A six-pack of Hurricanes notes on a Wednesday, as we approach UM-FSU on Saturday (3:30 p.m., ABC):
▪ UM believes N’Kosi Perry can be special, and there’s video evidence supporting that belief from the past two weeks.
Coach Mark Richt cited three specific throws that speak to the young man’s gifts:
1. Last Thursday’s 2-yard touchdown throw to receiver Darrell Langham, a pinpoint pass in traffic that Langham caught in the back of a congested end zone against North Carolina.
2. A pass in which he scrambled to his right and hit receiver Lawrence Cager. Perfect touch was required, and Perry displayed that.
3. A dart to tight end Brevin Jordan down the middle for a 34-yard gain in the FIU game.
What Perry has, Richt told WQAM’-560s Hurricane Hotline, is “tremendous touch besides his ability to drop back and throw a BB down the middle. H’s got a lot of tools in his toolbox when it comes to throwing the ball.”
And Perry has displayed he’s not only a nimble runner, but a forceful one, not at all reluctant to absorb contact.
▪ Richt doesn’t blame Perry for two of his three interceptions this season. Richt said he made a bad call on Perry’s pick against Savannah State. And Richt said the one interception last week, on a pass intended for Mike Harley Jr., should have been called pass interference.
“If you look at the tape, it was pass interference,” Richt said. “He hit Harley right in the heart. It was a really tight window.”
But in the wake of Perry’s fumble last week, Richt said Perry must do a better job holding the ball in traffic.
“N’Kosi has to squeeze it better,” Richt said. “There’s a difference between [that] and two hands on the ball.”
▪ The difference in accuracy between Perry and Malik Rosier remains striking, especially on intermediate routes.
On passes thrown between 10 and 19 yards the past two weeks, Perry is 7 for 9 for 120 yards and three touchdowns. Rosier was 6 for 13 on those types of throws this season.
On passes shorter than 10 yards, Rosier was 24 of 40 this season. Perry is 15 for 20 on those during the past two weeks.
▪ Everyone at UM thinks highly of Rosier as a leader and person, but as a staffer noted, there were a lot of plays Rosier left on the field and plays that were drawn up that weren’t run the right way.
Still, there was one potential touchdown that Perry missed against North Carolina, according to Richt. On one play, Perry looked the wrong way and Jeff Thomas “would have had a 65-yard touchdown” if Perry had seen him, Richt said on Hurricane Hotline. “That was the one play I wish we could have had back.”
There are still some UM people who believe Jarren Williams might end up being the best of the young quarterbacks. WQAM analyst Brian Monroe, the former UM punter, said Williams was the one who stood out as a potentially special player in a practice he attended in August.
▪ Romeo Finley, who has done good work in the new striker position, not only had the 83-yard pick-six against UNC, but he hasn’t allowed a reception on any of the three passes in his coverage area this season, according to Herald correspondent Daniel Gould, who charts such things.
“He cut a little body fat,” Richt said on WQAM. “Not sure he would have gotten [the TD return] last year. He had an interception in the scrimmage and Cade Weldon got him [on his race to the end zone]. He didn’t want it to happen to him again.”
▪ Quick stuff: One thing that’s irking Richt: “As a group, we haven’t met the standard of our perimeter blocking. It has to get better.”… Of the freshmen tight ends, Brevin Jordan continues to play more than Will Mallory. Jordan had 45 snaps against UNC, Mallory 19…. With Jaquan Johnson out last week, Amari Carter got 50 snaps, Robert Knowles 40 and freshman Gurvan Hall 23. UM hopes Johnson returns against FSU.
Here’s my Dolphins piece from Wednesday about how the team is replacing three players, the latest twist with DeVante Parker and who’s returning to the lineup Sunday in Cincinnati.
Here’s part 2 of my Marlins series on the team’s rebuilding program, with a look at how they view each of their starting pitching prospects.