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Miami-North Carolina Preview: Are the Hurricanes On Upset Alert?

MIAMI - OCTOBER 7:  The University of Miami gets ready to snap the ball against North Carolina on October 7, 2006 at the Orange Bowl in Miami, Florida.  (Photo by Eliot J. Schechter/Getty Images)
Eliot J. Schechter/Getty Images
The ACC and SEC BlogSenior Analyst INovember 13, 2009
Miami Hurricanes at North Carolina Tar Heels
Line: Miami -3

The Butch Davis Bowl takes place for the third time as Miami travels to Chapel Hill to face North Carolina.

North Carolina Head Coach Butch Davis used to be the head guy at Miami where he brought the Hurricanes back to national prominence. Current Miami head coach Randy Shannon is looking to do the same and has his team ranked in the top 25 at 7-2.

The Hurricanes need a win and a Georgia Tech loss to pull into a tie for the Coastal Division lead. The Tar Heels are looking to extend their winning streak to three games and improve their bowl position after a rough start to the season.

Davis has beaten his old team in the first two meetings since he took over at UNC. The winner of this game will likely move into one of the top four bowl spots while the loser could fall anywhere.

Keys To The Game

Can North Carolina Pressure Miami QB Jacory Harris?

The Tar Heels ranks fifth nationally in pass yards allowed. On the season they have 23 sacks led by Sophomore Robert Quinn with 10.

Meanwhile, Miami has given up 26 sacks on the season. Harris is great at finding receivers when given time, but he is not going to beat you with his feet scrambling so the Heels should come after him.

But if UNC cannot get to the Sophomore QB, then it will be a long day for their defense chasing the speedy Miami receivers around the field.

Can Miami Force UNC QB TJ Yates To Beat Them?

I am a big proponent of a defense making the opposing offense beat you “left-handed” by taking away their best weapon.

North Carolina is not gang busters by any means of offense, but they are considerably better running it than throwing it. The 109th rated pass offense is throwing it for just 153 yards per game.

If Miami cannot stop the run then it will allow UNC to chew clock and keep the ‘Canes potent offense on the sideline.


I think UNC has turned the corner and is playing much closer to what most thought they would before the season.

This will be the best defense Miami has faced all year and I think they will have a tough time moving the ball consistently.

If UNC can limit the turnovers, especially on their side of the field, I think they have a great chance for the upset playing at home.

North Carolina Wins and Covers +3

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