81 then shifts to Brevin Jordan in the flat. Looking hard toward Jordan and even giving a little pump, Perry makes the entire UNC defense bite, before looking back at Langham and tossing a spectacular pass that only Langham can grab. Just remarkable stuff from a guy making his first-ever start.
The interception. While not a, get up and throw something through your TV, type of play, it’s still not good by any means. Last week Mike Harley was making contested grabs like this, but this time, no. 3 can’t haul it in. Perry keeps his eyes locked to the middle of the field, a trait he is beyond his years in developing, to keep the safety off his intended target. He looks toward Harley just as he goes to throw and finds him moderately open. However, the safety does a good job of closing fast, making a play on the ball. And in this tip drill, UNC winds up with the turnover. Perry needs to take less risk going forward but this is certainly a coachable moment.
A well-executed, solid but unspectacular play here. Perry gives a good play action fake and rolls to his left, squaring his shoulders to the line of scrimmage and getting the pass to Jordan in the flat. His technique is pretty sound considering Kosi is throwing it on the run.
Perry had some great plays and some not-so-great plays. His bad plays were few and far between and seemed much more a result of his inexperience and youth than anything he can or can’t do. He has good pocket presence, can read defenses and has a howitzer for an arm. His good plays by the way, were really, really good. We’re talking potential to be an all-timer good. These are flashes, if Perry is going to live up to the hype he needs to do it game after game, year after year. But after one game, I think it’s safe to say the Perry bandwagon will be filling up rather quickly.