OFFENSE: North Carolina has struggled against many teams with respectable defenses. Miami has had similar problems, but the ‘Canes have found a rushing attack with Javarris James.
Advantage: MIAMI

O-LINE: In three losses, North Carolina has only given up two sacks with their starting QB under center. They have also yielded another two with their back-up in the game. Their run blocking has been weak though. The ‘Canes have improved their blocking slightly, but penalties are a concern.
Advantage: EVEN

QUARTERBACK: UNC’s freshman Cam Sexton is starting over a junior. Both have struggled, throwing more interceptions than touchdowns. Miami’s Wright had two interceptions against Houston, but he’s not easily rattled.
Advantage: MIAMI

RUNNING BACK: Hello Javarris James! “Baby J” exploded on the scene, breaking the single game freshman yardage record once held by Clinton Portis. Carolina’s Ronnie McGill has been the most productive, averaging about 4.7 yards per carry.
Advantage: MIAMI

RECEIVERS: Remarkably, Miami’s receiving corps performed against Houston without the injured Darnell Jenkins. Jesse Holley should be a weapon to watch for against Carolina. He’s 6 foot 3 inches and 210 pounds, but Clemson held the Tar Heels to under 100 yards receiving.
Advantage: MIAMI

DEFENSE: In a 52-7 loss to Clemson, North Carolina gave up 327 rushing yards. All of the touchdowns Clemson scored were on the ground. The Tar Heels have also given up 42 points in a victory over Furman. They also allow an ACC-worst 217 rushing yards per game.
Advantage: MIAMI

D-LINE: Miami put pressure on Houston’s Kevin Kolb, sacking him a number of times. Carolina gives up a number of rushing yards and has trouble putting pressure on quarterbacks.
Advantage: MIAMI

LINEBACKERS: The ‘Canes linebackers are very effective. The one Carolina player to watch for is Larry Edwards, who tied for the lead in tackles this season and the emotional leader of the defense.
Advantage: MIAMI

SECONDARY: Both turnovers the Hurricanes have produced have been from the secondary. The latest was Lovon Ponder’s forced fumble against Houston at a vital point in the game. Carolina’s starting strong safety Trimane Goddard was lost for the season before it started, and both current starting safeties are banged up after Clemson. Look for the ‘Canes to be aggressive both in the air and on the ground.
Advantage: MIAMI

SPECIAL TEAMS: Another field goal attempt went wide for Miami against Houston. Something is out of sync with Miami’s field goal unit and the same could be said with the kickoff team, with another kick going out of bounds. ‘Canes fans should remember North Carolina’s Connor Barth from 2004. He has had a strong year so far, now a junior. Barth made the difference in the Tar Heels’ only win of the season against Furman.

Rodolfo Tomarchio may be contacted at

October 6, 2006


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The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Florida. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published in print every Tuesday.