Report Card: Miami vs. North Carolina

Quarterback – B+

Robert Marve threw for three touchdowns and showed composure on the Hurricanes’ final drive in his attempt to bring his team back for the victory. Marve, though, made a couple of bad mistakes, especially forcing the ball on his first interception that luckily did not cost the Canes points. If Marve’s final throw was on the money, the Hurricanes most likely win the game. Jacory Harris struggled in his first series, but he made a few plays on the next drive to set up a field goal.

Running Backs – A-

Graig Cooper put together his second straight 100-yard campaign. Cooper helped set up two touchdowns and caught an 11-yard pass for a score. He also showed off his wheels with a 31-yard run and averaged almost six yards per carry. The one knock on Cooper was that most of the damage came in the first half, and there were times during the game when he was nonexistent.

Wide Receivers – C

Miami spread the football among its different receivers, with 11 different players catching the football, but the wide receivers had a disappointing performance as a whole. They constantly struggled to create separation and failed to pick up yards after the catch. Miami had notable dropped passes throughout the game. Kayne Farquharson had the football on his fingertips in the closing seconds and failed to make the big play.

Offensive Line – B+

The big men up front opened up holes for Cooper and allowed only two sacks. But Marve did not have as much time in the pocket to make his reads as he did last week. The offensive line played much better as a unit in the first half.

Defensive Line – C

This was a big letdown from the unit, despite doing an effective job stopping the run. Eric Moncur was the only player on the defensive line to record a sack. The group was unable to consistently apply pressure throughout the game. Cameron Sexton got way too comfortable making plays to his receivers in the fourth quarter and was able to effectively rollout for the final touchdown pass.

Linebackers – B

The unit did a good job in helping to stuff the run; the Tar Heels only rushed for 35 yards in the game. Glen Cook played well, but there has not been a Sean Spence sighting since the UF game. Missed tackles and the lack of tackles for a loss have hurt this unit.

Secondary – D

The Canes secondary is the main culprit for the loss. They allowed too many big plays, including the 74-yard touchdown pass. Bruce Johnson has to do a better job in coverage. DeMarcus Van Dyke was beat by Brooks Foster on the game-deciding touchdown. The secondary allowed a third-string quarterback to throw for 243 yards and two touchdowns. The secondary didn’t create turnovers and they missed tackles. Big props to Brandon Harris for a key sack.

Special Teams – C

Matt Bosher missed his first field goal of the season from 43 yards. The partially blocked punt that the Canes allowed gave the Tar Heels decent field position for their final drive. Bosher also has struggled mightily on kickoffs, which has not helped winning the field position battle. The coverage team played well, keeping Brandon Tate in check. The unit also made some big hits to open holes for the return game.

Coaching – C

The Hurricanes didn’t close it out despite comfortable leads throughout the game. Randy Shannon and Patrick Nix have to be questioned for taking Marve out for much of the second quarter, when the Canes could have built up a bigger lead. Bill Young and Wesley McGriff have a lot of work to do with the secondary. The team, as a whole, has yet to play a complete 60-minute game. It was not the offense, but the defense that was the problem against UNC. Nix’s play calling has opened up, and the coaches can’t be on the field on game day. But they do need to have these kids ready for 60 minutes.

September 28, 2008


Alex Kushel

Senior Sports Writer

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