Tough Situation for Freeman

Quarterback Kirby Freeman made his season debut on Saturday against Florida A&M in a tough situation.

Kirby Freeman entered the game with 2:40 left in the 1st half as Miami began their drive at their own 23-yard line.

Already up 21-0, Freeman was looking to showcase what he could do.

Facing a 3rd-and 8 situation at his own 25-yard line, Freeman overthrew his intended receiver that was picked off.

"I tried to hit Lance on an in route, but the ball jumped off my hand," Freeman said. "I don't know if it was excitement or what."

Coming off the bench and leading a team down the field in a 2-minute drill is never an easy situation.

"I didn't really agree with them putting me there at the end of the half," said Freeman after the game. "But they called on me and I didn't do a very good job to be honest."

Head coach Larry Coker felt he made a mistake on the decision on when to play Freeman.

"I think that was my mistake," Coker said. "With two timeouts left and over two minutes left, we probably should have made a first down and then gone into 2-minute. But let's put the pressue on guys."

Coker wanted to play Freeman in the first half because, "We definitely wanted to play him meaningful time in the first half--he deserves that. Obviously there are times when he needs to play for us a lot."

It was not the most ideal situation for Freeman, who made his season debut on that drive.

"It wasn't a whole lot of fun going out there on your first set of downs for the year being a 2-minute series, but I wish I would have controlled it better," he said.

In the second half, Freeman led the team for the majority of the half and finished with a productive day.

For the game, he was 6-of-9 passing for 55 yards and a touchdown. He just had the lone interception.

"They let me get in the game in the second half and get my confidence back," Freeman said. "I don't know what my numbers were, but I felt pretty good controlling the offense, getting the signals, and all that good stuff. That is what you need to do as a back-up."

"I am really trying to work hard to not be a back-up. My mind frame is not as a back-up and my teammates don't treat me like a back-up. I felt pretty comfortable out there except for that one scenario I would have loved to have had back and I think the coaches would have loved to have had it back too."

Miami will travel to Louisville Saturday to face the nation's top offensive team. Louisville leads the country in points per game (60.5) and total offense (651 yards/game).

"As a whole, putting up 51 points, we needed to do that," Freeman said. "Playing Louisville next week, we might have to put up a lot of points. Hopefully we don't because we really plan on our defense playing well."

Christopher Stock can be reached at

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