Apparently, there's only so much attrition a defense can stand before it begins to affect performance. That'll be the story tomorrow at least, as Jacory Harris threw for 217 yards and three touchdowns while Tar Heel defenders kept heading to sidelines during the 33-10 Hurricane win. Harris did do a number on a secondary that by the end of the game looked lost and exhausted, but all things considered the defense held pretty well. The Hurricanes' four touchdown possessions began on the Miami 45, 36, 32 and 47 yardlines, respectively, and the Heels' defense rarely had the time to recover, as UNC had all of two drives that lasted longer than three minutes.
It's not that the offense didn't start out strong, driving 78 yards for a field goal. Then they almost immediately got the ball back when Da'Norris Searcy picked off Harris on the next play from scrimmage and brought the ball to the Miami 20. From there an easy score slipped through Carolina's fingers as Anthony Elzy fumbled on the two; Miami responded with a tying field goal, and although Johnny White would take the ball 76 yards for a score on the very next snap, that would be the end of the Heels' offensive glory. First downs became scarce as the line could not hold off the Miami rush. White would only manage nine yards on his other eight carries, and T.J. Yates would be sacked five times and rushed into interceptions twice. Given the lack of breathing room and injuries that left Deunta Williams the only starter in the backfield, can you really blame them for giving up 33 points?
This is a demoralizing loss, coming when people were just beginning to believe Carolina was turning a corner. They're effectively eliminated from the Coast Division title and left with the hardest stretch of schedule remaining after a respite with FCS school William & Mary. One can hope the line will improve as they did towards the back half of last season, but otherwise it looks to be a rough November for UNC.