Kyle Wright threw for 143 yards and was able to make key connections with receivers, reviving the passing game. Kirby Freeman saw some game time and managed one completed throw in four attempts, but was unable to make any gains. Safety Lovon Ponder secured a touchdown for the ‘Canes with a 37-yard throw to Sam Shields in a trick play.
Running Backs: A
Javarris James netted 111 yards and one touchdown with a notable break-away for 62 yards. Charlie Jones only had four net yards, but managed a one-yard touchdown after stepping out of bounds on his first attempt. Touchdown equals no complaints.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends: A-
Greg Olsen had his best game of the season with 95 yards. Olsen set two all-time records against UNC including number of receiving yards and number of receptions. Although he didn’t score, seeing him in the game more is promising. Sam Shields recorded his first touchdown reception of his career. Ryan Hill had a great 22-yard catch in the second quarter where he held onto the ball despite being hit hard. Lance Leggett dropped a ball on third down when he was open, forcing Miami to attempt a field goal.
Offensive Line: B-
The O-Line was able to keep North Carolina back, allowing only one sack on Wright. However, the UNC defense wasn’t the toughest that the Hurricanes will face this season. It’s time to hit the weightroom.
Defensive Line: A-
Calais Campbell made some significant stops that kept UNC from reaching field goal position. Overall, the defense was solid, but still isn’t the same Miami defense we’re used to seeing. A team that has only won against Division I-AA Furman should’ve been shutout at the Orange Bowl.
Despite some sloppy plays that resulted in penalties, the Linebackers were on point. Jon Beason intercepted a UNC pass in the second quarter that enabled the Hurricanes to gain control of the game 17-7 before the half.
The Hurricanes prevented UNC from making big plays and kept them to seven points. However, penalties from avoidable mistakes have to be corrected.
Special Teams: B-/C+
Thankfully, Jon Peattie is back. He made all of his kicks and secured two field goals to extend the Hurricane lead. However, Brian Monroe is still kicking out of bounds. An out-of-bounds punt in the first half, coupled with a face mask penalty put UNC at the 50 yard line to start their drive.
The Wright/Ponder/Shields play was unexpected and reminiscent of the old days when the Hurricanes pulled out plays other than lateral throws for chump change gains. If this kind of play continues, the ‘Canes may have a chance against tougher teams this season like Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech. However, Rich Olson has to work on third down conversions.
Compiled by Stacey Arnold