What are you going to do?
After 4 straight wins in which UNC looked better and better each week, the Tar Heels took a big step backwards in receiving a beatdown at Miami. Give lots of credit to the Hurricanes, who brought their A-game while the Heels clearly did not. Miami was faster, stronger, and better in every phase of the game than the Heels on Saturday night. After staking a 10-3 lead early in the second quarter, Carolina pulled a Houdini, vanishing into the humid Miami night as the Canes outscored the Heels 30-0 over the last 3 periods.
On offense, bad T.J. Yates made a command performance not seen since last season. After starting 6-for-6 passing, Yates made bad decisions, took sacks, forced two passes that were intercepted, and generally had the yips as he was obviously pressing hard. Carolina had no consistency running the ball, as Johnny White and Shaun Draughn either broke off big runs or were stuffed for little gain. Dwight Jones had a solid night, but Jheranie Boyd and Erik Highsmith may have well stayed in Chapel Hill.
Defensively, attrition finally caught up with the Heels as LeCount Fantroy did not play and Da'Norris Searcy and Mywan Jackson were injured early, meaning Deunta Williams and five backups, including three freshmen, tried to hold down the fort in the defensive backfield, but in this case the fort was the Alamo (Quan Sturdivant did not play yet again either). After an early interception, good Jacory Harris showed up and, receiving only token pressure from UNC's front four, picked apart Carolina's baby-filled secondary while Miami's running backs churned out yardage on the ground. And there is no word if Butch Davis and Everett Withers stayed behind to meet with local police to file missing persons reports on UNC's linebackers, who were non-factors.
With this loss, the book is all but closed on any hopes of UNC competing for the Coastal Division title, although Virginia Tech, Miami, and Georgia Tech all still have to face each other. Carolina finally gets a break when FCS opponent William & Mary comes calling next week, but then the Heels have to run a gauntlet in November of the top team in the Coastal (VT) and the top two teams in the Atlantic (FSU and NCSU) before facing Duke. Maybe Carolina can get healthy and back on track quickly.