NCAAF No. 25 Miami (Fla.) at No. 12 No. Carolina

Written by:
Tony Caliente
Published on:

The Atlantic Coast Conference has become one of the best college leagues in the country. A pair of ranked teams go at it in Chapel Hill when the No. 25 Miami (Fla.) Hurricanes (4-1) visit the 5-0, No 12 North Carolina Tar Heels Saturday afternoon.


Game time at Kenan Stadium is 7:30 PM ET.

Miami suffered a gut-wrenching, 23-20 home loss to Georgia Tech last out, that after a brain-cramp call by the coach, subsequent fumble and last second touchdown by Tech

The collapse (against a 20-point underdog) in the conference opener cost the ‘Canes eight places in the polls.

Miami had earlier wins over “namesake” Miami (Oh.), Texas A&M, Bethune-Cookman and Temple. with none closer than 15 points  

North Carolina, 2-0 in ACC, remains at home after emasculating the Syracuse Orange, 40-7, last week. The Heels piled on 644 yards of offense, 442 through the air. They ended with a staggering 33 first downs in the game

The other victories came at South Carolina, versus Appalachian St. (overtime), versus Minnesota and at Pittsburgh.

It’s the Heels as four-point favorites (total at 57), according to college football odds.

Moneyline is North Carolina -180, the ‘Canes at +155.

UNC is leading the all-time series, 15-11, winning the last four (37-34 on road last season).   

It’s a game with obvious meaning not only in the ACC, but in the rankings as well.

Miami’s second choice (5-1, [+500]) to win the ACC, while North Carolina is co-fourth choice at 16-1 (+1600), as per college football conference odds.

Hurricanes’ Short Memory

The Miami (Fla.) Hurricanes have to get to Chapel Hill without baggage, as last week’s incredibly brutal outcome against Georgia Tech needs to be buried immediately.

It’s an offense that’s done good things to this point in the season (36.8 points/game, 10th in nation). Defensively, the team is 11th, having surrendered just over 294 yards/game.

Quarterback Tyler Van Dyke (1,330 passing yards, 12 touchdowns, four touchdowns) has generally been efficient, but the Hurricanes’ strength is their ground game. Averaging in  excess of 203 rushing yards per game, Henry Parrish Jr. (379 rush yards, 6.4 yards/carry, four touchdowns) leads the way.

Try five rushers averaging better than five yards per carry.  

Xavier Restepo (36 receptions, 476 yards) is the leading receiver to date.

Heels are Clicking

The North Carolina Tar Heels are averaging an even 500 yards of offense per game (T-6th in country). 325,8 through the air (11th in nation).

Quarterback Drake Maye (1,629 passing yards, eight touchdowns, four touchdowns) has completed more than 72 percent of his passes (738 passing yards, four touchdowns, no interceptions in last two).

Wide receiver Nate McCollum (28 receptions, 355 yards, one touchdown) teams with Kobe Paysour (22 receptions, 288 yards, three touchdowns) as favorite targets of Maye. Tez Walker, engaged in a prolonged transfer battle with the NCAA, made his Heels’ debut against Syracuse (six receptions, 43 yards).

Omarion Hampton has seven rushing touchdowns thus far.

UNC to Roll

It’s difficult to imagine the Miami (Fla.) Hurricanes have recovered and refocused entering this game. That loss to Georgia Tech has to linger.

North Carolina quarterback Drake Maye is one of the best players in the country, and will find a way to pick apart the ‘Canes  Expect the Tar Heels to grab an early lead in this game, then close the sale.

Take the North Carolina Tar Heels -4 to prevail, with both offenses sending this over,

- Tony Caliente,

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