North Carolina-Miami Preview: A Critical ACC Coastal Battle in Miami

Danny DolphinAnalyst IOctober 21, 2010

MIAMI, FL - OCTOBER 9: Jacory Harris #12 hands the ball off to Damien Berry #20 of the Miami Hurricanes against the Florida State Seminoles on October 9, 2010 at Sun Life Stadium in Miami, Florida. The Seminoles defeated the Hurricanes 45-17. (Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)
Joel Auerbach/Getty Images


Kickoff: 7:30 PM EST Saturday, October 23, 2010

Location: Sun Life Stadium (Miami, FL)


Overall Records (ACC): Miami 4-2 (2-1), North Carolina 4-2 (2-1)

Line: Miami by 6.5

Last Year: North Carolina won at home 33-24 for its third consecutive win against the Canes.


Miami Injuries

Curtis PorterDTOut Indefinitely (knee)
Lamar MillerRBQuestionable Week 8 (shoulder)
Tommy StreeterWRQuestionable Week 8 (upper body)


UNC Injuries

Giovani BernardRBOut For Season (ACL)
Greg EllebyDLOut For Season (knee)
Shane MularkeyLBOut For Season (shoulder)
Quan SturdivantLBQuestionable Week 8 (hamstring)
Quinton AltonDEQuestionable Week 8 (shoulder)
LeCount FantroyCBQuestionable Week 8 (shoulder)
Brendon FelderWRQuestionable Week 8 (knee)


Miami Offense vs. UNC Defense

Miami’s offense is at their best when they’re running the ball effectively. Last week against Duke, halfback Damien Berry rushed for 111 yards, his third consecutive 100-yard game.

North Carolina ranks 69th nationally in run defense and 22nd in pass defense. They also don’t get consistent pressure, averaging just 1.3 sacks per game.

Hopefully offensive coordinator Mark Whipple doesn’t go for the kill early with deep passes. That has gotten Jacory Harris and the Canes offense in trouble countless times this year. They have to run the ball. He sometimes trusts his quarterback too much.


UNC Offense vs. Miami Defense

Carolina quarterback T.J. Yates may not be flashy, but he is a very good passer who rarely makes mistakes. He has 11 touchdowns against one interception on the year with a high completion rate at 66.5 percent.

The Miami defense needs to play smart and continue to apply pressure on the quarterback. Yates often will hold on to the ball too long to avoid forcing throws that can lead to interceptions.


Miami Impact Player: WR Leonard Hankerson—Nobody in the UNC secondary can match up with Hank one on one.


UNC Impact Player: QB T.J. Yates—He is accurate and doesn’t turn the ball over. He is second in the conference in efficiency with a quarterback rating of 154.3.


Miami Keys

1. Establish the run early

Instead of opening up with deep passes, why not put the two horses (Mike James and Damien Berry) to work? Get the defense on its heels and set them up with big plays via play action. You’ve got a tank at right tackle in Seantrel Henderson. Use him!


2. Jacory needs to pick his spots

I’d like to see one game this year where Jacory doesn’t recklessly wing the ball down the field into impossible situations (think triple coverage). He needs to realize that the big play is going to be there, but only at certain points of the game. If he plays smart football, this team is in every game this year. Everyone wants to see this kid put it together, and he has half a season to do it.


3. Special teams tackling

Miami has had issues on special teams coverage. You can’t shorten the field for an efficient UNC offense with a quarterback who doesn’t turn the ball over.


Prediction: Miami 30 North Carolina 24


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