• January 27, 2021
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The Tar Heels look to continue their great season and get their first signature win under Mack Brown in his return to UNC. Miami looks to defend home turf and continue a great season of their own. (Photo Courtesy of Trevor Darnell)

Manny Diaz and Mack Brown used to coach together at Texas but now are facing off against each other as Brown’s seventeenth-ranked UNC Tar Heels face Diaz’s tenth-ranked Miami Hurricanes. 

These two teams have high scoring offenses, averaging a combined 38 points per game. UNC came into this game 7-3 and were looking to get their first big win under Mack Brown in his return to UNC. On the other side, Miami came into the game 8-1 with their only loss to a top-four Clemson Tiger team. 

Miami started the game with the ball and was able to drive down the field behind quarterback D’Eriq King. The Hurricanes came up short and had to settle for a field goal and an early 3-0 lead to start the game. 

UNC has an offense that is known for generating big plays, and they showed it early with a 51-yard pitch and catch for Sam Howell to Dyami Brown that put the Tar Heels inside the Miami 15-yard line. UNC was able to punch it in the endzone with a Javonte Williams 2-yard touchdown run a few plays later to get UNC a 7-3 lead. 

The UNC defense was able to force a three and out and keep the momentum in their favor. UNC was able to drive down the field again but ended up in a fourth and goal situation on the Miami 1-yard line and decided to go for a touchdown. 

UNC was able to get the touchdown from a Williams run and increased their lead to 14-3. 

Miami was starting to gain momentum but faced a 4th and 1 on the UNC 35-yard line. They decided to go for it but was stopped short and gave the ball back to UNC without scoring. 

It took only one play for UNC to increase their lead as Michael Carter was able to break a 65-yard touchdown run. The Heels took the 21-3 lead to the end of the first quarter. 

The second quarter didn’t start much better for Miami, as they went three and out. 

UNC is then able to create another big play on the second play of their drive behind a Williams 65-yard run that put UNC to the Miami 10-yard line. The Hurricane defense was finally able to slow down UNC and force a field goal as the Heels increased their lead to 24-3. 

Miami’s offense was again unsuccessful at gaining any momentum, going three and out and punting it back to UNC again. 

It only took UNC three plays this drive to get into the endzone, with the touchdown being a 25-yard run from Carter. 

Again a short and unsuccessful Miami offensive drive leads to UNC points, this time only a field goal, as the Tar Heels increased their lead to 34-3 before the half. 

D’Eriq King was finally able to get things going in the passing game and was able to get Miami a touchdown with a King to Mike Harley 2-yard pass. UNC took a 34-10 lead into halftime. 

UNC doesn’t let up to start the second half; they went down and scored a touchdown from a 2-yard Howell run in a drive that took 7:36 of game time. 

Miami wasn’t about to go down without a fight though, on the second play of their drive, King threw a 76-yard touchdown pass to Brevin Jordan. 

The Miami defense was able to keep UNC out of the endzone in the next drive and force a 37-yard field goal that was missed by the kicker Grayson Atkins. 

The tide seemed to be turning in the favor of the Hurricanes but that changed when King tried for a deep pass and got intercepted. 

UNC took advantage of the turnover and scored a touchdown from a trick play that ended with wide receiver Rontavius Groves throwing a 1-yard pass to Sam Howell in the endzone. 

With the score 48-18 early in the fourth quarter, it wasn’t looking good for the Hurricanes, but they kept fighting and put together a good drive that ended in a Cam’Ron Harris 6-yard touchdown run and a two-point conversion that made it 48-26. 

UNC answered quickly with a Howell pass to Kamari Morales for a 5-yard touchdown to make the score 55-26. 

After another three and out for Miami, UNC’s running attack struck again with a Williams 1-yard touchdown run to make it 62-26 with less than 4 minutes left in the game. With both teams just running the clock out, the Tar Heels would walk away from Miami with an incredible 62-26 win.

The UNC running attack was the story of the game as Michael Carter and Javonte Williams combined for a total of 544 yards and 5 touchdowns. That yardage is the most combined yards between two running backs in college football history. Both of these teams will play in a bowl game to end their season.

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