The first quarter of Thursday night’s ACC game may have come at a cost for Miami. Running back Duke Johnson took a knee to the head on a play and was sent to the locker room. He was later reported to be done for the game, leaving Miami without their top offensive player with three quarters still to play. It got worse for Miami, who trails UNC at halftime by a score of 17-14.
Later in the first quarter the Hurricanes lost wide receiver Phillip Dorsett, who took an awkward helmet shot to his left leg and needed to be assisted off the field, although he did walk under his own power. He was also reported to be done for the night as well and returned to the sideline out of uniform and on crutches before halftime. Dorsett is Miami’s third-leading receiver this season and provided one of the top offensive highlights of the night by hauling in a 68-yard pass from Stephen Morris.
As far as the scoreboard was concerned, Miami had to settle for two field goals and trailed North Carolina at the end of the first quarter, 7-6. North Carolina’s offense had been thriving on the play of tight end Eric Ebron, who quickly went over 100 yards. While Bryn Renner has been leading the offense for most of the night, it was Marquise Williams who came in and connected with Ebron, who broke away from defenders and sprinted down the right sideline for a 71-yard touchdown.
It would be the special teams that gave Miami a lead early in the second quarter though, when North Carolina had a field goal blocked. Miami’s Ladarius Gunter returned the blocked kick 67 yards for a touchdown.
North Carolina took back the lead later in the second quarter when Renner completed a 20-yard touchdown pass to Quinshad Davis.
The Tar Heels may have Miami on the ropes. The defense has forced Morris to make some poor throws and without Johnson and Dorsett, the Miami offense needs to see some players step up to fill those roles consistently. If Miami can get by this week given the ay this first half has played out, they should feel very fortunate.
While the news of late has been littered with the exits of two SEC wide receivers, one team from the Big Ten is welcoming back a player who plays the same position.
In a press release, Rutgers confirmed that Leonte Carroo has been reinstated to the Scarlet Knights football program. The release stated that head coach Kyle Flood, who is suspended himself, “reinstated Carroo after the student-athlete agreed to the conditions of his reinstatement and after he accepted the responsibility that comes with his return to the team.”
The reinstatement comes one day after a domestic violence charge against him was dropped after the alleged victim decided not to testify against he former boyfriend. Carroo had been accused of slamming a woman with whom he had a previous relationship into the concrete outside of the RU football facility last month.
Carroo has missed the last two games (Penn State, Kansas) because of the suspension. He will be eligible to return to practice today and play in Saturday’s game against 10th-ranked Michigan State.
Despite missing those two contests, Carroo is still tops on the team in receiving yards with 181 and tied for the team lead with three receiving touchdowns. He’s also averaging nearly 26 yards per reception.
Carroo led the Scarlet Knights last season in receptions (55), receiving yards (1,086) and receiving touchdowns (10).
It’s been a bad week for talented SEC wide receivers.
On the heels of Auburn giving the boot to D’haquille Williams following an alleged bar rampage, Tennessee announced Wednesday that Pig Howard has been dismissed from Butch Jones‘ football program. Violations of unspecified team rules was the only explanation offered.
Howard had been suspended for the season opener for the same reason due to an unspecified incident several months before. It’s unknown if the dismissal is related in any way to that suspension.
Injuries had allowed the senior to play in just two games this season, against Oklahoma and Western Carolina. He had one reception for eight yards, with that coming in the overtime loss to the Sooners.
The past two seasons, Howard led the Vols in receiving with 54 and 44 receptions in 2014 and 2013, respectively. He accounted for 1,006 receiving yards in that span, and has also scored a pair of rushing touchdowns.