Football

Matchup: Miami vs. North Carolina

Quarterback: North Carolina starter T.J. Yates was playing as well as anyone in the ACC, but he is out for the next six weeks with an injury. Coach Butch Davis will most likely turn to Mike Paulus, a redshirt freshman, to start. Paulus looked panicked against Virginia Tech last week after replacing Yates. On the Miami side, Robert Marve looked great last week and won ACC Rookie of the Week honors. Jacory Harris will also continue to get time. EDGE: Miami

Running Back: Graig Cooper had a career day against Texas A&M and showed the top-level burst that had many comparing him to Reggie Bush. He is hard to stop in the open field. Derron Thomas is a steady second back. For UNC, starter Greg Little is averaging only 3.6 yards per carry, and if his 50-yard touchdown run against Tech is excluded, he has 49 rushes for a mere 129 yards. However, athlete Brandon Tate is averaging 20.1 yards per carry for the Tar Heels. EDGE: Miami

Receivers: UNC features the best one-two tandem in the ACC in Tate and junior Hakeem Nicks. They already have five receiving touchdowns between them, and Tate is averaging an electric 27 yards per catch. Miami has a gang of talented receivers, but no go-to guy at this point. EDGE: North Carolina

Offensive Line: Miami’s has been strong, but so has UNC’s. Both teams are averaging 4.3 yards per carry in the ground game, and both passing games have been effective in games that the teams won; however, both passing games broke down in the teams’ losses. Both stats reflect upon the lines. EDGE: Even

Defensive Line: UNC is led by sophomore Marvin Austin. Miami, however, has more depth. Eric Moncur fought through injury and grief last week to put up a big time effort, and he is looking to keep it going this week. Allen Bailey has been around the ball and looks now to get into the backfield more often. In the end, Miami’s depth and talent are just too much. EDGE: Miami

Linebackers: Miami’s linebackers have looked good all season, but not great. They missed too many tackles last week, and that problem should be addressed in practice this week. Glenn Cook is the smartest player on the field at all times and had a big stat week against the Aggies. UNC is led by Quan Sturdivant. EDGE: Miami

Secondary: Miami’s secondary was around the ball last week, but still has no turnovers this season. They have more talent, but North Carolina’s secondary has been solid all season and has not let any opposing quarterback put up big numbers. EDGE: Even

Special Teams: Miami looked good last week, but this is far from a team strength. For North Carolina, Tate leads the way. He is explosive and dangerous on kickoffs and punts. Both kickers have been excellent on field goals. EDGE: North Carolina

September 24, 2008

Reporters

Dan Stein

Senior Sports Writer


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