Miami football at UNC features arguably ACC’s 2 best QBs

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

The Miami football game at North Carolina on Saturday night features arguably the two best quarterbacks in the ACC. Tyler Van Dyke of Miami and Drake Maye of North Carolina are in the top three passers in the ACC by multiple measures. Van Dyke currently leads the ACC in completion percentage and passer rating.

Van Dyke has completed 72.6 percent of his passes and has a 178.75 passer rating. Maye is second in the ACC with a 72.1 completion percentage and third with a 158.80 passer rating. Maye and Van Dyke were exceptional in the 27-24 Tar Heels win over the Miami football team during the 2022 season.

North Carolina raced to 14-0 and 21-7 leads in the first half. Miami was able to cut their deficit to 21-17 lead at halftime. Maye completed 19 passes in 28 attempts for 309 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions and had 14 carries for 53 yards rushing versus Miami in 2022. Van Dyke exceeded Maye’s numbers.

Van Dyke had 42 completions in 57 attempts for 496 passing yards, one interception and three TDs with six carries for 12 yards rushing. The 496 passing yards were the second most in Miami football history to Stephen Morris who had 566 in 2012 versus North Carolina State. Maye and Van Dyke both have 47 career TD passes.

Van Dyke struggled some in his first game versus North Carolina in 2021. In a 45-42 loss in Chapel Hill, Van Dyke was 20-45 for 264 yards, one touchdown and three interceptions. Van Dyke threw interceptions on the final drive in each of the last two seasons with Miami trailing by three versus North Carolina.

Miami was relatively successful in defending Maye in 2022. The stats Maye had in the win versus Miami last season were in the middle of his career stats by nearly every measure. Maye’s numbers are up from 2022 except for his TD-to-interception ratio. Maye had 38 TDs and seven interceptions in 2022.

This season Maye has eight TDs and four interceptions. The pass defense for Miami has been susceptible at times this season as Georgia Tech exposed on the final drive last week. North Carolina is ninth in the ACC allowing 216.8 passing yards per game, but has only given up two TDs and has seven interceptions.

North Carolina is sixth with opponents completing only 57.7 percent of their pass attempts, tied with Miami for fourth giving up 6.5 yards per completion and third with a 107.54 opponent passer rating. The 33.6 pass attempts per game by North Carolina opponents are the third most in the ACC.

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Miami had to lean on Van Dyke far too much in the 2022 loss to North Carolina. The 42 completions by Van Dyke versus North Carolina in 2022 set a Miami record and his 57 attempts were the second most. Miami needs a more balanced offense versus North Carolina on Saturday to have a better chance to win.