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Tale of the Tape: UNC vs Miami

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Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

The numbers, such as they are.

North Carolina Miami
Record 4-4 5-3
ACC Record 2-2 2-2
AP Poll Rank N/R N/R
Points Per Game 37.4 31.3
Total TDs 41 32
Total Offense Per Game 442.5 429.8
Total Offense Per Play 5.7 7.9
Rushing Per Game 145.6 187.4
Rushing Per Att 3.9 5.6
Passing Per Game 296.9 242.4
Passing Per Att 7.4 8.5
Fumbles Lost 4 7
Interceptions 10 9
3rd Down Conv. 43.2% 28.4%
4th Down Conv. 50.0% 69.2%
Red Zone Conv. 91.1% 80.6%
Field Goals 5-10 10-13
Points Allowed Per Game 41.3 22.1
Total Defense Per Game 512.8 319.3
Total Defense Per Play 6.4 4.5
Rushing Per Game 210.6 147.6
Rushing Per Att 4.7 3.6
Passing Per Game 302.1 171.6
Passing Per Att 8.5 5.6
Fumbles Recovered 7 10
Interceptions 11 7
Sacks 13.0 18.0
Tackles for Loss 49.0 38.0
3rd Down Conv. 49.6% 39.0%
4th Down Conv. 80.0% 60.0%
Red Zone Conv. 85.7% 14.8%

Numbers wise, this may be one of the more complete teams UNC has faced this season. The Hurricanes are ranked 8th in offensive yards per play at 6.97 per game. That is just behind Georgia Tech and probably means UNC's defense is in for a gashing. Much of that will come at the hands of running back Duke Johnson. Johnson is averaging 129 yards per game and 7.45 yards per rushing attempt. Against Virginia Tech's fairly decent run defense, Johnson ran for over 200 yards. Given UNC's defensive struggles, Johnson is going to get his and then some. The only oddity in Miami's numbers is a 25% conversion rate on third down. That seems contradictory to having a running back like Johnson who should be able to pick up necessary yards in that situation. UNC's troubles on third down stops are well documented which makes this a weakness vs weakness area of the game.

Miami's has a stout defense both in scoring defense and total defense.  Miami is holding teams to 22.1 points per game and 4.46 yards per play. That is good enough for ninth nationally on the latter and 35th on the former. The caliber of Miami's defense will make UNC winning a "whoever has the ball last" kind of game. Miami is likely going to be able to stop UNC more often than the Heels stop them putting UNC behind schedule in terms of points.