Position Preview: QB

The moment of truth is September 5, 2005, in Tallahassee at Doak Campbell Stadium. It is the time the Miami Hurricanes will find out if their young quarterback is ready for the real deal or not, and it could give a very good indication on what may become of Kyle Wright and his career at the University of Miami.

A NEW ERA AT QUARTERBACK

And it's the position that the ‘Canes are left with the most questions because Kyle Wright has barely seen the field in his two years at UM, but now the red shirt sophomore will be the man the Hurricanes rely on to help lead them back to the scene of their last National Championship at the Rose Bowl come January 2006.

Most young quarterbacks don't start their first game on the road against conference rival Florida State with as many expectations as have been placed on Wright, especially since UM has whipped up on the rival ‘Noles six straight times, including taking the last two in Tallahassee.

But for Wright, a young player, it could be a great thing or turn into a disaster.

A win for Wright on the road at Florida State could mean wonders for the strong-armed quarterback's confidence.

A loss could be devastating for a young player who is taking over for Brock Berlin, who although maligned for much of his two seasons at UM, helped lead the ‘Canes to three straight wins over the ‘Noles, including the 2004 Federal Express Orange Bowl Classic at Dolphins Stadium.

The former Gatorade National Player of the Year in high school, Wright was expected to compete for the starting position as a freshman with Berlin and former back up Derrick Crudup.

In fact, there were thoughts that Wright might overtake Berlin for the starting position, but it was decided that it be better the Wright be redshirted rather than waste a year of eligibility sitting on the bench behind a far more experienced Berlin.

But now the stage is set for Wright, who played in two games, passing for 30 yards and completing 5 of 9 passes with no touchdowns and no interceptions.

1ST START FOR WRIGHT AGAINST FSU

The one thing that is certainly in his favor is the fact that going into the Florida State game, it's clear that FSU coach Bobby Bowden is afraid of the Wright-led Hurricanes because he's already announced that he will not suspend starting linebackers Ernie Sims and A.J. Nicholson even though they both were arrested this summer, Sims for assaulted his girlfriend, and Nicholson for DUI.

The ‘Noles, however, will be without starting defensive tackle Clifton Dickson, who was declared academically ineligible and the ‘Noles top cornerback Antonio Cromartie who was responsible for the only touchdown FSU scored on Miami when he scooped up a fumble for a touchdown return.

At the same time UM's offense line returns Eric Winston and should be much better giving Wright a lot more protection than Berlin got late last season. And even with the limited experience of Wright, he is actually the more experienced quarterback on the field come September 5 as expected FSU starter Wyatt Sexton, who thought he was God earlier this summer, is out for the season with lime disease.

That leaves red shirt freshmen Drew Weatherford and Xavier Lee to battle for the starting position with no clue at this point as to who will take the first snap against the ‘Canes.

That alone should make Wright feel more confident and take away some of jitters he may have had going into the game simply because it will give him the room that he can make mistakes and it probably not cost the game because there is no doubt the ‘Noles quarterbacks will make mistakes too under the pressure of trying to break a six-game losing streak.

Just ask Chris Rix.

BACK-UP QB

Backing up Wright is red shirt freshman Kirby Freeman who battled for the starting position in the spring, but the ‘Canes and their fans don't want to see too much of Freeman this year because if that's the case, it means one of two things, Wright got hurt, or he simply didn't perform. Either one is bad news.

However, the Kyle Wright-era begins September 5 and by the end of the night, we'll know just how good the young buck is, and if we can expect the next Ken Dorsey in this young gunner.

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