Miami coach Mark Richt is going with N’Kosi Perry.
Redshirt freshman N’Kosi Perry will start Saturday night at Georgia Tech in Atlanta, Richt told reporters Thursday during a teleconference.
“N’Kosi is going to start the game,’’ Richt said. “I think both Malik and N’Kosi practiced well. I think both competed well. We’re just making the decision based on what we think gives us the best shot.”
Now the question is, will fifth-year senior Malik Rosier replace Perry at any point in the game?
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“That, I can’t just sit there and say for sure. We’ll start out with N’Kosi and see how it goes,’’ Richt said Thursday.
When asked during his weekly news conference on Tuesday if he planned to play both quarterbacks in the game, regardless of who starts, the coach said, “I haven’t figured that part out yet, but it’d be tougher just to start rocking and rolling guys in. I think we’ll probably have to just stick to whoever becomes the starter.’’
Thursday, Richt acknowledged that although Perry struggled at Virginia and was replaced by Rosier early in the eventual loss, he was not upset he made the decision to bring back Rosier.
“It was really more of a reaction that I had to what was happening at the moment,’’ the coach said. “It was more of a gut reaction. I’m not mad I made the decision. I can’t say there’s one thing in particular but at that moment in time I felt Malik could steady the boat a little bit. That’s why I did it back then.
“But I’ve gotten to see Kosi continue to grow as a quarterback and continue to keep his worth ethic up. He had a good week of practice and I feel like even the last game [a loss at home to Duke] that he was in, that very last drive of the game, if we don’t get a push-off [offensive pass interference that negated a UM touchdown] in the end zone, he took us down the field when we needed it the most.
“Of course he had some great moments in the Florida State game too when we needed it the most. He’s played some ball now. I think he’s more ready today.”
The much-maligned Rosier has played in seven games for the Hurricanes (5-4, 2-3 Atlantic Coast Conference), with starts the first four games of the season against LSU, Savannah State, Toledo and FIU and then past two games against Boston College and Duke.
Rosier’s numbers: 77 of 144 for 1,007 yards (53.5 percent completed) and six passing touchdowns, with five interceptions. He has run for 210 yards and a team-high six rushing touchdowns.
Perry has played in seven games, with starts against North Carolina, Florida State and Virginia.
Perry’s numbers: 55 of 105 for 701 yards (52.4 percent) and six touchdowns, with five interceptions. He has run for 58 yards and has no rushing touchdowns.
Both Miami and Georgia Tech (5-4, 3-3) need one more win to qualify for a bowl game.
▪ Richt also said on Thursday that UM fans can expect to see true freshman running back Cam Davis on Saturday.
“That had to do with Travis not getting a lot of reps, although Travis, he went today,’’ the coach said of starting tailback Travis Homer, who has a strained calf. “We feel good about [Homer] playing. On the other hand, Cam got a bunch of reps in his absence during practice.”
Davis has played in three games and has one more game he can play and still maintain his four years of eligibility, though coaches might choose to burn his redshirt regardless. Davis has rushed six times for 27 yards, and has one catch for six yards.
▪ Richt said Hayden Mahoney “got a lot of good work at right guard and Venzell Boulware got a lot of good work at left guard” this week and “there’s a possibility those guys start or play more.”