Better against a Hurricane than in one, North Carolina dispatched Miami 20-13 on Saturday to make things interesting in the ACC Coastal race once again.
While the skies did open up and start raining heavily in the fourth quarter at Hard Rock Stadium, the Tar Heels were able to hold on thanks to a key defensive stop and a handful of big plays on offense.
Quarterback Mitch Trubisky returned to his early season form for UNC after a bad outing against Virginia Tech in stormy weather, bouncing back to throw for 299 yards and two scores while adding another 47 on the ground. He did most of the damage in the first two quarters as Miami turned up the pressure after halftime and the Tar Heels offensive line started to falter as the result of a few key injuries.
Running back Elijah Hood returned to limited action in the backfield but averaged just 2.4 yards a carry. T.J. Logan did most of the work on his way to an 84 yard effort.
North Carolina’s defense was particularly impressive, limiting QB Brad Kaaya to just 16-of-31 passing (224 yards) and holding the Canes under four yards a carry. They also stepped up big as Miami threatened to tie the game late in the fourth quarter, with Malik Carney forcing a sack/fumble that Jeremiah Clarke recovered to seal the win in the closing minutes.
The victory, when combined with Virginia Tech’s loss to Syracuse, keeps Larry Fedora’s squad atop the ACC Coastal standings in surprising fashion. Miami’s second straight home loss will cause many to question just how good the young team is but they are not out of the running in the division at all and fall to just 4-2 on the year.