Miami football needs big plays versus North Carolina

Oct 16, 2021; Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA; Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 16, 2021; Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA; Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports /

The Miami football team will need plays on defense, offense and special teams to combat an explosive North Carolina offense. In their one loss this season North Carolina allowed four Notre Dame runners plays of 10 or more yards and three receivers to have receptions of 20 or more yards.

Notre Dame had 576 yards of total offense and averaged 6.8 yards per play in a 45-32 win over North Carolina. Notre Dame quarterback Drew Pyne was 24-34 for 289 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions and ran for 20 yards on six carries. Three different Notre Dame players ran for at least 50 yards versus North Carolina.

Audric Estime had 17 carries for 134 yards and two TDs. Chris Tyree had 15 carries for 80 yards and a TD and four receptions for 24 yards. Estime had a long run of 29 yards, Tyree’s longest for 19. Notre Dame had excellent balance versus North Carolina with 287 yards rushing and 289 passing.

The Miami football team has not produced big plays this season. Key’Shawn Smith has been exceptional ranking second nationally averaging 40.1 yards per kickoff return. Smith has one kickoff return for a touchdown and another one that was called back. Miami needs more big plays on defense and offense.

4-1. 838. 834. Hurricanes -3.5. ESPN 2. Saturday, October 8. 2-2. 4 PM ET

Miami ranks 61st nationally with seven turnovers forced this season. UAB and Tennessee are the only teams ranked ahead of Miami in turnovers among teams that have also only played four games. Miami is 54th nationally averaging six tackles for loss per game. The Hurricanes are 38th averaging 2.5 sacks per game.

The Miami football team needs to produce more negative plays on defense. North Carolina does not turn the ball over often. The Tar Heels are 28th nationally with only five turnovers this season. North Carolina is 80th nationally allowing 5.8 TFLs per game. The Tar Heels are 62nd allowing 1.8 sacks per game.

After being one of the most explosive offenses in college football in 2021, Miami has struggled to create big plays in 2022. Part of that is Miami offensive coordinator Josh Gattis is more conservative than his predecessor Rhett Lashlee. Miami is placing more emphasis on the run in 2022.

Miami is 114th nationally with 15 plays of 20 or more yards. The Hurricanes have to be able to create chunk plays. North Carolina is 116th nationally allowing 28 plays of 20 yards or more. North Carolina is 84th with seven rushing plays of 20 yards or more. Expect Gattis to attempt to establish the run.

Next. Miami needs to make North Carolina one dimensional. dark

Miami was successful in its first three games this season running the back. Middle Tennessee State stacked the box and Miami ran 38 times for 60 yards versus the Blue Raiders. Miami ran for at least 175 yards in each of its first three games in 2022. Creating big plays and limiting them on defense will be critical versus North Carolina.