Just Manage The Game

The Hurricanes are 4-2 as they head into the meat of their ACC schedule. They can still win the conference and play in a BCS game but if they're to do that, Kyle Wright needs to step up his game.

Often times the quarterback gets blamed for a team's offensive woes. In the case of this year's Miami Hurricanes, it's no different.

"Everyone thinks it is Kyle, Kyle, Kyle," head coach Randy Shannon said. "But Lance (Leggett) missed a touchdown pass in the endzone. Is that Kyle's fault that the running game didn't work? You all need to get off the quarterback. One week Kyle is the savior the other week he is not."

That is simply a head coach defending his quarterback. And understandably so. Wright has taken a lot of heat from fans but halfway through the season, his passer rating is currently 15th in all of college football.

The bottom line is he's struggling. However, probably not as much as some people are saying. He has completed 64-percent of his passes for 1,096 yards. Where the criticism comes in is with his 8-8 TD-INT ratio. That is the worst of any quarterback rated in the top 40 right now.

Shannon and his coaches are trying to make Wright understand that all he has to do is manage the game well.

"In football, you don't need to make a play as a quarterback," he said. "I tell everybody this -- the real good quarterbacks that make the play, they just dink and dunk. You can look at the guy from New England – (Tom) Brady – I watched two games in a row, back to back. They threw 14 passes in a row both games. They were to the tight end, the running back, out cut – tight end, running back, out cut, nothing was over eight yards."

Applying that logic to his own team, Shannon said the team simply didn't execute the same way.

"We have the first attempt at a gain," he said, "(and Leggett) is wide open, and the ball is right in the ground. (Kyle) makes that throw all of the time, so that is why I knew he was trying to do too much. He was antsy. He was trying to do too much. It was just an eight yard catch, maybe a first down and move the sticks but he throws it right in the ground. BOOP. Just do it."

In just four starts, Wright has already thrown eight picks, including four against North Carolina. That's something Brady, or any other winning quarterback, doesn't do. Sometimes it's not always on the quarterback but Shannon talked about that.

"One ball was when a wide receiver should have knocked it out of his hands," he said, "so yes, he should have. The one in the end zone, yes (it was on Wright). The two on the linebackers, yes. So, yes, three of them were on him. He knows it, I won't say he doesn't. It was him. I'm the kind of guy who will tell you exactly how it is."

Wright is capable of doing big things if he simply manages the game and gets the ball into the hands of his playmakers. The Texas A&M game was the best example of him doing that. That's the type of performance the Hurricanes will need from their senior leader if they have any hope of making it to the ACC Championship game in December.

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