Game Blog: Miami comes back for 27-23 win over UNC
Posted October 17, 2013
Chapel Hill, N.C. — Final; Miami 27, UNC 23: The Tar Heels took a 23-13 lead with 14:17 to go in the game but Hurricanes' Dallas Crawford scored two touchdowns in the fourth quarter to grab the 27-23 win.
0:16 fourth quarter; Miami 27, UNC 23: A late drive by Miami ends with a 3-yard touchdown run by Dallas Crawford and gives the Hurricanes the 27-23 lead over North Carolina.
A fourth interception by North Carolina's defense and a second for Dominique Green put the ball back in the Tar Heels' hands midway through the fourth quarter. Miami quickly returns the favor with an interception of their own on the Hurricanes' 11.
11:29 fourth quarter; UNC 23, Miami 20: Miami gets their first offensive touchdown of the night as Dalls Crawford scores on a 3-yard run.
14:17 fourth quarter; UNC 23, Miami 13: An interception by Norkeithus Otis as Miami was threatening gave the Tar Heels the ball on their own 20. The interception led to a 22-yard field goal by Thomas Moore.
6:59 third quarter; UNC 20, Miami 13: North Carolina's Thomas Moore hits a 35-yard field goal for the 20-13 lead over Miami in the third quarter.
11:58 third quarter; UNC 17, Miami 13: Miami's kicker Matt Goudis misses wide right from 43 yards out.
Halftime; UNC 17, Miami 13: Miami starters Duke Johnson and Phillip Dorsett will not return to game action for the Hurricanes. North Carolina tight end Eric Ebron already has his single game career-high with 144 yards at the half. UNC quarterbacks Bryn Renner and Marquise Williams both have touchdowns in game, Renner is 13-18 with 136 yards at the half. Miami has offensive yards to North Carolina's 291.
3:32 second quarter; UNC 17, Miami 13: North Carolina drives down the field but has to settle for a field goal extending their lead to 17-13 over Miami.
9:50 second quarter; UNC 14, Miami 13: Eric Ebron grabs his single game career-high, with 132 yards so far on the night, after a 31-yard catch to put the Heels in the red zone. On 3rd-10 from the 20, Renner passes to Quinshad Davis in the end zone for a touchdown. Heels take the lead 14-13.
12:33 second quarter; Miami 13, UNC 7: Artie Burns blocks the UNC field goal attempt and Ladarius Gunter scoops it up and runs it back for a Miami touchdown.
2:59 first quarter; UNC 7, Miami 6: Phillip Dorsett catches a 68-yard pass to put the Hurricanes in the red zone. Once again North Carolina's defense holds and the Hurricanes settle for another field goal. During the previous Hurricanes drive, running back Duke Johnson went out with a knee to the head. He has yet to return.
5:20 first quarter; UNC 7, Miami 3: A two-play, 76-yard scoring drive, highlighted by an Eric Ebron 71-yard catch and run for the touchdown, puts the Heels up 7-3.
8:45 first quarter; Miami 3, UNC 0: A 59-yard run by Duke Johnson set up the Hurricanes in the red zone. A few plays later an illegal substitution for Carolina put Miami at first and goal from the one, where the bandits held the Hurricanes to a field goal.
11:57 first quarter: North Carolina's Dominique Green grabs his first career interception and Stephen Morris' pass to turn the ball over on the Heels 38. A few plays later Marquise Williams comes in at quarterback and throws an interception in the end zone, Miami gets the ball back on their own 20.
A few lineup changes for the Tar Heels, Darius Lipford is starting on defense and TJ Logan will be starting at tailback.
30:00 til gametime: The rain has been a slow sprinkle, except for one short downpour, and is currently stopped. Both teams are on the field warming up prior to kickoff. The student section is filling in and most are wearing the black Zero Dark Thirty shirts. The field has been transformed for the event as the center logo and end zones have been painted black.
Looking to snap a three-game losing streak, the struggling North Carolina Tar Heels welcome the 10th-ranked Miami Hurricanes to Kenan Stadium Thursday (7:45 p.m., ESPN).
The Tar Heels are already 0-2 in conference play and enter off a 27-17 road loss at Virginia on Oct. 5. Al Golden's Hurricanes enjoyed a bye this past weekend in anticipation of this mid-week affair. Miami has opened the season red hot with six wins in as many outings. The team's flawless record has Miami residing in the top 10 for the first time since 2009.
