Commentary, Football, Sports

Miami Hurricanes need to beat Tar Heels to stay alive in ACC Coastal

Former running back Duke Johnson (8) runs past two North Carolina defenders during last year's win against the Tar Heels. File Photo // The Miami Hurricane

Former running back Duke Johnson (8) runs past two North Carolina defenders during last year’s win against the Tar Heels. File Photo // The Miami Hurricane

The last time the Miami Hurricanes were in the state of North Carolina for a football game – well yeah, we know what happened.

This Saturday’s matchup against North Carolina (8-1, 5-0) may not feature the craziness we witnessed in Durham two weeks ago, but there is no doubt that this game is a season-definer for Larry Scott’s Canes.

Each season, fans rush to see the schedule to find out when Miami plays Florida State. While those games certainly mean a lot, Saturday’s contest against North Carolina could mean a whole lot more.

As it stands, the Hurricanes sit in third place in the ACC Coastal Division behind the Tar Heels and the Pittsburgh Panthers. Undefeated through five games in the conference, North Carolina has the clear edge to claiming a spot in the ACC Championship Game, but the Hurricanes are still in the running.

If the Canes (6-3, 3-2) win out and then get help from either North Carolina State or Virginia Tech in beating North Carolina, the ACC Coastal title would miraculously come to Coral Gables. Now that’s looking ahead, but it’s certainly possible.

North Carolina is coming off of a 66-31 beatdown of rival Duke last Saturday and has won eight straight games after a loss to South Carolina to open the season. If it weren’t for their terrible performance against the Gamecocks, this team could have been in the hunt for a College Football Playoff spot at this point.

The Tar Heels are led by the impressive backfield duo of senior quarterback Marquise Williams and sophomore running back Elijah Hood. While Williams is certainly a threat through the air, he’s also racked up 558 rushing yards this season. As we’ve seen throughout this season, the Canes have often struggled to contain mobile quarterbacks, and that could be an issue again come Saturday.

With Hood, defensive coordinator Mark D’Onofrio will have his hands full, as the powerful back has been solid all season. Last week, the 220-pound running back only rushed for 69 yards, but he punched it in for three touchdowns.

In last year’s 47-20 victory for the Canes, Williams was contained all afternoon while Hood did not make an appearance. But these two guys are different players this year.

The last time the Hurricanes were in the Tar Heel State, they pulled off one of the most spectacular plays in college football history. If the Canes can grab another victory in North Carolina this weekend, it could propel Miami to an improbable ACC Championship appearance.

 

November 11, 2015

About Author

Austin Sapin


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

Last year the rain fell in torrents. Wednesday was all scorching sunshine. Fifteen former Miami Hurr ...

See phtos from the University of Miami's annual Pro Day, where outgoing UM players perform for ...

Quarterback Brad Kaaya ambled out of the Schwartz Center for Athletic Excellence close to 3 p.m. Wed ...

A woman has accused NFL Hall of Famer and former University of Miami star wide receiver Michael Irvi ...

Today is special for 15 former Hurricanes football players from the University of Miami. It’s Pro Da ...

More than 250 participants met at the UM Fieldhouse at the Watsco Center to learn more from industry ...

Redshirt freshman diver David Dinsmore won the NCAA national championship in the men’s 10-meter plat ...

UM junior Gina Panarese was surprised on campus Thursday by the Ellen DeGeneres show and asked to pa ...

A conversation with Belén Garijo and Felicia Marie Knaul. ...

Nova Southeastern University’s Jacqueline A. Travisano will be UM’s Executive Vice President for Bus ...

At The Net with Piotr Lomacki ...

The University of Miami men's basketball team will face Princeton on Dec. 2 in the Naismith Mem ...

The University of Miami track and field team will compete at two of the top outdoor meets in the Uni ...

What's Pro Day like at The U? We followed along from start to finish to find out. ...

Greg Veliz delivered a sparkling performance on the hill, but Miami fell to No. 12 FGCU 3-0. ...

TMH Twitter Feed
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly on Thursdays during the regular academic year.