TV Schedule: Saturday, November 14, 3:30 p.m. ET, ESPNU
Stadium: Kenan Stadium, Chapel Hill, N.C.
Line: UNC (-12.5)
After an ugly 66-0 home loss to Clemson, Miami fired their fifth-year coach Al Golden. Golden was replaced by Larry Scott on an interim basis who has led the team to two straight ACC wins since taking over as coach.
Before Scott took over, Miami was a mediocre 4-3 and had only won one conference game against Virginia Tech (30-20). However, the Hurricanes’ win over Duke in Scott’s first game as head coach was determined by a field goal. That same Duke team North Carolina routed last Saturday in a 66-31 victory.
Quarterback Brad Kaaya passed for 286 yards and two touchdowns in the Hurricanes’ 27-21 victory over Virginia last week. It was his first game back after missing the Duke game due to a concussion.
Will Scott’s revitalization and Kaaya’s return be enough to take down a North Carolina team with a fifth-year QB and a bevy of talented receivers?
Marquise Williams has thrived running North Carolina’s offense with the help of two receivers with at least 500 yards receiving in Mack Hollins and Ryan Switzer. Not to mention senior Quinshad Davis who owns the program record for receptions and touchdown catches, 186 and 23, respectively, and junior Bug Howard who has 407 yards receiving. Williams threw for a program-record 494 yards in Saturday’s win over Duke, and he didn’t even play in the fourth quarter.
With a win and a Pittsburgh loss to Duke, North Carolina would claim a share of the Coastal Division title and earn a trip to the ACC Championship game. It will likely be one of the few times that Carolina fans will gladly root for a Duke win.
Although North Carolina has dropped four of the last five matchups between the two schools, Miami has been allowing 410.0 yards per game. Miami might be able to force OT, but Williams is just too good for Miami’s defense. Plus, he’s out to prove that last year’s matchup (he only threw for 186 yards and zero touchdowns) was a fluke.
Prediction: UNC 37, Miami 34