Today, Butch Davis faces his former team for the first time. Miami’s last appearance in Chapel Hill resulted in a 31-28 upset by the Tar Heels, which was Connor Barth’s crowning moment…
…and sent Miami into a downward spiral from the national football picture. Under Randy Shannon, they hope to return to prominence.
The Hurricanes are 4-1 but have not always looked impressive this season. UNC, conversely, are off to a 1-4 start on the season, but they might be 3 plays away from 4-1. This game could be an upset special, assuming the the defense can pressure a struggling Kyle Wright, T.J. Yates can have a good game through the air, and we can have some semblance of a running game. What’s most important, however, is not to have ill-timed turnovers. That’s killed us this year.
12:02 pm: The student section is loud to start the game, but I have to say it; the navy blue in the endzone looks out of place.
12:03 pm: Tate takes the kickoff to the 35 yard line.
Anthony Elzy is the starting back today.
12:04 pm: Miami forces a 3-and-out, sacking Yates on third down. He stood no chance against the blitz, and that’s the 16th sack of the season that the Tar heels have allowed.
12:06 pm: The Tar Heels go on defense. Marvin Austin starts at DT, and he already has a tackle in the backfield. Jermaine Strong is at CB, replacing the injured Kendric Williams.
12:07 pm: The Tar Heels force a 3-and out of their own, looking pretty impressive on defense. After the punt, UNC will start at the 29.
12:10 pm: Elzy gets the call on first down, but he can’t get around the outside.
12:11 pm: There’s that “eating an elephant” quote again.
12:12 pm: Yates finally gets time to throw, and he fires a bullet up the middle. Joe Dailey makes the catch at midfield.
12:13 pm: TOUCHDOWN! Elzy takes the ball, shakes a couple of defenders on the right side, and he outruns everyone else into the endzone! What a play by Elzy, and UNC leads 7-0 off of UNC’s biggest run of the season. Finally a running game, and UNC has their first lead since the first half against East Carolina.
12:17 pm: That run may have earned Elzy the starting spot at tailback. I cannot emphasize how awesome that was.
12:18 pm: Miami takes the ball out of the endzone, but UNC gang tackles the returner at their own 8. UNC really has momentum right now.
12:19 pm: Lance Leggett makes the catch on first down, but runs his way out of a first down, Another 3-and-out, and for the first time, it looks like UNC can take a game by the horns. The Heels will begin with great field position.
12:21 pm: Elzy gets it again, and he gets 6 or seven yards to the right side.
Another carry, but this timeMiami stops it for only a short game. 3rd and 2.
12:22 pm: Yates’ pass is incomplete. Goog coverage by the defense, but Quinn should have had that ball. UNC is going to go for it.
12;23 pm: UNC converts on foruth down with a quick pass to Tate. They’re now at the Miami 35.
12:24 pm: Oh! Tate very nearly has the touchdown catch, but he can’t get both hands on it.
12:25 pm: Yates very nearly throws an interception on third down, but Miami is called for a very questionable roughing the passer call. I didn’t see a roughing at all, but UNC is now at the 20.
12:26 pm: UNC’s playcalling is a bit too predictable right now; they’re over-relying on Elzy, and the Miami defense has already adjusted.
12:28 pm: Yates tries a little trickery, faking two handoffs before a screen pass. Elzy gets to the 16, but well short of a first down.
12:29 pm: Barth gets the field goal–holy crap, there are bleachers in the fieldhouse endzone!–and UNC takes a 10-0 lead.
12:32 pm: Ryan Hill takes the kickoff, and he runs all the way to midfield. Matt Merletti saves the touchdown.
12:33 pm: UNc goes offsides, but their real mistake is quitting on the play before the whistle. Miami takes advantage , and the get a 31 yard pass into the red zone out of it. Again, a big mistake by this young team.
12:35 pm: Miami runs a draw, and Kendric Burney gets a huge tackle for loss on the cutback.
12:36 pm: Leggett Catches short of the first down, but he fumbles. Fortunately for Miami, it goes out of bounds.
12:37 pm: Zambonia misses the field goal! UNC still leads 10-0, and for seemingly the first time this season, one of our mistakes doesn’t come back to bite us.
12:38 pm: UNC is driving again. Elzy gets the first down on the run, and then Yates finds a wide open Hakeem Nicks, who gets big yards after the catch to the Miami 36.
12:40 pm: Elzy is stuffed on first down. Yates tries a screen pass to Tate, but it goes nowhere.
