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NCAA Football ACC FootballMiami (FL) Hurricanes

First True Road Test of 2013 Season Could Determine Division Fate for Miami Hurricanes

Steve Mitchell – USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Hurricanes would have been in a position to represent the Coastal Division in the 2012 ACC Championship game if they hadn’t been under a self-imposed postseason ban. Now free of that sanction, the Canes are looking to get back to that level in 2013 and take their shot at winning the ACC title. Their chances of achieving that goal will become clearer early in their ACC slate when they face their first major road test on October 17 against the North Carolina Tar Heels.

North Carolina, of course, was also in a position to represent the Coastal Division in the ACC title game, but was also serving a one-year postseason ban. The two programs look to remain at the top of the division, but will be squaring off in 2013 with much more on the line than last year. In 2012, Miami started off 3-0 in ACC play as one of the league’s biggest surprises before losing their first conference game to UNC at home. This year, they’ll be looking for payback in Chapel Hill.

Miami obviously has one of the most talented offenses in the ACC, but North Carolina’s is very good as well. Both programs are on the rise with coaches that have their teams heading in the right direction by establishing up-tempo offenses that can score points in bunches. By the time this game rolls around, Al Golden will have his team up and running, but their trip to North Carolina will be the first time that the Canes must leave the state of Florida all season.

If Miami hopes to reach the ACC title game, it must handle its business in the conference. Posting a road win over UNC would be a huge jumpstart to their division title chances and could give them to the momentum they need to finish the year strong.

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