Fall camp for the Hurricanes is just under a week away, and the most pressing question being asked is who’s going to start at quarterback for Miami. Between N’Kosi Perry, Tate Martell and Jarren Williams, Manny Diaz and Dan Enos have three guys who are capable of playing the position, but who’s right to play the position for Miami, is the question.
Perry has the most experience, and today I wanted to go back and look at some of N’Kosi’s best moments from the 2018 season. Whether it was collection of throws, one scramble, I'm going to look at what made Perry exciting last year.
- Opening drive vs Georgia Tech:
When I think of N’Kosi Perry, one of the first things that comes to my mind is Miami’s first drive against Georgia Tech. The Canes had lost three-straight going into this, and on the very first play, Perry was aggressive, hitting Jeff Thomas for 27-yards.
Then on a 3rd-and-12 from midfield, Perry stood in the pocket and delivered a nice ball to Thomas once again, this time going for 19-yards.
The very next play, Perry again went to the air, finding Lawrence Cager in tight coverage, setting up Miami inside the red zone. Perry went 3-for-3 on the opening drive, which ultimately ended in a DeeJay Dallas touchdown. Scoring early is something that the Canes will have to do in 2019, and against the Yellow Jackets is a perfect example, where we Kosi aggressive early.
- Drive vs North Carolina:
In his first career start, Perry was in primetime as Miami took on UNC on a Thursday night. Up 24-10 with less than four minutes to go in the half, the Hurricanes wanted more points. Thanks to a 25-yard run by DeeJay, Kosi had the ball at the UNC 47-yard line. On a play-action to Travis Homer, Perry rolled to his non-dominant left-side, and delivered a bullet to Mike Harley down the sideline inside the UNC 10.
After the 42-yard pass to Harley, three plays later on third-and-goal, Perry threw an absolute laser to Darrell Langham for the five-yard touchdown. It remains possibly the best throw #5 has made at Miami.
- 3rd-down conversions against Georgia Tech:
Miami went 9-for-15 on third-downs against Tech this night, and I wanted to highlight some of those conversions Perry made. The first one I chose was midway through the third-quarter, and Miami facing 3rd-and-10. Once again, Perry found Jeff Thomas near the sideline for 23-yards, in a throw that is much more difficult than it appears.
On another 3rd-and-10 in their own territory, Perry doesn’t like what he sees and takes off, picking up another first down.
Later on that same drive, Perry hits Dee Wiggins for one of his best throws of the entire season, as he’s able to thread the needle.
On the third 3rd-and-10 of that drive alone, Perry once again shows off his ability to scramble, and picks up a new set of downs.
Underrated part of Kosi’s game is his ability to scramble. pic.twitter.com/PIaqCClPBq— MarshThomas (@hurricanesmarsh) July 17, 2019
- Drive vs Virginia Tech right before the half:
This was a turning point for Kosi, in my opinion. Miami was down 14-10 with just over three minutes to go, and also on a four-game losing streak, so something needed to happen. In this drive, Perry went 4-for-5 passing, and kept the Hokies defense on their toes, as the Canes play-calling was great in that situation.
Another impressive 2018 moment by Kosi. This 71-yard drive right before the half, scoring a touchdown and grabbing the lead. pic.twitter.com/7mP9DbfD9y— MarshThomas (@hurricanesmarsh) July 17, 2019
- Scrambling against FIU and Pitt:
I wrote an article about a month ago how Perry’s dual-threat ability has been under-appreciated so far at Miami, so here are some of his best scrambling plays in 2018.
The first coming against FIU in September, and on 3rd-and-4, Perry took matters into his own hands, not only picking up the first down, but gaining 18-yards into Panther territory. He puts a great move on the linebacker, and is able to bounce off to the outside.
Again against FIU, on another third-down, this time 3rd-and-9, Perry eludes the pressure from the defensive lineman, and escapes the DE’s grasp, and bolts his way for 15-yards and a first down.
Fast-forwarding to the game against Pitt, Perry had a miserable day throwing the football, but once again trusted his legs. Taking over at their own 19-yard line, Kosi wasted no time, and with the pocket quickly collapsing around him, he took off. His longest run of the season, Perry gained 41-yards, all the way to the Pitt 40-yard line.
- Throws vs FSU Part 1:
The FSU game was only Perry’s second start of his career, and he responded in a tremendous way. This first throw, on 4th-and-2, N’Kosi rifled in a touchdown on a slant to Lawrence Cager.
Eluding pressure, rolling out and hitting JT4 in stride. Very nice play pic.twitter.com/jJn717E5uZ— MarshThomas (@hurricanesmarsh) July 17, 2019
Second play I absolutely love. With the pocket breaking down, Perry shows great movement and is able to hit Jeff Thomas in stride while throwing on the run.
Don’t know how he fit it in to Cager on the sideline here pic.twitter.com/5QbKuke4T9— MarshThomas (@hurricanesmarsh) July 17, 2019
Here, Perry shows patience in the pocket, and somehow, someway, is able to loft it into Cager near the sideline.
- Throws vs FSU Part 2:
During Miami’s second-half comeback against the Seminoles, Perry’s play was very unlike a redshirt freshman in that situation. Here, on 4th-and-goal, N’Kosi’s touch on this toss-up to Cager was perfect.
On this play, immediately following a Michael Pinckney interception, Perry doesn’t waste anytime, and finds Thomas in the corner of the end zone for a touchdown.
Finally, his last two throws. The first one, in the fourth quarter, 3rd-and-10, N’Kosi delivers an absolute laser to Thomas, who himself makes an unbelievable catch for a first down. That throw ranks among some of the finest in school history. The very next play, Perry hits tight-end Brevin Jordan for the touchdown. Those two plays showcased Kosi and his talents better than any play last year.