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C.I.C. MVP: Malcolm Perry leads Navy over East Carolina with 6 touchdowns

The senior accounted for six touchdowns on Saturday in Annapolis and is our C.I.C. MVP this week.

NCAA Football: East Carolina at Navy Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

A good option quarterback is one that is decisive in his decision-making, one who takes care of the ball, one who is always a threat to keep the ball and take off, one who minimizes mistakes, one who can read defenses, and one who can — every now and then — catch the opponent sleeping and burn them with his arm.

Malcolm Perry was always a spectacular play-maker and has long had home run potential when running the football, but he wasn’t exactly a danger to defenses when passing and mistakes were occasionally his peril.

That was until this season, anyways.

Malcolm Perry is a good option quarterback, y’all. And this week, he’s the C.I.C. MVP for this here blog.

The East Carolina defense did not have an answer for the 5-foot-9 quarterback from Clarksville, Tennessee. Perry had his way with the Pirates, and did so rather effortlessly.

For the second straight game, Perry set a career-high for a single game passing total, throwing for 151 yards and two touchdowns, completing 5-of-7 attempts. (That’s a QBR rating of 99.3, by the way.)

On the ground, Perry might’ve been even better, scampering along for 156 yards and four touchdowns on 24 carries.

“I have no idea how he does it,” Navy center Ford Higgins told the Washington Post on Saturday.

Perry didn’t throw a pick, didn’t fumble and took only two sacks as Navy stormed to a 42-10 win. Perry’s six touchdowns were the most by a single Midshipman since Nov. 15, 2014, when Keenan Reynolds found the end-zone seven times against Georgia Southern. Perry also became the first Navy quarterback to total 150 yards passing and a 150 yards rushing since Ricky Dobbs pulled it off in a win over Arkansas State on Nov. 20, 2010.

The first three seasons Perry was a Midshipman, he played several different positions. Sometimes he was a quarterback, but other times he was a wide receiver, or a slot back, or a kick returner. After playing musical chairs under center last season, head coach Ken Niumatalolo committed to Perry as being the team’s starting quarterback for the 2019 campaign. After Perry’s first two games — in which he’s now accounted for 438 yards and seven touchdowns in a pair of victories — it sure seems like Niumatalolo made the right move.

“Coming into spring workouts, that’s when it really made the most difference,” Perry told the Washington Post. “Recognizing that I am the starter, I’m the leader of the team, and I’ve got to make the right decision, and I’m really the focal point of the success offense. Knowing that, accepting that, going out there and executing, it helps a lot.”

“If Malcolm continues to play like that he’s going to give us a chance,” Niumatalolo told the Baltimore Sun. “He’s playing really, really good football. He’s getting us into the right plays and running the offense really well. He’s got great command of our offense right now.”

Indeed.

Navy has some time off, but will head to Memphis on Sept. 26 for a Thursday night clash with the Tigers. Navy just edged out the Tigers by a single point last season in a game where Navy used three quarterbacks. Barring an injury, it’s safe to assume we’ll see just one person under-center for the Midshipmen at the Liberty Bowl.

C.I.C. Honorable Mentions

  • D.J. Hammond III rushed for a score and threw for two others in Air Force’s overtime win over Colorado. He totaled 177 yards on the day.
  • Jere Fejedelem had 14 tackles — two for losses — and a sack for Air Force in the win, leading the Falcons’ defense.
  • In the first start of his collegiate career, Jabari Laws rushed for 137 yards and a touchdown in Army’s win over UTSA. He also completed each of his two passing attempts.
  • On just five touches, Kell Walker scampered for 80 yards and two scores against UTSA for Army.
  • Senior Cole Christiansen had nine tackles, a sack and a forced fumble in the Army victory.