Quick note. If anyone has two tickets to the South Carolina game they do not plan on using I would be interested in picking them up for face value(or free if you are feeling generous. :) ) Let me know via the email address found in the "About THF" section.
If you want a stark indicator of how much this win meant for a program that has struggled to the degree UNC has struggled, this was the first win over a I-A opponent with a winning record since November 5, 2005 when the Heels knocked of Boston College. In fact Miami's present record of 4-2 is as many wins as the last three I-A teams UNC has beaten combined. Those being 2005 Duke(1-10), 2006 NC State(3-9) and 2006 Duke(0-12). It has been an incredibly long time since UNC had a victory it could hang it's hat on and this one is it. And while I stipulate this is not the Miami of Butch Davis' time there, this Hurricane team is still very good and for the most part more talented across the board than the present Tar Heel roster.
I think you can capture the importance of this game on two levels. The first is the confidence of the players who now know what they are capable of doing. A win like this, especially the execution in the first half shows the Tar Heel players what this team can accomplish when they execute properly, minimize the mistakes and simply make plays on both sides of the ball. In many respects Butch Davis has to hope that this win will be the turning point for many of his players in getting them on the same page with him in terms of them taking ownership of their preparation and improvement as a player.
The second aspect of importance in this game is the fact they had to weather a storm in the second half and they did not fold. It would have been so easy for a young team to collapse after giving up 20 unanswered points especially following the 97 yard bomb which took what was a huge defensive advantage having penned Miami on the three to an immediate score. Davis did an excellent job of keeping the players' heads in the game and the Heels not only bounced back with a couple of FGs to extend the lead back to 13 but they also made some huge plays on defense to slow down the Miami run.
The one downside to the loss if you can really call it that is SCAR will be absolutely ready for UNC this Saturday. Any chance SCAR was going to take this game lightly went out the window when UNC topped the Hurricanes. SCAR also has two extra days to prepare since they played this past Thursday. Steve Spurrier is a good coach and giving him extra time to prep is never a good thing. This is a game I would very much like to see UNC pull the upset in for a variety of reasons starting with the SCAR thinking they are "Carolina" which has been historically proven otherwise to the fact their fans are egregiously annoying, at least the ones I hear on Mark Packer's show right down to the fact Steve Spurrier is the Mike Krzyzewski of college football. There I said. He was once the coach at Duke which already marks him. And like K, Spurrier has been similarly successful while being equally arrogant, self important, terse with the media, whiny about referees, whiny about other things and seems to think he is bigger than the school he works for or that the school owes him something.
And perhaps I blinded by my general disdain for the man but I have never cared for the Old Ball Coach or whatever contrived and asinine moniker he is calling himself now. I would very much like for the Heels to put him in his place a bit. I am not sure it will happen since SCAR has looked awfully good so far this season but I can always hope.