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Richt on changing quarterbacks: 'I believe what I believed'

Hurricanes coach says he isn't second-guessing decision to bench Perry, Rosier

N'Kosi Perry (left) and Malik Rosier have split time at starting quarterback for the Miami Hurricanes this season.
N'Kosi Perry (left) and Malik Rosier have split time at starting quarterback for the Miami Hurricanes this season. (Getty Images)

CORAL GABLES, Fla. – Miami head coach Mark Richt said Monday he isn't second-guessing his decision to switch quarterbacks this season.

Richt told reporters he's not looking back on his decision to bench redshirt senior Malik Rosier in favor of redshirt freshman N'Kosi Perry after four games. Nor does he regret going back to Rosier, who will reclaim his job this Friday night at Boston College.

"Not really, because I believe what I believed," Richt said. "You have to go with your gut and your heart and what you believe is right. When you think something's right, then you do it, and if you think making a change back is a better decision, regardless of what people might think, you have to do it."

But that doesn't mean Perry won't have a role on this football team moving forward.

"I think N'Kosi has come far enough to play in a game when it counts the most," Richt said. "Right now, I think Malik gives us a better opportunity to win as the starter."

Perry, who was suspended for the season-opening loss to LSU, made his first career start Sept. 27 against North Carolina, throwing for 125 yards and a touchdown as Miami routed the Tar Heels 47-10.

He was even better against rival Florida State, throwing four touchdown passes and rallying the Hurricanes from a 20-point deficit in the fourth quarter to beat the Seminoles 28-27.

But Perry was ineffective in his last game at Virginia, throwing two interceptions before being benched in favor of Rosier. The Hurricanes went on to lose 16-13.

 

Although Richt announced last week that he's going back to Rosier, the former backup quarterback said he anticipates playing Perry against the Eagles.

"Am I saying (with) 100 percent (certainty) that he's going to get in the game? No," Richt said. "But the plan would be for our second-team quarterback to get in the game. At any time I've ever been coaching, if I had a second-team guy that's ready enough to get in the game and is only going to get better with game reps, I want to get that guy in the game, if I don't think he's going to hurt the team in some way, shape or form."

Richt said Perry has earned the right to get in the game.

"Whether or not the situation is right and all that, like I said, we'll manage that as it comes," Richt said.

Richt knows a thing or two about sitting on the sideline. He was a backup to future Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly during much of his time at Miami while playing under Howard Schnellenberger.

"Malik handled the demotion like a man and didn't do a bunch of things that might hurt his chance to be the guy again," Richt said of Rosier's attitude after he was benched. "He just went back to work."

Richt said neither quarterback has lost the confidence of his teammates.

"I don't think Malik's credibility with the team has diminished at all," Richt said. "I think they still believe in Malik, and I think if N'Kosi was still in the game, they'd say, 'Let's roll.' That's just how I think the team would react."


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