So while we've been obsessing over the play of the freshmen basketball players and the plans for next year's freshmen basketball players, there's still a football season going on. I know, it's a little strange for me, too. It doesn't help that the Senior Day game is so early in November and against a team UNC has never played this late in the conference season; it's all a little discombobulating. But Miami is coming into Chapel Hill tomorrow, with an outside chance to win the division. Also, I've heard rumors they have a history with the Carolina coach.
Miami has probably the most balanced offense UNC has faced this season. The Heels are familiar with half of it, the running tandem of Graig Cooper and Javarris James. The duo has totaled 214 yards in their last two meetings with the Heels. Actually, it was mostly Cooper, as James was injured last season (and is coming off another injury this season). They've added a few other backs as well, resulting in three 150+ rushers in last week's game UVa game. The running game is strong and even against the Heels' defense is usually good for at least one touchdown series.
The passing game is a surprise however. After losing three quarterbacks to transfer before the season, I was expecting weakness there, but Jacory Harris has come in and become the 4th best passer in the conference as well as leading two fourth quarter game-winning drives over FSU and Wake. (The opponents were more impressive at the time.) He is tied with T.J. Yates in interceptions thrown, however, and the team is second only to Virginia in allowing sacks.
The Hurricanes' defense has been plagued by injuries, but is the middle of the road in most defensive categories. They will be able to put more pressure on the offensive line than Duke or Virginia Tech did, but aren't prone to picking the ball off, which may be a bit of a consolation. To be honest, I don't know what to expect when UNC has the ball. The rushing game is now Draughn-less, most of the offensive line has returned to health, and their playing a team that's given up 30+ points three times this season. UNC has been good for roughly twenty points a game since the Virginia debacle, and that'll probably be enough to win here - but will the offense that faced GT or UVa come back for Senior Day as well?