12:41 pm: Yates has to throw a better ball. Nicks is wide open for a catch and run, but it’s thrown behind him. Fourth down.
12:42 pm: Barth tries the 51-yard field goal…and he makes it! UNC leads 13-0, and it looks like they’re poised to dominate this game.
12;43 pm: Barth would really rather not get another big return, and he makes a high, short kick that’s fair caught at the 32.
12:44 pm: E. J. Wilson and “Quantavius Sturdivant” make the tackle way behind the line of scrimmage to end the first quarter. UNC leads, 13-0 after one quarter, and for the this team looks like they’re playing to their potential a bit earlier than expected.
12:48 pm: Wright scrambles for a few yards, but Miami still faces third and 7.
12:49 pm: Jermaine Strong makes the big hit on Leggett to stop him short of the sticks and force another 3-and-out.
12:50 pm: BLOCK! THE OPUNT IS BLOCKED BY STURDIVANT! And UNC will have first down in the red zone.
Elzy is stuffed on first down, but he already has 80 yards today.
12:51 pm: Elzy takes the screen pass, and he gets to the four yard line.
Elzy gets the call again, but he’s short of the first down, at the 2. I like aggressive play, but I think UNC should take the field goal and make it a 3 score game.
12:53 pm: Colin McCarthy is down for Miami. He may have been concussed; he isn’t moving. I hope that he’s okay.
12:55 pm: McCarthy was able to walk on his own accord. Oh, and UNC is going for it.
12:57 pm: T.J. Yates takes the QB sneak, and he gets the first down, and commentator Ray Bentley gets a huge ego inflation.
12:59 pm: Another Miami player is down. He looks substantially less okay; he’s being carried off the field.
1:00 pm: TOUCHDOWN! Yates takes the sneak again, and he’s in the endzone. The Tar Heels lead 20-0 after the extra point, and are in complete control of this game in the first half. Simply incredible.
1:04 pm: Miami takes the kickoff, and they have good field position again.
Wright had the pass up the middle to Leggett, but he overthrew it just a hair.
1:05 pm: Darnell Jenkins makes the short catch, and Miami now only faces 3rd and short.
1:06 pm: Wright misfires again. Miami is now 0 for 5 on third downs today.
1:07 pm: Perfectly timed pass to Hakeem Nicks, but the pass is called incomplete. How is that not a catch?
1:08 pm: Butch Davis is challenging the ruling that the pass was incomplete.
1:10 pm: Miami is down 20-0…and yet their team is dancing. Granted the song is catchy, but still.
1:11 pm: Things keep going UNC’s way; the call is reversed, and it’s a complete pass at the 46.
1:12 pm: TOUCHDOWN! TOUCHDOWN! Tate runs the end-around to perfection, he gets great blocks downfield and he outruns everybody to the endzone! UNC leads, 27-0, and we’re not yet midway through the second quarter. It’s been at least six years since they’ve dominated a game like this.
1:17 pm: After UNC is called offside, Miami gets is first true first down with a dump-off pass.
1:19 pm: Good discipline by the UNC defense, staying at home for the cutback.
1:20 pm: Jenkins catches just beyond the sticks, and Miami makes their first third down conversion of the game.
Cooper takes the ball for a nice gain. It looks like the Hurricanes are finally driving the ball.
1:22 pm: SACK, MARVIN AUSTIN! Man watching him is fun. He went through the line untouched.
Wright waits until the very last second before running the draw, and Cooper takes through the line and for a first down.
1:23 pm: INTERCEPTION! Wright throws it right into the arms of Durell Mapp. UNC ball.
1:28 pm: UNC is called for clipping, which is about the first bad thing to happen to the Tar Heels today.
1:30 pm: On 3rd and 19, Yates gets enough time to find Dailey up the middle for a first down. What a play, and Joe has come up with two huge catches today.
1:33 pm: What a run by Greg Little, who breaks three or four tackles before getting close to another first down.
1:34 pm: Houston gets the call, and he bounces to the outside for 5-6 yards. UNC’s running game really showed up today.
1:35 pm: Yates rolls out to the right side, but he can’t find anyone open, and he settle for the short run. Fourth down, and UNC will settle for another 50 yard FG attempt. Two minutes left in the first half.
1:37 pm: The Tar Heels go for it on foruth down again! This time is fails, and Miami takes over on downs.
1:38 pm: Wright is very lucky that was called an incompletion and not a fumble. UNC only rushed four, but they they still got to the QB.
