FACTS & STATS: Site: Sun Life Stadium (,) — Miami Gardens, Florida.
Television: ACC Network. Home Record: UNC 3-1, Miami 4-0. Away Record: UNC
1-3, Miami 1-3. Neutral Record: UNC 0-0, Miami 0-0. Conference Record: UNC
2-2, Miami 2-2. Series Record: Miami-Florida leads, .
GAME NOTES: The Miami Hurricanes have won two straight games and set their
sights on a third, as they welcome the North Carolina Tar Heels to Sun Life
Stadium for an ACC matchup on Saturday afternoon.
Al Golden’s Hurricanes are sitting at 5-3 overall thanks to impressive wins
over Cincinnati (55-34) and Virginia Tech (30-6) in its last two outings. With
the win over the Hokies, Miami evened its conference record up at 2-2.
Larry Fedora’s Tar Heels are also coming off a big win, edging out Virginia on
the road last weekend, 28-27, and moving to 4-4 overall and 2-2 in league
play. The win was also the second straight for UNC after suffering through a
This marks the 18th all-time meeting in this series. North Carolina has won
four of the last seven matchups, including two of the last three at Miami.
However, it was the Hurricanes who came out on top last season, a 27-23
victory on a touchdown drive in the waning moments of the contest.
North Carolina has had plenty of offensive success this season. The team is
putting up a hefty 37.4 ppg and doing so on 443.2 yards of total offense. The
run game is generating 146.4 yards, while the passing attack is rolling up
Dual-threat quarterback Marquise Williams has had his hand in both facets of
the offense, completing 63.3 percent of his passes, for 2,035 yards and 17
TDs, while leading the team in rushing as well with 497 yards and five more
A deep receiving corps is headlined by wideouts Ryan Switzer (35 rec, 456 yds,
3 TDs) and Mack Hollins (26 rec, 555 yds, 7 TDs).
While the offense has flourished, the UNC defense has been dreadful. The Tar
Heels rank 122nd in the nation in scoring defense (41.3 ppg) and 120th in
total defense (512.4 ypg), getting gashed by both the run and the pass with
Sophomore linebacker Des Lawrence and junior linebacker Jeff Schoettmer are
tied for the team lead in tackles with 50 stops apiece. Sophomore cornerback
Brian Walker (25 tackles, 3 INTs) and senior safety Tim Scott (48 tackles) add
to the play of the secondary.
It was only a matter of time before Miami tailback Duke Johnson broke out with
a truly dominant performance last week was it, as he shredded the Virginia
Tech defense for 249 yards and two touchdowns on the ground.
A balanced attack is crucial going forward for Miami, which is now putting up
429.8 yards per game. The rushing attack is responsible for 187.4 yards per
game and Johnson is obviously the key there. The 5-foot-9 junior eclipsed the
1,000-yard mark last time out and now has 1,036 yards and seven TDs on a hefty
That has made freshman QB Brad Kaaya’s job a bit easier under center. THe
youngster has completed 61.6 percent of his passes this year. for 1,898 yards
and 17 TDs.
Senior tight end Clive Walford leads the team with 23 receptions, for 306
yards and four TDs, while senior wideout Phillip Dorsett is the downfield
threat, hauling in 18 balls for 565 yards (31.4 ypc) and six scores.
The Miami defense has had its ups and downs this season, but the overall
numbers are still pretty good. The Hurricanes are yielding just 319.2 yards of
total offense to opponents and stifles opposing passing attacks to the tune of
a mere 171.6 ypg (ninth nationally).
The linebacking corps is the heart-and-soul of the defense, highlighted by
seniors Denzel Perryman (team-high 62 tackles, 1 INT, 2 FF) and Thurston
Armbrister (42 tackles, 7.0 TFL, 5.0 sacks, 2 FF).
North Carolina has the ability to score in bunches, but if Miami’s Johnson
continues to chew up yardage at his current rate, the Tar Heels won’t see the
ball enough for Williams and company to keep up.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Miami-Florida 37, North Carolina 31