Miami football preparing to play UNC’s ACC best offense

CHAPEL HILL, NORTH CAROLINA -(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
CHAPEL HILL, NORTH CAROLINA -(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) /

The Miami football team will face the best offense it has played against this season when they host North Carolina on Saturday.

The Miami football team hosts the top offense in the ACC when they play North Carolina at Hard Rock Stadium Saturday afternoon. North Carolina is averaging 534.5 yards per game to lead the ACC. The Tar Heels are averaging over 30 more yards per game than Clemson who is second.

Clemson had 550 yards of total offense against Miami in a 42-17 victory over the Hurricanes in October. The Miami defense has improved greatly since the loss to Clemson. Miami had its best defensive performance in a 48-0 victory over Duke on Saturday. The Blue Devils had five turnovers and only 177 yards of offense.

North Carolina had their season-low of 87 yards rushing, 211 passing, 298 in total yards and 5.2 yards per play in their 31-17 loss to Notre Dame two weeks ago. The Tar Heels accumulated 125 of their total yards on their first two drives of the game to take a 14-7 lead. Notre Dame shut down UNC the rest of the game.

North Carolina had 173 yards on 43 plays following their first two drives of the game. Notre Dame held North Carolina to 4.02 yards per play over their last nine drives. North Carolina punted on their first four drives of the second half. The Fighting Irish gave the Miami football team a blueprint on how to stop the Tar Heels.

The Miami defense going out and stopping North Carolina will be far more difficult than just mimicking when Notre Dame did. North Carolina quarterback

Sam Howell

leads the ACC with 312.9 passing yards per game, 26 touchdown passes and a 181.75 passer rating on fewer attempts per game than Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence.

North Carolina has a balanced offense and is third in the ACC averaging 218.6 rushing yards per game. Michael Carter and Javonte Williams rank fourth and fifth in the ACC in rushing. Carter and Williams share the carries nearly evenly and both are a big part of the North Carolina passing game.

Carter has 937 rushing yards and seven touchdowns and 23 receptions for 258 yards and two TDs. Williams has 904 rushing yards, 16 TDs and 23 receptions for 305 yards and three TDs receiving. Carter is averaging 7.1 yards per carry and Carter 6.7. Carter had eight carries for 57 yards against ND and Williams 11-28.

Neither Carter nor Williams made an impact as receivers against Notre Dame. If Miami focuses on shutting down the North Carolina running game, Howell can take advantage. Against ND, Howell was 17/27 for 211 yards and one TD. Miami is likely going to have to pick an area to shut down and keep UNC out of the end zone.

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Miami is third in the ACC allowing opponents to score TDs on only 53.13 percent of their trips into the red zone. If the Hurricanes can continue that number against North Carolina it would be a good formula to victory. It’s going to be the biggest test of the season for the Miami defense.