1:39 pm: INTERCEPTION! Wright overthrows it, and Deunta Williams is there to make the pick. Miami will head to the locker room with a big, fat goose egg.
1:41 pm: Johnny White gets the call, and he fights his way to a first down, after being “tackled” five yards out.
1:42 pm: it’s halftime, and UNC leads 27-0. The Tar Heels are absolutely dominating every facet of this game. It’s great to see this team put it all together and take over a game like this.
2:04 pm: We’re into the second half. Miami has the ball to start. Kyle Wright is still in the game.
2:05 pm: Great stat today: UNC has outrushed Miami 162-19 in the first half.
2:06 pm: A big catch and run by Fogg, and Miami is now in field goal range. Not very good pursuit on UNC’s part.
2:08 pm: Wright finally has time, and he finds Sam Shields at the 1 yard line.
TOUCHDOWN. Kyle Wright sneaks into the endzone, and Miami gets on the board withing 2 and a half minutes of the game’s resumption. 27-7, UNC.
2:12 pm: UNC needs to respond with a score of their own. If they go 3-and-out, then Miami gets all the momentum back.
2;13 pm: Elzy takes the ball on first down, and he gets five yards.
2;14 pm: FUMBLE! Elzy fumbles the ball, and Miami recovers with great field position. Yet another ill-timed fumble for UNC, and Miami now has everything set up to come back in this game. We played great for 30 minutes; it only took us 4 minutes to come close to throwing it away.
2:17 pm: Wright goes for the endzone, and gets a pass interference and a first down. The feel of this game has completely changed, and I’m starting to feel a sense of doom. Unfortunately, UNC still hasn’t quite proven themselves in these situations.
2:19 pm: UNC’s defense holds, but Miami is going for it on fourth down.
2:20 pm: TOUCHDOWN. Wright finds Leggett in the endzone for the score. Zambonia miss the XP, but Miami scored two touchdowns in less than seven minutes, and we have yet to convert a first down. There’s clearly a slight sens of dread. IS UNC going to throw away a potential victory aqain? 27-13, UNC.
2;24 pm: Hakeem Nicks makes the short catch on first down, but he’s slow to get up. We can;t afford an injury right now.
2:26 pm: Yates runs the pass on third and short. He hits a floater to Elzy past midfield for a big first down. The hit Elzy took, however, was big enough to break his helmet. Ryan Houston thus steps into the RB position by necessity.
2:27 pm: SACK! Yates had no chance, as Miami anticipated the screen.
2:28 pm: Yates throws deep on third and long, but Tate is double covered, and UNC is forced to punt. They’re very lucky that wasn’t intercepted.
2:29 pm: Quniton person makes a huge play on the punt, taking down Kenny Cooper at the 3 yard line. Miami will start in the shadow of their own endzone. Maybe that’s what our defense will need to make a big stop.
2:32 pm: Wright goes for the deep ball, but he overthrows it.
2:33 pm: TOUCHDOWN! Wright goes deep again, and this time Darneel Jenkins goes 97 yards for the score. As Miami cuts the lead to 27-20, I have one question: What is Tavores Jolly doing still on the field?
2:38 pm: UNC gets a three-and-out, and they have to punt again. After UNC did everything right in the first half, now they’ve done everything wrong. But I want to know where this Miami team was in the first half.
2;40 pm: If Miami completes the comeback, I cannot be held responsible for my actions.
2:41 pm: What’s Tavores Jolly doing still in the game? He’s the guilty party for Miami’s last two touchdowns. Fortunately, Hilee Tayor gets a big sack on third down and Miami is forced to punt. Finally, some semblance of control in this game.
2:43 pm: A huge run by Brandon Tate, and that’s exactly what we need! Yates fires to Tate, breaks a tackle, and runs 49 yards with one shoe. UNC is now within scoring distance, with a chance to bring it back to a two score game.
2:44 pm: Yates finds Quinn, and he’s close to another first inside the 20.
2;45 pm: If you had told me before the game that UNC would be leading 27-20 after 3 quarters, I would have taken it without hesitation. But game’s aren’t played on paper, and this must be the worst-feeling fourth quarter lead in history.
2:48 pm: Man. That was a nightmare of a third quarter. Let’s hope we play better in the fourth.
2:49 pm: Yates pump fakes one time too many, and his scramble is short of a first down. But Connor Barth gets the field goal, and UNC retains a 30-20 lead to start the fourth quarter.
2:52 pm: A really, really bad pass on first down. That’s the Kyle Wright we know and love.
