University of North Carolina at Chao is struggling as a favorite in the ACC category | WGN Radio 720

North Carolina and Miami have begun the season as favorites in the Atlantic Coast Conference category. The hype disappeared for a long time when they met on Saturday as two unranked teams with 5-6 records combined.

Host Tar Heels (3-3, 2-3 ACC) made the biggest fall. With the return of quarterback Sam Howell, they were a coastal favorite carrying the first Top 10 pre-season rankings in 24 years during Mac Brown’s first coaching stint at Chapel Hill.

Still, the experienced attack line doesn’t protect Howell well, but Tar Heels is struggling to replace the loss of skill position to the NFL. According to Brown, this year’s group hasn’t responded to adversity as much as the previous two seasons, with Florida State University’s winning team losing home last weekend.

“We should have won more games than we estimated,” Brown said. So it’s in us (coaches), period. They need to play better, but it’s our job to get them to play better. “

The hurricane (2-3, 0-1) opened at number 14 and opened as the expected top coastal challenger for the Tar Heels. They dropped out of polls after losing to Alabama and Michigan in the first three games.

They have been on NCAA probation and are trying to avoid the first two to four starts since 1997, when they were dealing with strict scholarship restrictions.

They were a big hit this week when coach Manny Diaz announced this week that quarterback D’Eriq King would undergo shoulder surgery at the end of the season due to Sparta’s injury.

Diaz said he is now on Tyler van Dyck’s team and that Van Dyck has started the last two games and has missed two of the top three quarterbacks.

Is it good news, at least for hurricanes? They have only one league defeat to remain in the division race.

“Honestly, we have to get the job done,” Vandik said. “No matter who is in the quarterback, we have to win. Now it’s me. I need to be consistent, get out there and trust my teammates. And we’re fine. Will be. “

Power outage

Starting with the match against Tar Heels last season, Miami has lost five consecutive matches against opponents in five major conferences (ACC, SEC, Pac-12, Big Ten and Big 12). Hurricanes since the five-game slides against these schools from November 2007 to September 2008.

The last time Miami suffered a longer streak against what was called the Power 5 School was when the term “Power 5” didn’t exist. The hurricane lost seven straight games in the 1977 and 1978 seasons.

Protection issues

The issue of Tar Heels protection makes it clear that the team will return the entire attack line. Injuries, especially in the center, didn’t help, but that doesn’t explain everything.

Virginia Tech dismissed Howell six times in the opening round, and Georgia Institute of Technology topped eight sack at Homewin by the end of September. Tar Heels allowed only one bag at the loss of FSU.

Top threat

North Carolina receiver Josh Downs provided a bright spot by taking over as a top target at the departure of Diami Brown and Daz Newsome. He is in the top 6 bowl subdivision ranks for receive yard (123.5 per game), catch (8.2) and touchdown (7 this season).

Last meeting

Tar Heels showed an incredibly aggressive display at the 62-26 Roadwin against the hurricane last December. With a 62-26 victory, they set a school record at 778 yards in the game and 554 yards above the ground.

“That’s, of course, deep in my heart as a mic linebacker for this defense,” linebacker Corey Flag Jr. said of the rushing total.

UNC also marked the highest scoring output and the highest winning margin against ranked opponents.

“We haven’t talked about last year’s game yet,” Howell said.

Lock up in a friendly way

Miami has been 15-8 when playing ACC road games in North Carolina since attending the conference in 2004 and has won five of the last seven games.

However, five of these eight defeats occurred in Chapel Hill, including the 2019 match where Tar Heels won with a 61-second remaining Howell’s touchdown throw.

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Miami AP sports writer Tim Reynolds contributed to this report.

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University of North Carolina at Chao is struggling as a favorite in the ACC category | WGN Radio 720

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