Quick Hitters from North Carolina’s 45-42 home win over Miami on Saturday afternoon.
- With the victory, Carolina has won three straight against Miami and now holds the all-time series lead 12-11.
- Take a bow Cedric Gray, this was your day. Two interceptions. One ball batted down on an important third down at the beginning of the fourth quarter. Six tackles, one of which was a TFL. The second interception stopped the game from almost assuredly going to overtime (the next play would have been a short field goal attempt as time ran out). The play itself wasn’t similar, but the stakes were essentially the same as Chazz Surratt’s interception to preserve the victory against Duke in 2019. And because that's always fun to re-live:
- For the second straight week, the Tar Heels reached double-digits in penalties (10) and triple-digits in penalty yards (102). Not sure if the issue is a lack of discipline or something about the opponents or what, but Carolina needs to clean up this trend in the bye week. On Miami’s second drive alone, UNC was flagged three times.
- Josh Downs now has eight straight games with a touchdown (going back to the Orange Bowl). With 11 more receptions today, Downs now has an even 60 for the season and has now gone over 800 receiving yards (837)...in just seven games.
- Color commentator Roddy Jones said of Downs on the broadcast: “Every time he catches the ball, get your popcorn ready.”
- As encouraging as Downs’ numbers continue to be, it’s equally as disheartening to see the current lack of help around him. Ty Chandler had two receptions today. Other than Downs and Chandler, no other receiver had multiple catches.
- In the running game, Ty Chandler notched his second 100-yard performance of the season (104 yards on 18 carries). Howell joined Chandler with a 100-yard performance of his own, although it didn’t count as such due to the NCAA’s silly method of counting sack yardage in a quarterback’s rushing totals.
- In fact, Howell looked like a human pinball, bouncing off defenders on multiple occasions as he churned up yards with his feet. Take a look for yourself:
- Miami managed just 12 yards of total offense in the first quarter.
- The first two Carolina touchdowns brought back memories of last year’s quick strike attack with plays of 51 and 45 culminating in the end zone.
- The first touchdown was a thing of beauty from Ty Chandler. He weaved his way through the line with good patience, jumped to the right to avoid two Hurricanes, and scampered 51 yards for the score, avoiding a shoestring tackle at the 15 on the way.
- A week after allowing just one sack, Carolina gave up four today. That means the Tar Heels have given up four or more sacks in three of the past four games.
- Interestingly, both of Gray’s interceptions came off tipped passes. Tony Grimes was the first to tip a Tyler Van Dyke pass that Gray picked out of the air. The second was tipped by Jeremiah Gemmel, juggled by Jahvaree Ritzie, and ultimately hauled in by Gray. Here's the game-winner:
- Despite an 18-point first-half lead for Carolina, they could not put away the Hurricanes. Heading into the fourth quarter, Miami had all the momentum and looked as though they would complete the comeback and leave Kenan Stadium victorious. Thankfully, the Tar Heels did just enough to get by despite the offense sputtering late.
- To that point, Carolina had four three-and-outs on their final five possessions and five total three-and-outs for the game.
- Midway through the second quarter, Miami forced Carolina to kick a field goal but were flagged for roughing the kicker. Two plays later Ty Chandler punched it in for the touchdown. That’s four extra points in a game the Tar Heels won by three.
- The Heels finish the homestand with a 2-1 record and now get a week off to prepare to take on the Irish in South Bend.
Mack Brown postgame press conference
Players postgame press conference
Remember to check in for Quick Hitters after every North Carolina football game. Next up is a road game against Notre Dame on Saturday, October 30. Kickoff is at 7:30pm ET on NBC.
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