Miami football and North Carolina two of ACCs worst pass rushing and protection

Sep 7, 2019; Chapel Hill, NC, USA; Mandatory Credit: Nell Redmond-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 7, 2019; Chapel Hill, NC, USA; Mandatory Credit: Nell Redmond-USA TODAY Sports /

Rushing the passer and protection will be a key when the Miami football team plays at North Carolina on Saturday. The Hurricanes and Tar Heels are two of the worst teams nationally protecting and rushing the passer. Miami and North Carolina are the two worst teams in the ACC allowing sacks.

The Hurricanes allow 3.2 sacks per game to rank 13th in the ACC. North Carolina is last allowing 3.83 sacks per game. The Miami football team is 118th nationally in sacks allowed per game and North Carolina 24th. The defensive lines for both teams are not much better rushing the quarterback.

Miami is 61st nationally averaging 2.2 sacks per game. North Carolina is 89th with 1.83 sacks per game. Miami is eighth in the ACC in sacks per game and North Carolina 10th. Jahfari Harvey and Chantz Williams of Miami and Myles Murphy of UNC are tied for 10th in the ACC with seven other players with 0.5 sacks per game.

Miami needs more production in the pass rush from Zach McCloud who has two sacks and this season and De Andre Johnson who has yet to bring down an opposing QB. The Miami defensive tackles have only totaled two sacks in 2021. Six players have totaled sacks for North Carolina in 2021.

Murphy leads the Tar Heels with three sacks, Tomon Fox and Kaimon Rucker have 2.5 sacks each. Three other Tar Heels have one each. North Carolina has struggled to get much penetration into opposing backfields. The Tar Heels are tied for 77th nationally averaging 5.5 tackles for loss per game.

Miami has done a better job producing TFLs than sacks. The Hurricanes are 22nd nationally averaging 7.4 in TFLs per game. Harvey leads Miami with three TFLs per game. Defensive tackle Nesta Jade Silvera is second on the Hurricanes with 2.5 TFLs. Murphy leads UNC with 6.5 TFLs and Rucker is second with four.

The Miami offensive line has been a question mark for most of the last three seasons. Miami not producing sacks is more of an aberration under Manny Diaz. The aggressive defense that Diaz prefers has not produced the results getting to the passer this season as they have when he was solely the defensive coordinator.

Next. Miami faces UNC team who bounces back after losses under Mack Brown. dark

Whichever team is able to protect their QB better and rush the passer will have a big advantage on Saturday. Miami and North Carolina are teams trying to right their seasons after disappointing starts. Miami enters the game Saturday with a 2-3 record, North Carolina 3-3. The loser on Saturday will have more questions to answer.