2:53 pm: The collander that was the Miami offensive line now isn’t letting any pass rush through. Still, Wright misses on second down, setting up 3rd and 10. After a false start penalty, the crowd is back in the game.
2:54 pm: Wright is given infinite time again, and this time he fires it for a first down.
2:55 pm: Could someone please tell me what Jermaine Strong did wrong for Tavores Jolly to still be playing in his stead?
2:56 pm: INTERCEPTION! Quantavius Sturdivant catches the tipped pass, and it could not have come at a better time for the Tar Heels.
2;57 pm: Yates finds Nicks open to the right, and UNC has a first down at the Miami 25.
Elzy gets the call again, and he has a short gain up the middle.
2:58 pm: Tate gets the handoff again, and he runs behind the O-line and gets a first down on the left side. First and 10 at the 11.
2:59 pm: UNC tries Elzy again, but he can’t find the outside.
3:00 pm: Timeout, UNC. If they score on this drive, especially a touchdown, the Heels may actually survive one of the worst quarters I’ve ever seen them play.
3:03 pm: Yates is forced to scramble, but he can;t quite get the first down. Barth will kick a chip shot.
3:04 pm: The kick is good, and UNC leads, 33-20. Miami now must score two touchdowns to comeback. Can UNC’s defense hold?
3:07 pm: Javarris James gets the call, and he gets 9 yards.
3:08 pm: Unc is doing what we have now come to expect: bad arm tackling and allowing the opposing running game to take over.
3:09 pm: That’s just a lack of concentration. UNC gets two straight offsides penalties in a key drive.
3:11 pm: Kenny Cooper and the hurricanes are driving efficiently down the field. Maimi is now in the red zone. Eight minutes remaining.
3:12 pm: Wright fumbles the snap! the hurricanes recover, though.
3:13 pm: Wright tries to find james in the flat, but it’s incomplete.
Kyle Wright finds a huge hole in the scramble, and he comes very close to a first down. Undoubtedly, Miami will go for it on 4th and inches. How can UNC allow that scramble?
3:15 pm: Wright sneaks it for a first down. First and goal.
3:16 pm: INTERCEPTION! AND IT’S THE FOURTH PICK OF THE GAME! Charles Brown catches the ball as Wright throws it right at him, and UNC may well have saved this victory.
3:17 pm: Elzy gets the carry, and he gets a big first down for the Tar Heels, allowing them to run some more clock down.
3:18 pm: This time it’s Johnny White. UNC continues to run the ball efficiently. Now would be a very bad time for a fumble…and that’s exactly why it’s going to happen. It’s like, Murphy’s Law or something.
3:19 pm: Elzy runs on 3rd and 1, but Miami brings the all-out blitz to stuff him in the backfired. UNC will punt with 3:22 left, and UM takes a time out.
3:23 pm: After a delay of game, Carolina will pfrom the 22 yard line.
3;25 pm: NO! A great punt by Terence Brown, but Kenny Cooper pitches it to Darnell Jenkins, and he gets some huge blocks, going all the way to the UNC 11 before Trimane Goddard takes him down.
3:26 pm: Miami gets a holding call.
3:27 pm: E.J. Wilson with the sack, and Miami is forced to take a timeout with 2:33 left to play. The Hurricanes have a long way to advance the ball now.
3:29 pm: Miami runs another sneaky draw, and Carolina falls for it again. 3rd and 9.
3:30 pm: Why is UNC leaving the middle so insanely wide open? They almost allowed a touchdown there. 4th and 1, and Miami must convert.
3:32 pm: The Hurricanes run the sneak again, and Wright appears to have it. But he’s short of the endzone.
3:33 pm: Wright rolls out to the right, and he thinks he has a touchdown. But Hilee Taylor stuffs him just before the goalline, and Miami is forced to take their last timeout.
3:34 pm: TOUCHDOWN. James runs it up the gut, and he gets in the endzone. UNC leads, 33-27, and with 1:17 left Miami must convert the onside kick.
3:37 pm: Hakeem Nicks recovers the onside kick, and UNC has wrapped this game up!
3:38 pm: Carolina will just kneel it out.
3;39 pm: The game is over, and Carolina holds on to a 33-27 victory. Carolina played their best football all season in the first half, and they didn’t resign to fate after the horror show that was the third quarter. The Tar Heels get their first conference win, and it’s a relief to see this team’s efforts finally pay off. Miami is now 0-2 in Chapel Hill as an ACC team.