Expect Miami football versus North Carolina to produce explosive plays

LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY - SEPTEMBER 19: (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY - SEPTEMBER 19: (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /
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Two of the most explosive offenses in the ACC will play on Saturday afternoon when North Carolina travels to Hard Rock Stadium to play the Miami football team.

The Saturday afternoon game between the Miami football team and North Carolina is likely to have a lot of big plays. North Carolina is at the top of virtually every category measuring big plays in the ACC. The Tar Heels are explosive running and passing. Quarterback Sam Howell leads the North Carolina offense.

Howell has more big pass plays this season beginning to measure at 10 yards and going up in 10 yard increments through 60 yards. North Carolina defeated the Miami football team last season in Chapel Hill partly because of converting a fourth and 17 on the game winning drive late in the fourth quarter.

Howell leads the ACC with 312.9 passing yards per game, 26 touchdown passes and a 181.75 passer rating. The key to defeating North Carolina is to take away their running game. North Carolina had its three lowest yards per carry average this season in their losses. Notre Dame and Virginia held UNC to under three yards per carry.

North Carolina has the best skill position players on offense in the ACC. Running backs Michael Carter and Javean Williams and wide receivers Dyami Brown and Dazz Newsome are all capable of making a big play at any time. Carter and Williams are fourth and fifth in the ACC in rushing yards per game.

Brown is second in the ACC in receiving yards and Newsome 17th. With eight and five TD receptions, Brown and Newsome are second and seventh in the ACC in TD receptions. The thin Miami secondary who just lost junior Al Blades Jr. for the season will have their biggest challenge of the season.

Miami has been one of the best teams in the ACC this season preventing long plays. The Hurricanes rank first in the fewest plays allowed over 30 and 40 yards. That is not the same with North Carolina who is 13th in the ACC in plays allowed over 30 and 40 yards. The Miami offense will have opportunities for big plays.

The truly explosive plays of gains of 30 yards or more, Miami ranks fourth in the ACC. The Hurricanes will have a chance for big pays. Miami QB D’Eriq King has connected on big plays throughout the season. King has 34 completions of 20 yards or more and 18 of 30 or more yards.

With Brevin Jordan back, the Miami offense is at full strength. Jordan, tight end Will Mallory, wide receivers Mike Harley, Dee Wiggins and Mark Pope and running backs Cam Harris, Don Chaney Jr. and Jaylan Knighton are all explosive.

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The Miami defense will have to minimize the explosive plays by the North Carolina offense and be stout in the red zone. MIami should be able to keep up with the Tar Heels offensively. North Carolina is a far better team than Louisville, but the game should play out similiary to Miami’s win over the Cardinals in September.