UNC Football: Staff Picks Week Six: @ Miami

MIAMI GARDENS, FLORIDA - SEPTEMBER 24: Tyler Van Dyke #9 of the Miami Hurricanes signals during the first half against the Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders at Hard Rock Stadium on September 24, 2022 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images)
MIAMI GARDENS, FLORIDA - SEPTEMBER 24: Tyler Van Dyke #9 of the Miami Hurricanes signals during the first half against the Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders at Hard Rock Stadium on September 24, 2022 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images) /

The UNC football team travels to Coral Gables to take on the preseason favorites to win the Coastal Division this Saturday.

North Carolina travels to Miami on Saturday afternoon for a critical ACC Coastal showdown with the Hurricanes.

The ‘Canes have a very talented roster regardless of the fact that they enter this game on a two-game losing streak.

Can the Tar Heels win their fourth straight against Miami and move to 2-0 in ACC play?  Find out what our staff thinks below.

Nick Delahanty

I really feel like the UNC football program is matching up with the Hurricanes at the right time.

Coming off their most complete victory of the season thus far, Mack Brown’s team has to be encouraged not only by the continued offensive success, but the performance the defensive unit put up a week ago.

On the other side of things, Miami is struggling, as two consecutive losses have them looking to get back on track. Tyler Van Dyke has not been living up to his preseason expectations, as this could be another week in which the Tar Heels defense finds some early (and often) success.

With the Hurricanes having issues stopping passing plays downfield, I expect Antoine Green and Josh Downs to both have a lot of opportunities in space. If the Tar Heels can expose Miami’s secondary, they’ll be in a good position to win this game.

I don’t expect a major blowout like the last time North Carolina took this trip to Miami, but I do expect them to bring home a victory.

Prediction: North Carolina 42, Miami 31

Isaac Schade

The North Carolina Tar Heels travel to Miami Gardens, FL for their first ACC road test of
the season. After not winning a single game away from Kenan Stadium last season,
UNC has already won twice on the road this year. While Saturday’s matchup is the
second conference game for Carolina (4-1,1-0), it will be the first for the Hurricanes (2-
2, 0-0).

Drake Maye is on a tear to start his season, the likes of which we have rarely seen in
college football. That elite level the offense is operating at takes the pressure of the still-
growing defense. Carolina could give up 30 and you still feel good about your chances
with Maye directing things.

Miami is coming off a loss to Middle Tennessee State and an off-week. It will be
interesting to see how they perform after losing 62-26 the last time they hosted the Tar
Heels at home.

Carolina not only covers (-3) but wins outright in a close, high-scoring affair, 45-42 (yes,
that score does sound familiar). The last over/under I saw was 65.5 and I want every bit
of that over.

Prediction: North Carolina 45, Miami 42

Mark DeMott

Even though it felt like the sky was falling after UNC’s disappointing loss to Notre Dame in Week Four, the Tar Heels are actually in a very good position to make a run at the Coastal Division crown.  The Coastal Division appears as weak as ever, and it looks like whatever team makes it to Charlotte is going to have some obvious flaws.

The two teams picked to finish ahead of UNC in the preseason, Pittsburgh and Miami, suffered shocking upset losses in the past two weeks.  While the Panthers already have an ACC loss after falling at home to Georgia Tech, the ‘Canes come into this week’s matchup against UNC on a two-game losing streak, after losing at Texas A&M and being shocked by Middle Tennessee State at home.

With all of the Coastal chaos that has gone down already, there are only three teams in the Coastal that have yet to suffer a conference loss.  Those teams are UNC, Miami, and Duke.  The Tar Heels will face both the Hurricanes and the Blue Devils on the road over the next two weeks.  If the Heels can pull off consecutive victories in these matchups, they will be in the driver’s seat to make it to Charlotte.

Now, to the game on Saturday.  Although UNC’s defense finally made some strides last weekend against Virginia Tech, I still won’t be expecting them to shut down any quality offenses for the time being.  Miami’s offense has not been as good as expected so far this season, but I think they will be able to put some points up against a Tar Heel defense that has yet to slow down a team with a capable offense.

Luckily for the Heels, the Miami defense has a weak link that plays right into Carolina’s hands.  The Miami defense is ranked 94th in the country in pass yards allowed per game, including allowing 408 yards through the air in the loss to Middle Tennessee State.  The ‘Canes have also not faced an offense with weapons like Drake Maye, Josh Downs, and Antoine Greene to this point.

In the end, I’m expecting another shootout.  I think that if Carolina’s defense can continue to improve, (even just a little) the Tar Heels are going to have a chance to win a lot of games with their offense.  I think UNC’s offense will be the best unit on the field on Saturday and the Tar Heels will continue their success against Miami and pick up a huge conference win.

Prediction: North Carolina 42, Miami 38

Aaron Conrad

We have almost gotten to the place where we don’t need to always start off saying that the Tar Heels offense has been very good. Because, well, the Tar Heels offense has been very good.

The defense continues to be the biggest question. While they moved to 4-1 vs a struggling Virginia Tech team, the defense did show better body language, communication, and fight.

Will it be enough against a Miami Hurricane team that is dealing with its own share of injuries and struggles? We’ll find out on Saturday.

Prediction: North Carolina 38, Miami 32

Staff Standings

Isaac: 4-1

Mark: 4-1

Aaron: 4-1

Nick: 3-2

Next. Van Dyke to Start vs UNC. dark

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