Miami Hurricanes vs. North Carolina Tarheels: Do or Die Game for Both Teams

David MayerCorrespondent IOctober 19, 2010

MIAMI, FL - OCTOBER 9: Chris Thompson #23 of the Florida State Seminoles runs with the ball against the Miami Hurricanes on October 9, 2010 at Sun Life Stadium in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)
Joel Auerbach/Getty Images

When the season started, a lot of people thought Miami and UNC were going to be fighting it out for ACC supremacy. 

Well thanks to multiple suspensions and a horrible offense, both teams are just trying to stay in the hunt for the ACC Coastal Division.

Virginia Tech is undefeated in ACC play at 3-0 and play Duke this Saturday.  Miami and UNC are both 2-1 in conference play, while Georgia Tech is the other one loss team at 3-1.

What this means, if the Hokies beat Duke, is whoever loses this game will most likely be two games back with only four games remaining.

So neither team can afford a loss right now, although both UNC and Miami face Virginia Tech later this year.  UNC has already lost to Georgia Tech earlier in the year, 30-24.

The keys to Miami winning is the same as it has been all year.

Jacory Harris needs to play smarter, the receivers need to catch the ball, and Miami needs to be able to successfully run the ball.

Damien Berry has been a pleasant surprise while Craig Cooper has been slowly coming back from injury. Berry has three straight 100-yard games and Miami has averaged 194 yards per game rushing the last three games, they averaged just 125 yards the first three games.

The running game means more now then ever, especially with the problems Harris and the receivers are having.

The receivers have been plagued by dropped catches all year long.  Even as good of a season Leonard Hankerson is having, 34 catches, 540 yards and seven touchdowns, he too has dropped a lot of balls.

Harris on the other hand just needs to stay focused, make smart reads, and get back to his old self.  Even though he threw 17 interceptions last year, he had 3,164 yards passing and 23 touchdowns. He is on pace for 2,600 yards passing, 22 touchdowns, and 20 interceptions.

This would be a great time for Jacory to pick himself up and lead his team.

On the other hand, the defense for the Hurricanes just needs to do what it has been doing.  Playing hard and creating turnovers.  The Hurricanes created seven turnovers last week against the Duke Blue Devils. 

Miami's focus once again will be set on stopping the passing of the Tarheel's senior quarterback, TJ Yates.

Yates comes into the game with 1,500 yards passing and 11 touchdowns, against just one interception.  His completion percentage is also at amazing 67 percent, ranking him 24th in the country.(Harris is 102nd in the country at 52 percent completion percentage)

So as long as Miami can get rolling on offense, limit penalties and limit Yates, there is no reason why Miami can not come out with a win.

My prediction is Miami 28 UNC 17