Heading into week eight, the Miami Hurricanes are just two wins away from equalling their total from 2012. One win away from being bowl eligible, Miami is looking to continue its undefeated campaign and possible contention for an ACC title. With no more bye weeks left in the 2013 season, the Hurricanes are in for the long stretch.
The North Carolina Tar Heels were expected to do big things in 2013. Following an eight-win season and one of the best offenses in the nation behind quarterback Bryn Renner, the Tar Heels were expected to make a bowl game a year after their bowl ban had been lifted. Sadly, they are just 1-4, but the end of tough games is in sight.
While he has struggled a bit to stay healthy this season, Stephen Morris has led this team to a 5-0 record through seven weeks. The senior quarterback is completing over 60 percent of his passes for 950 yards and nine touchdowns. He has had help from talented senior wide out Allen Hurns and impressive sophomore running back Duke Johnson. Hurns has caught 20 passes for 383 yards and two touchdowns — approaching career-highs in every category. Johnson has carried the ball 80 times for 572 yards and four touchdowns — a 6.8 yards per carry average.
As I mentioned earlier, Renner was expected to lead this team to a bowl game in 2013. However, he has not been as impressive as he was a season ago when he threw for over 3,300 yards and 28 touchdowns. The senior gunslinger is down in nearly every category and expected to finish the season with worse numbers than he did last year. Renner has completed just under 60 percent of his passes for 1,117 yards and seven touchdowns this season. The run game for the Tar Heels has been terrible, almost non-existent, this season while averaging just 100 yards per game.
Defensively, the Tar Heels rank 94th in the nation, allowing 436 yards per game while also ranking 95th in the nation with 31.4 points allowed per game. Defense is not North Carolina’s strength. Miami ranks in the top 10 nationally in points allowed per game with 16 and 12th in yards allowed with just over 300 per game.
Miami will travel to North Carolina to take on the Tar Heels at 7:30 p.m. EST on Thursday, Oct. 17. The game will be broadcasted on ESPN.
PREDICTION: Miami 37, North Carolina 24