Thursday, October 26, 2017

Tar Heels Host Undefeated Miami in Bid to Snap Losing Streak

North Carolina looks to snap a five-game losing streak when the Tar Heels host No. 8 Miami Saturday at noon at Kenan Stadium. The final ACC home contest of 2017, Saturday also marks Homecoming at UNC. UNC fell to 1-7 on the year with a 59-7 loss at No. 14 Virginia Tech last weekend in Blacksburg. Chazz Surratt hit Anthony Ratliff-Williams for a 43-yard touchdown strike in the fourth quarter for the lone Carolina points on a tough afternoon for the Tar Heels. Miami picked up its sixth straight win to open the season with a 27-19 victory over Syracuse last Saturday in south Florida. Malik Rosier threw for 344 yards and two scores and Travis Homer iced the game late with a 33-yard touchdown run. Miami's 11-game winning streak dating back to last season is the program's longest in 15 years.

Carolina and Miami are meeting for the 21st time overall and the 14th consecutive season. The Tar Heels lead the series, 11-9. Last year in Miami Gardens, Mitch Trubisky threw two touchdown passes and Malik Carney forced a turnover with 1:31 left to seal a 20-13 win over the No. 16 Hurricanes. Ryan Switzer and Austin Proehl had TD grabs and Bug Howard finished with 10 catches for 156 yards for the Tar Heels, who converted 14 of 23 third-down chances on a rainy afternoon. In the last meeting in Chapel Hill, Marquise Williams accounted for four touchdowns and Switzer had a 78-yard punt return for a score, leading No. 17 North Carolina's dominating performance in a 59-21 win over the Hurricanes.

Five of UNC's six most recent wins in the series were decided by 10 points or less - a 33-27 victory in 2007, a 28-24 win in 2008, a 33-24 win in 2009, an 18-14 win in 2012 and last year's 20-13 decision. Carolina's first game against Miami as ACC members came in 2004 and was a memorable win for the Tar Heels. Connor Barth connected on a 42-yard field goal as time expired to beat the fourth-ranked Hurricanes, 31-28. It is still the highest-ranked team Carolina has ever beaten and is the Tar Heels' only win over a team ranked in the Associated Press top five.

The first meeting between the two institutions came in 1946, when Carl Snavely's Tar Heels knocked off Miami, 21-0, in the second game of the year. Carolina would go on to finish 8-2-1 and play Georgia in the Sugar Bowl.

What the Coaches are Saying

UNC Coach Larry Fedora
“We’re looking forward to this week. We’ve got an undefeated Miami team that’s rolling in here playing with a lot of confidence. Mark [Richt] has done a great job getting this team prepared week in and week out. I think they’re one of the top teams in the country in turnover margin. So, they’re taking care of the football, and they’re creating takeaways on defense, and so we’ve got to do a great job of taking care of the football ourselves”

Miami Coach Mark Richt
"There’s no doubt we can get better. I can only hope we keep getting better. I don't know what the right time is to peak, but if we can keep getting better, that would be really good for us. And we all know we can get better.”

Game Info

North Carolina (1-7, 0-5 ACC) vs. Miami (6-0, 4-0 ACC)
Kickoff: Noon
Kenan Stadium, Chapel Hill, N.C.