Coach Speak: Brown gives a rundown of the offense, talks FSU

Coach Speak: Brown gives a rundown of the offense, talks FSU

Stefan Adams
QB N’Kosi Perry got the first start of his career as Miami’s signal-caller last week against UNC and offensive coordinator Thomas Brown said that making a change was difficult, but necessary, based on the staff’s evaluation of the QB spot.

“I think you have to be able to trust your evaluation from the coaching staff standpoint,” Brown said. “Obviously, more attention is paid to it since it’s the quarterback spot. He’s the guy who’s going to the be the leader of the offense and possibly of the entire team. It can be tough at times depending on each situation. I think we’re in a good spot. Both guys are still ready to go play and both of them are still motivated. I love Malik’s mentality. He’s still upbeat and has a good attitude and continues to push N'Kosi. I think we’re going to be fine.”

In his first-ever win, Perry finished a modest 8-12 for 125 yards, 1 TD, and 1 INT, although he wasn’t needed much after the defense took over the game.

“It was a conference game against a quality opponent,” Brown said. “I think we played good competition. I think our defense did a phenomenal job of forcing points to get them off the field. I think we had 44 or 46 snaps of offense. I thought N’Kosi played well.

“I think it’s understanding what it takes to prepare to play quarterback in our conference at this level from a preparation standpoint. But also being able to be locked in at every single day of practice, but also command the huddle, motivate his teammates and be vocal to bring other guys along.”

The Canes now move on to face-off against arch-rival FSU, a series in which emotions have always run high. Unlike in past weeks, Brown believes the team won’t really need any extra motivation to be ready to go on Saturday.

“From a motivation standpoint, this game is going to take care of itself,” Brown said. “We’ll have some motivational stuff for the game, but we don’t need that. It's Florida State and Miami. Enough is said. We have to do a good job of preparing well for them and going to execute.”

In last season’s game, WR Darrell Langham made a game-winning catch in the final seconds despite only playing two snaps in the contest. For the rest of the season, the UM coaching staff used the moment as a teaching-tool to preach always staying ready for your time to shine.

“Obviously, it was a big-time moment. It also shows, for anybody, that you’re never out of it,” Brown said. “I think he only played two snaps the entire game. Never went in the tank, had a good attitude, was focused the entire time and made obviously one of the biggest plays in that rivalry series, at least in recent history for us, to make that catch. Being able to be in that stadium and have it go from, everybody screaming and yelling and them chanting like the game was over, to complete silence, it's a pretty cool feeling.”

“Last year, we talked about it almost every single week. We haven’t talked about it much this year because we obviously have to move on and focus on this team and this moment and this opportunity. But I think it’s a good lesson for all those guys.”

Could the game come down to something like that on the last play again this season?

“Who knows? It might come down to it every game,” Brown said. “We have to prepare for 60-minute war. Florida State and Miami is one of the biggest rivalries in college football. I don’t care what their record is, I don’t care how they played before, we are going to get their best and they are going to be at their best against us in our house. We have to do a good job of matching their intensity, continue to stay motivated, but also stick to our fundamentals. This game is going to be won when it comes down to doing what we do, down after down.”

As always, a key to the game will be winning the turnover battle, something Miami did handily in their win over UNC last week.

“I don’t care if you have the turnover chain, or backpack or whatever prop is used, we obviously want to do a good job of not turning the ball over,” Brown said. “That's probably the fastest way to lose a football game is by giving the ball up. We’ve got to do a better job than we have in the last couple of weeks of holding on to the ball and not throwing picks as well.”

On OG Venzell Boulware moving into the starting lineup the last 2 weeks: “Obviously, we evaluated him on tape before we decided to take him as a grad transfer,” Brown said. “He's a guy with experience who’s played in a bunch of big time games and we wanted a guy who could come in…We’ve got some great talented freshman, but they are still freshman who are trying to come along and progress and to add to the competition. I’ve said it the entire time, I don’t care what spot you have, the more guys that we have to compete that don’t back down from competition, the better we’ll be.”

Through 5 weeks of the season, true freshmen RB Lorenzo Lingard and WR Mark Pope have had little playing time available to them.

“I’ll keep saying this every week - both those guys are very talented, not only those two guys, the entire recruiting class,” Brown said on Lingard and Pope. “It’s less about how good they are, how good they’re practicing. It’s more about the guys in front of them.”

WR Ahmmon Richards (knee) has continued to sit out of practice and Mark Richt essentially ruled him out for the FSU game on Saturday.

“You obviously can’t rush a how body comes back and responds to stuff,” Brown said on Richards. “So we continue to move along until that time comes… I think that’s why it's important for us to have depth and continue to recruit the best in the country to come in and compete. Not just the best talent, but guys who aren’t scared of the competition, that aren’t afraid of who’s there and who’s in front of the guy.

“We want them to come in and prove their worth and also unselfish guys. There were a bunch of guys, receiver wise, who didn’t catch a ball last week, but blocked their butts off, continued to do that down after down. I think the more guys we have that can help us win, the better off we will be."

Three different receivers (Darrell Langham, Brian Hightower, and Mike Harley) have started in place of Richards since he’s been out. How are the starts determined each week?

“It’s all based off practice and performance,” Brown said on the receiver rotation.

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