Coker The Day After Virginia Tech

CORAL GABLES – Miami coach Larry Coker will stick with Kyle Wright as his starting quarterback.

In a 17-10 loss to Virginia Tech on Saturday, Wright completed 14 of 29 passes for 84 yards and two interceptions. Both of his interceptions came with less than four minutes left in the game.

Despite Wright's struggles to lead the Hurricanes to victories, Coker said on Sunday "there is no thought" of starting back-up quarterback Kirby Freeman.

"If we felt Kirby could go out and win the game for us, it's not anything personal, it is just a matter of we as coaches what we see every day and what we believe our best opportunity to win the football game.," Coker said. "To have a revolving door of quarterbacks to try this and try that, that is not the answer."

As Wright exited the field after the game was over he shouted back at fans who were booing him and telling the Danville, Calif. native to "go back to California".

Ken Wright, Kyle's father, had a much longer exchange with UM fans at the game. It got to the point where UM athletic director Paul Dee had to tell Ken to "hush up and not bother with the fans".

Wright, a junior with a 14-7 career record as a starter, has been the subject of controversy in addition to Coker for the team's lack of success this season. On the season, Wright has completed 61 percent of his passes averaging 184 yards per game. He has thrown for eight touchdowns and seven interceptions.

"I think a lot of this thing offensively is trust," Coker said. "I don't know if we fully trust our receivers. I don't know if our receivers fully trust our protection and so on and so forth…I think the one thing we are lacking is trust."

Nine games into the season Miami is still not bowl eligible with a 5-4 record. They need one more win in their last three games as they travel to Maryland and Virginia before ending the season with Boston College at home on Thanksgiving.

"As coaches we have to somehow we have to give these players things they have confidence in," said Coker, whose offense ranks 74th nationally in total yards. "We have good players and they are good kids. They want to win and they want to do well. We have some really good things, but they are not good things unless you execute them."

Freeman, a sophomore, played in one series during the game Saturday. His first run went for 31 yards as he showed his speed. After two straight running plays by the tailback, Freeman was forced into a 3rd-and-long situation and threw an interception.

"(Freeman) gave us a spark running the football," Coker said. "He had the interception when he got hit in the mouth just as he threw it. We played him when we wanted to play him, which was good."

Freeman said him and Wright shared an "emotional moment" following the game on Saturday in regards to how the two of them are going to get things headed in the right direction.

"We have two quarterbacks," Coker said. "I like them both. I think they can both play better."

Christopher Stock can be reached at

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