University of Miami

Redshirt freshman N’Kosi Perry makes first career start for Miami against North Carolina

Miami Hurricanes QB N’Kosi Perry says the win has made him more comfortable

Miami Hurricanes quarterback N'Kosi Perry speaks to the media after defeating Florida International University 31-17 at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens on Saturday, September 22, 2018.
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Miami Hurricanes quarterback N'Kosi Perry speaks to the media after defeating Florida International University 31-17 at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens on Saturday, September 22, 2018.

The waiting is over.

N’Kosi Perry is the man — at least for now.

Perry, a 6-4, 195-pound redshirt freshman, made his first career start for the No. 16 Miami Hurricanes against North Carolina on Thursday night at Hard Rock Stadium.

Perry won the job over usual starter Malik Rosier, a 6-1, 212-pound redshirt senior from Mobile, Alabama.

UM coach Mark Richt knew earlier this week it would be Perry, but he chose not to reveal it until it became obvious Thursday.

Richt said several times this week that he will start the quarterback he believes will give the Hurricanes (3-1) the best chance to win on a weekly basis.

Perry, considered a dual-threat quarterback who can hurt opponents with his arm and legs, was one of the top recruits nationally out of Ocala Vanguard High School. He made his debut in UM’s 77-0 win over Savannah State on Sept. 8, completing 9 of 14 passes for 93 yards and a touchdown.

He played sparingly the next game at Toledo, entering with 6:17 left, but did not attempt a pass.

Then, last Saturday against FIU, Perry entered the game midway through the first quarter to replace Rosier, and never looked back. He completed 17 of 25 passes for 224 yards and three touchdowns, with an interception. He left that game for one late series, led by third-string quarterback Cade Weldon, then returned to finish the 31-17 victory.

Before Thursday, Perry was 26 of 39 (66.7 percent) for 317 yards and six touchdowns this season. He had run for 25 yards.

Rosier, meanwhile, was 13-4 the past 17 games as a starter, and 14-4 overall, entering Thursday night’s game. Bashed mercilessly by fans on social media, and even booed at times on the field for accuracy problems, Rosier was 38 of 73 (52.1) for 611 yards and five touchdowns, with two interceptions this season before Thursday. He had run for 88 yards and another five touchdowns.

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