Post Game Awards: FIU

Cory Grimes
7 min read
Saturday’s Butch-ering of FIU left Canes faithful with a lot to be excited about as they head into the conference slate. N’Kosi Perry’s first real debut gave the Hurricane offense a storm surge that was life threatening for the FIU defense. Manny Diaz and the starting defense had Butch Davis in a headlock all afternoon. After the Canes get another win under their belt and move up to 16th in the rankings, I present you my Post-Game Awards.

Best Overall Performance: N’Kosi Perry (17/25 224 yards 3 TDs 1 INT)

Man, everyone has been waiting for this. N’Kosi Perry came in the 3rd drive and said, “I’m the captain now.” Perry showed off the full ****nal on Saturday throwing darts, touch passes and everything in between. CMR even joked that Perry’s lone mistake on the interception may have been the best punt of the day. His presence on the field gave the every person in green and orange a jolt. N’Kosi spread the wealth as he made connections with guys like Mike Harley, Brevin Jordan and Lawrence Cager. He started the game with a bunch of quick throws to get in rhythm, but as the game went on, he started to open it up and work all three levels of the defense. He fit the ball into tight windows.

One my biggest takeaways was Perry’s ability to work the middle of the field. Intermediate throws between the hashes haven’t really been a big part of the UM offense recently. N’Kosi was able to do that on several occasions on Saturday. One play in particular was when he tossed the ball right over the defenders to his favorite target, Brevin Jordan, on a seam route for the TD. That wasn’t the first time those two have connected for six, and it certainly won’t be the last. Miami has some major redzone targets like Cager and Jordan, and Perry’s play at QB helped accentuate those skillsets on Saturday. Perry showed flashes of what he can do with his legs as well. He may not be as firmly built as Rosier is to break through arm tackles, but it takes about one N’Kosi run to recognize who is the far more explosive athlete.

In short, Perry showed he was dynamic as many people thought he could be, and he is just another weapon on the field for CMR’s offense. He gives this offense the opportunity to score from anywhere on the field. He came on the field and captured his moment to shine. There was a noticeable belief in Perry from everyone on the team, and it propelled him to a breakout day. The next step for Perry will be maintaining the consistency to be able to string together multiple performances like what was seen on Saturday.

Side note: I must recognize that Malik Rosier appeared to handle this situation as well as he possibly could have, and CMR spoke to this point as well. He did not put his head down for a second after being taken out of the game. Malik Rosier is a mature young man and certainly understood the situation at hand. He helped Perry through the game, cheered him on and was just happy about the overall success of the team. Rosier has had a roller coaster career at UM. We’ve all been critical of Rosier’s play, but we cannot question his character. As Perry is likely to be QB1 moving forward, I am certain the Rosier will be doing whatever he can to help his fellow QB and the rest of the team.

Lay the Wood (Hardest Hit): Gurvan Hall

NEW AWARD ALERT: Freshman Gurvan Hall takes this award home for his bone crunching hit on an FIU receiver early in 3rd quarter. FIU threw the flat route and the receiver took the ball up field. The receiver headed toward the sideline, but not quick enough. Gurvan had bad intentions. He met the receiver on the sideline at full speed and gave him a Saturday afternoon baptism. It was a perfect form tackle running at top speed. He put his helmet on the ball, and it landed in Opa Locka. I can’t wait to see more of Gurvan Hall.

Play of the Game: Perry Escapes Pressure, Drops Dime to Cager for 17 yd TD

This play was a N’Kosi Perry all-in-one special. He drops back, smells the pressure on the right side, dips his shoulder and escapes the pocket. As he is running to his right, eyes never veering from down field, he spots Cager streaking toward the back of the endzone. Everyone wants to talk about Perry’s arm strength, but this time he showed off the touch. He dropped a dime into Cager’s arms for 6 points, and Cager chucks up the deuces for his 2nd TD of the day. It’s dangerous for the defense to play against an athletic QB who escapes the pocket to make plays down field and not just with their legs. Plays like this is what has Canes faithful buying a bunch of N’Kosi Perry stock right now.

Put Me in Coach: Mike Harley (7 catches 76 yds)

Mike Harley has already seen considerable play time this year, but with Jeff Thomas going down and Richards still out, Harley more so said “Gimme the ball coach.” With Perry throwing him the rock, Harley had a career day. A handful of those catches were contested balls that Harley just wanted more than the other guy. He was able to show what he could do after the catch, as he was running with a purpose. Also, I was personally impressed with Harley’s down field blocking. He just plays with a chip on his shoulder every time he steps on the grass. Harley may not be as explosive as some of the other guys in the WR room, but he does everything the right way. The coaches rave about his work ethic and attitude, and Saturday it paid off on the field. Perry seemed to have a good rhythm when throwing the ball to Harley, and I expect Harley to work his way into the offense a bit more as the Canes head into conference play.

Trench Bully: Entire Starting Defense

Short and simple. Manny Diaz and his boys jumped Butch Davis in front of everyone at Hard Rock. The UM defense leads the nation in tackles for loss, and they continued that trend with 11 against FIU. The entire UM defense bullied FIU into .7 yards a carry and only 48 yards total offense through 3 quarters. Joe Jackson came in the year with all the national attention, but Gerald Willis and Jon Garvin haven’t been blocked all year, and that didn’t change on Saturday. Willis is playing at an All-American Trench Bully level. The FIU offense had trouble crossing the line of scrimmage the majority of the day. As the younger guys came in for Miami, FIU found some late success. Building depth is certainly still a priority, But overall, this Hurricane defense is for real, and FIU’s offense, especially in the trenches, went home Saturday with two black eyes.

Taking suggestions for a new award for next week. Let's hear it.

Comments (8)

New Award: The “I told you so” CIS poster award. This week I should get it because I predicted Miami would be ranked #16th
Trench bully has to be Willis by far. Gurvan did make a great hit but Carter seems to roam with bad intentions that I liked.
Award for next week: marauder - Someone who attacks in search of booty
we could give punter of the game award... it would go to the opposing team every game.