College Football Game of the Week: UNC vs. Miami

Story posted December 9, 2020 in CommRadio, Sports by Matthew McLaughlin

In one of the best games on this weekend’s slate the No. 17 North Carolina Tar Heels will travel down to Florida as they face the No. 10 Miami Hurricanes in a huge ACC matchup.

Coming into this game, the Tar Heels dominated the Western Carolina Catamounts by a score of 49-9 in their last outing, which included one of the most efficient offensive performances this season, regardless of conference.

Quarterback Sam Howell diced up the Catamounts defense for 287 yards and two touchdowns while completing 87-percent of his passes; meanwhile, the running attack exploded for 231 yards, headlined by Michael Carter’s 73 yards and three scores on only eight carries, but it is important to keep in mind Western Carolina is not Miami.

The Hurricanes defense has only allowed about 139 yards on the ground and 227 yards through the air, which is great for a team in the same conference with dynamic offenses such as Clemson, Louisville, and even Pitt.

Furthermore, they’ve only allowed 20+ points in only three of their nine games so far, and the last outing for the Hurricanes was a 48-0 shutout of the Duke Blue Devils.

However, Manny Diaz’s Hurricanes crew does not lack in offense either. Quarterback D’Eriq King has had back-to-back games of completing over 60-percent of his passes and four touchdowns over that span, and King replicating that efficiency will be the biggest factor to a Miami victory, but King has not been helped by his offensive line.

Despite King not taking a single sack against Duke, he has been sacked four times or more in four games this season and was held to only 121 passing yards and a pair of interceptions by Clemson in Week 6, and then rushed for only 15 yards on 18 carries against a weak Virginia Tech defense.

Both these teams will put up points in a hurry, but the defensive units will play the biggest parts in earning a victory. With North Carolina only allowing 28 points and 404 yards per game and Miami giving up 22 points and 366 yards per game, this contest will be determined by which unit does not break.

Although both squads are likely out of contention for the national championship, this will still be a highly competitive faceoff between two talented teams and as Tar Heels head coach Mack Brown once said during his days at the University of Texas, “we don’t have to be the best team of all-time, just tomorrow night.”

Prediction: Tar Heels 35, Hurricanes 27

Matthew McLaughlin is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email