CORAL GABLES, Fla. -- When asked about the Temple Owls' dreadful defense, Miami Hurricanes quarterback Kyle Wright struggles to suppress a smile.
''I guess you could say [you're] licking your chops," Wright said. ''But it still comes down to execution. We want to get better each game, so once we get into those bigger games, we're clicking."
The only thing big about Miami-Temple is the pointspread: The No. 7-ranked Hurricanes (4-1) are 41-point favorites over the Owls (0-6).
The mismatch offers Wright a chance to pad his stats while he becomes more comfortable in his high-profile role running the Miami offense. The sophomore and first-year starter is rapidly growing into the job and coming off an impressive performance against Duke, when he threw three touchdown passes to double his season total.
''He keeps getting better every week," senior tackle Eric Winston said. ''He'll mess something up, and the next week you won't see the same mistake. The big thing is we have to give him enough time back there, and he's going to make every throw he needs to make."
Wright has been touted as the next great quarterback for a program that produced Jim Kelly, Bernie Kosar, Vinny Testaverde, Gino Torretta, and Ken Dorsey. Despite only five career starts, he has the swagger of a worthy successor.
''The receivers and I think we can throw on anybody," Wright said.
The Californian has made substantial progress since a season-opening loss at Florida State, when he was sacked nine times, threw two interceptions, and led Miami to only one score.
Coach Larry Coker says Wright is becoming more familiar with the offense. ''The protection is better, but I think the ball is also being released quicker, because he knows more where to go with the ball." Coker said.