Canes coach Mark Richt: “The greatest news was no give in no give up’’
At least this week they’re going in the right direction.
The Miami Hurricanes, who charged back from a 20-point second-half deficit to defeat nemesis Florida State on Saturday, rose one spot from No. 17 to 16 in the AP Top 25 Poll on Sunday.
In the Amway Coaches’ Poll, the other major rankings, the Canes rose two spots from No. 17 to 15.
Last week, the Canes ended up moving down in the polls after their victory over Atlantic Coast Conference opponent North Carolina.
Miami is now 5-1 overall and 2-0 in the ACC, with its lone loss in the opener against LSU. The Canes were ranked No. 8 in the preseason, but plummeted to No. 22 after their 33-17 loss to the Tigers. Except for last week, they have since inched up.
LSU, in turn, had risen to No. 5 in the AP Poll before Saturday’s loss to the Florida Gators (5-1), but fell to No. 13 Sunday.
And the Gators? They were No. 22 last week, but jumped eight spots Sunday to No. 14.
The Canes will travel to Charlottesville, Virginia for a 7 p.m. Saturday kickoff against the Cavaliers (3-2, 1-1 ACC). Their next four of five games are on the road.
▪ Redshirt freshman quarterback N’Kosi Perry, making his second career start Saturday, didn’t have a particularly stellar game statistically (13 of 32 for 204 yards and four touchdowns). But the way he led the Hurricanes back with three consecutive second-half touchdowns to seal the 28-27 victory over FSU was likely more important in the long run.
“I don’t know if this was like a defining moment for him,’’ coach Mark Richt said Sunday evening during a teleconference, “but it could very well be. A lot of quarterbacks, when they get their opportunity to play, there are moments when you play big when the team needs it the most and it gives you a lot of confidence. The way he finished was tremendous.
“Obviously there were some things early on that weren’t great. It was kind of hot and cold there for a minute. Some of it was poorly placed balls, some were dropped balls, some were bad protection — a little bit of everything hurt the consistency of our passing game. But he hung in there, and then in the end, with the help of the turnovers, was able to make some huge throws and really good decisions and helped us win.”
Keep in mind that Perry was sacked five times by FSU.
After five games, Perry has completed 47 of 83 passes (56.6 percent) for 646 yards and 11 touchdowns, with three interceptions. He has surpassed former starter Malik Rosier in games played this season, passing yards and touchdowns.
Rosier, a fifth-year senior, has played in four games this season, completing 38 of 73 passes for 611 yards and five touchdowns, with two interceptions. Rosier also has run for a team-high five touchdowns.