Commentary, Football, Sports

Three keys to Miami Hurricanes beating North Carolina

Junior receiver Stacy Coley (3) runs toward the endzone to score a touchdown during Saturday's 27-21 victory over Virginia. Kawan Amelung // Staff Photographer

Junior receiver Stacy Coley (3) runs toward the endzone to score a touchdown during Saturday’s 27-21 victory over Virginia. Kawan Amelung // Staff Photographer

The Hurricanes will travel to Chapel Hill to take on the division leading, No. 23 North Carolina Tar Heels in what is perhaps the biggest game of the season for both teams. The Tar Heels (8-1, 5-0) have won eight straight games since losing to South Carolina in the season opener and find themselves in sole possession of first place in the Coastal Division. The Canes (6-3, 3-2) are riding a two-game winning streak of their own, but they need to win this matchup to stay alive in the Coastal race. North Carolina will be the fourth ranked opponent Miami has faced this season and the second under Interim Head Coach Larry Scott.

Here are three keys for the Canes to emerge victorious against the Tar Heels.

Put pressure on Marquise Williams

Senior quarterback Marquise Williams does it all for North Carolina. Much like Deshaun Watson of Clemson, Williams is  a dual-threat quarterback who can give opposing defenses nightmares. Williams has years of experience under his belt and possesses a strong, accurate arm. In nine games, he’s accounted for 21 total touchdowns and 2,705 total yards, both good for second in the conference (behind Watson). Miami’s defensive line will have to win the battle against North Carolina’s offensive line to generate pressure and to force Williams to make quick and risky decisions. If they’re unable to do so, refer back to the Clemson game to see what happens.

Finish the game aggressively on offense

Second-half offense has often been a point of trouble for the Canes, as they’ve blown first-half leads against Nebraska, Cincinnati, Duke and Virginia. Part of the blame falls on the defense, but the offense grew conservative in every one of those games. That can’t be the case on Saturday. Miami will have to keep the Tar Heels’ athletic defense on its toes for the whole game to come out with a win. To their credit, the Canes’ offense put forth an impressive fourth-quarter drive to seal the deal against the Cavaliers last week, another sign of how much the team has matured under Scott. With the talented backfield the Hurricanes have, they can hang with the best offenses around so long as they’re clicking.

Force turnovers

A great formula to win any football game is to win the turnover battle. Offensively, however, the Canes have thrown two interceptions, fumbled the ball and given up two safeties in the past two weeks. The Canes will have to improve their ball security on offense, something that they excelled at early on this season. On the other hand, Miami has been great at forcing turnovers all season long. The team has forced a turnover in every single game but one this season (against Florida State) and will certainly be looking for more on Saturday.

 

 

November 11, 2015

Reporters

David Cline


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

The Miami Hurricanes had to adjust their offense at halftime Saturday to pull out a road win against ...

Photo Gallery: UM v. Virginia Tech | Saturday, November 17, 2018 … Click to Continue » ...

The Miami Hurricanes found new life Saturday — despite so much seemingly going wrong. Big plays on o ...

At least in terms of their bowl situation, the Miami Hurricanes can take a deep, collective breath. ...

Thoughts, notes, reaction and postscripts after UM’s 38-14 win on Saturday at Virginia Tech, making ...

UM Libraries is presenting an extraordinary exhibit that immerses the audience in an emotional journ ...

A UM researcher is helping to lead a study on how smoke interacts with clouds and its impact on the ...

People are bombarded with news and information these days, providing opportunities for discourse tha ...

Students, faculty and staff stopped by the School of Architecture’s Korach Gallery to learn what Mag ...

The On Campus event featured innovative National Geographic Explorers—photographers, scientists, sto ...

The No. 24 Miami women's basketball team dropped a 75-52 decision Sunday at Iowa State in the P ...

The Canes got back to their winning ways with an impressive 38-14 victory at Virginia Tech. ...

20-point performances from Chris Lykes and DJ Vasiljevic led Miami past Bethune-Cookman. ...

The University of Miami volleyball team forced No. 10 Pitt to five sets in a thrilling match on Seni ...

The No. 24 Miami women's basketball team is headed to Iowa State for the Preseason WNIT champio ...

TMH Twitter
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 in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.