Miami making QB change, starting N'Kosi Perry vs. No. 20 Virginia

Miami is making a change at quarterback.

Hurricanes head coach Manny Diaz announced Wednesday that N’Kosi Perry will get the start on Friday night against Virginia, replacing Jarren Williams. Williams is dealing with an “upper extremity injury,” Diaz told reporters, but Perry’s play in the second half against Virginia Tech last week also played a part in the decision.

“Jarren Williams is dealing with an upper extremity issue that leaves him less than 100 percent,” Diaz said per CaneSport.com. “We think N’Kosi gives us a chance to win. I think we all saw last Saturday the improvement in his game. And we’re excited to get behind him, ride behind him and find a way to beat a very well coached and tough-minded Virginia football team.”

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Williams, a redshirt freshman, won the starting job in preseason camp but has had his ups and downs so far this season. Overall, he has thrown for 1,074 yards and seven touchdowns while completing 71.4 percent of his passes. But against Virginia Tech, Williams threw three first-half interceptions and was benched in favor of Perry.

The Hurricanes fell behind 28-0 against the Hokies, but Perry led the charge in a furious comeback. Miami tied the game at 35-35 with 3:16 to play, but Virginia Tech responded with a score of its own two minutes later and held on for a 42-35 win.

N'Kosi Perry will start at quarterback for Miami against Virginia on Friday night. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
N'Kosi Perry will start at quarterback for Miami against Virginia on Friday night. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

Perry, a redshirt sophomore, has starting experience. In 2018, he split first-team reps with senior Malik Rosier throughout the season. In 11 games (six starts), Perry threw for 1,091 yards and 13 touchdowns but had just a 50.8 completion percentage. He also was intercepted six times.

This year, Miami hopes Perry can spark a turnaround. The Hurricanes are off to a disappointing 2-3 start in Diaz’s first season as head coach with the 20th-ranked Cavaliers coming into Hard Rock Stadium on Friday night.

Diaz would not divulge the severity of Williams’ injury or if he will be available to play on Friday. Behind Williams and Perry on the depth chart is Ohio State transfer Tate Martell.

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