Grading the Canes: Quarterbacks

The Hurricanes have struggled to get consistent quality play from their quarterbacks ever since Ken Dorsey left the program following the 2002 season. Those quarterback struggles continued in 2007.

Quarterbacks: D

For the first several months of the Randy Shannon era, nobody knew who the team's starting quarterback was going to be. Senior Kyle Wright and Kirby Freeman had battled back and forth during spring practice and then into fall camp. It was never easy to tell which one had the upper hand. Many thought it would be Wright since he had the edge on experience. Others thought it would be Freeman because of the excitement he seemed to put into the offense at the end of the 2006 season. Shannon kept everyone guessing and then on Tuesday before the Marshall game, Freeman got the nod. It sent a message to the rest of the team and it was quite loud and clear – the best guy will play around here, regardless of age. That experiment lasted less than two full games. After an average opening win against Marshall, in which Freeman had a lot of dropped passes from his offensive teammates, he really struggled against a good team on the road (Oklahoma) – a situation Wright was a little more familiar with at the time. Wright won the job after that and never looked back. A few injuries along the way gave Freeman some more chances but for the most part, this was Wright's team in 2007.

Both quarterbacks really struggled. – especially Freeman, who completed just one of 18 passes against N.C. State. It's too bad that freshman Robert Marve – Florida's Mr. Football in 2006 at Plant High in Tampa – was injured in a car accident over the summer that ended his first season at UM before it began. Although there's no way of telling whether or not Marve would have done any better as the team's starter, he could have provided some more competition for the two older quarterbacks.

UM quarterbacks threw more interceptions than they did touchdowns this season – a stat that can be used to fairly judge a quarterback at any level. Afterall, the idea is to score touchdowns and not turn the ball over. Aside from winning, that number is often considered the most important when looking at the success of a quarterback.

There were some good moments. Wright played very well in a big win over Texas A&M. Freeman led a game-winning touchdown drive against Florida State. For the most part, however, the Hurricanes struggled mightily at the quarterback position from early in the season all the way until the end. The entire Hurricane Nation is excited to see what Robert Marve and three incoming freshmen quarterbacks will be able to do heading into the 2008 season.

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