The Miami Hurricanes and North Carolina Tar Heels meet in an ACC Coastal Division showdown on Saturday night. Miami is coming in after getting a week off after opening their season with a loss to No. 8 Florida 24-20. North Carolina began its season with a win over South Carolina 24-20.
The two teams have met 22 times, with the series being split 11-11. The Tar Heels will be looking for revenge after being blown out 47-10 last year. Miami coach Manny Diaz will be taking on his former boss, Mack Brown, who is back to coaching after taking five years off.
Currently, the line is Miami -5.5, and the over/under is 46.
Hurricanes Look to Rebound
Miami and Florida played the first game of the college football season, and it certainly looked like it. It was sloppy, but the Hurricanes stayed with Florida until the end. Having the full bye week, and a chance to really watch UNC, should be a big advantage for Miami.
Freshman Jarren Williams will be under center for Miami after a solid performance in the opener. He was 19 of 30 for 214 yards and a touchdown, but most importantly for a young quarterback, no interceptions. His favorite target was Brevin Jordan, who had five receptions for 88 yards and a touchdown.
The biggest problem was the Hurricanes’ offensive line that allowed 10 sacks in the game. While they are facing a less formidable group this week, they will have to shore that up if they hope to compete in the ACC.
The running game will rely heavily on junior DeeJay Dallas, who ran for 94 yards and a touchdown on only 11 carries against Florida. Dallas should get the ball in his hands a lot against a much less talented Tar Heels defense this week.
Miami’s defense will be tough for UNC. This group held Florida to 304 yards and only 50 on the ground. The Hurricanes’ defensive front should be too much for the Tar Heels and should create pressure all day.
Tar Heels Excited for Home Opener
The place should be electric as Mack Brown makes his home debut. The season started with a nice win against rival South Carolina, but if this team wants a Coastal Division championship, it has to win at home.
North Carolina will start a freshman of its own at quarterback in Sam Howell. Howell was also impressive in his college debut, going 15 of 24 for 245 yards and two touchdowns and no interceptions.
Dazz Newsome was his go-to receiver with four catches for 74 yards. The Tar Heels will have to be successful in the passing game as Miami is going to have one of the toughest run defenses in the nation.
Sophomore Javonte Williams rushed for 102 yards on 18 carries against the Gamecocks. Yards will be much harder to come by this week, but UNC will stick with the run to keep the Hurricanes honest.
The Tar Heels’ defense, which everyone expected to be better under Brown, was extremely impressive in the opener. They held South Caroline to only 270 yards. Myles Wolfolk showed off his ball skills with two interceptions.
This line opened at -3 Miami and has moved up as the week went along. I think North Carolina will be much improved, but the Hurricanes just have too much talent. That, along with a full extra week of rest, will be the difference. The fresher Hurricanes will start to dominate the game in the second half. I am on Miami at -5.5.