Larry Fedora's team had a bye last week as well, but while Miami's was well- earned, The Tar Heels was needed badly, as UNC is an ugly 1-4 on the season, coming into this tilt with a three-game losing streak in tow. Logan: Miami's speed will give UNC problems
North Carolina clings to an 8-7 series advantage all-time and owns a 4-1 edge in games played in Chapel Hill.
The Tar Heels are fueled offensively by a strong passing attack that averages 292.8 yards per game. However, starting quarterback Bryn Renner did not play last time out due to a foot injury and is questionable for this week.
Renner has played well under center, completing 60 percent of his passes for 1,117 yards, with seven TDs and three INTs. Marquise Williams, who started against Virginia Tech, is more of a dual-threat that can move the ball with his arm or legs.
Regardless of who is throwing the football, the likely targets in the passing game are tight end Eric Ebron (23 catches, 333 yards, two TDs) and wide receiver Quinshad Davis (19 catches, 298 yards, four TDs).
A glaring weakness for UNC is the lack of a ground game. The Tar Heels were spoiled with All-American Giovani Bernard in the backfield a year ago. His early departure to the NFL has left a void in the rushing attack that has yet to be filled.
Compounding the problem for North Carolina is a defense that has been gashed to the tune of 436 yards per game, resulting in a generous 31.4 points per game for the opposition. Stopping the run has been particularly difficult, with foes averaging 4.1 yards per carry and 197.2 yards per game. Big plays have been scarce as well, with just eight sacks and five forced turnovers on the year.
Sophomore linebacker Jeff Schoettmer leads the Tar Heels in tackles this season with 44 stops. Senior defensive end Kareem Martin is a distant second with 34 tackles.
Junior linebackers Norkeithus Otis (24 tackles, 5.0 TFL, 3.5 sacks) and Darius Lipford (25 tackles, 5.5 TFL, 2.0 sacks) provide some playmaking ability in the middle of the defense.
The 'Canes opened conference play two weeks ago and blew by Georgia Tech at home, 45-30. Golden knows his team hasn't accomplished anything yet and wants to keep them focused on the task at hand.
"At the end of the season we'll count them up and see where we're at. We're 0-0 going into this game. All that matters right now is going to Chapel Hill, being a mature team, having poise, playing with poise, communicating, executing," he said. "The rest of it doesn't really matter. It's all about North Carolina right now, and we have to continue to have that bunker mentality for the rest of the year."
Miami has thrived on both sides of the football this season, with both total offense (488.6 ypg) and total defense (307.0 ypg) ranking ninth nationally. The team has a potent one-two punch offensively in the form of quarterback Stephen Morris and tailback Duke Johnson.
A veteran leader under center, Morris has completed 61.7 percent of his throws this season, for 950 yards and nine touchdowns. Wideout Allen Hurns has been the top target in the passing game with 20 catches, for 383 yards and two TDs, but seven different players have caught a TD pass this season.
Of course, the passing attack gets room to work thanks to the rushing exploits of Johnson. The youngster has not fallen victim to a sophomore slump, instead he has flourished, averaging 114.4 yards per game on 6.8 yards per carry. Johnson leads the team with 572 yards on the ground.
All of Miami's success offensively can be attributed to one of the top offensive lines in all of college football. The unit is paving the way for 5.9 yards per carry and has yielded just four sacks over the first five games.
Defensively, Miami has been equally impressive, ranking sixth nationally in sacks (3.6 per game), amassing 18 quarterback takedowns thus far. The Hurricanes has also been opportunistic with 16 forced turnovers.
Denzel Perryman headlines the squad from his linebacker position, pacing Miami with 34 total tackles. Fellow LB Jimmy Gaines is a close second with 29 stops, with two fumble recoveries. A number of defenders have been disruptive upfield, including defensive ends Shayon Green (21 tackles, 5.0 TFL, 2.0 sacks) and Anthony Chickillo (18 tackles, 3.5 TFL, 2.0 sacks).
North Carolina's inability to stop opposing ground games has to have Golden and Johnson salivating over the possibilities. Morris will keep North Carolina honest, but a big game on the ground for Miami should keep the Tar Heels at arm's length all night long.