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Gameday blog: UNC 28, UM 24 (F)

> UNC's 1st Drive: The Tar Heels get some field position help when the opening kickoff by Bosher goes out of bounds. A few plays later, Brandon Tate strikes with a 37-yard catch and run to the UM 11-yard line. On fourth and goal, Ryan Houston puts UNC right back into the game with a 2-yard scoring run with 9:38 left in the third quarter. UM 17, UNC 14.

> UM's 1st Drive: The Canes get great field position at the UNC 44, but can do nothing with the ball. Marve gets sacked by Mark Paschal on first down back at the 31. Two plays later, UM punts, giving UNC possession at its own 19.

> UNC's 2nd Drive: After picking up another first down on the ground, UNC tries a reverse to Brandon Tate that loses a yard. Two incomplete passes later, UNC punts and Miami takes over at its own 47.

> UM's 2nd Drive: UNC's defense keeps coming up with stops. After Marve picks up one first down with a scramble, UM is forced to punt. Sam Shields come through with a heck of a play catching the punt and pinning UNC at its 1-yard line.

> UNC's 3rd Drive: Pinned on its own 1, UNC can't move and is forced to punt from its own 1 when Spence smacks down UNC's running back on 3rd and 10. UM gets great field position when a UNC punt is return to the UNC 27. But the return gets negated on a block on the back by Romeo Davis. UM starts its drive on its 36.

> UM's 3rd Drive: Robert Marve comes through again. Faced with a 3rd and 11, Marve scrambles and finds Dedrick Epps in the flat for a big 3rd down conversion down to the UNC 22-yard line. Big, big, big, play. Graig Cooper then moves the ball even deeper with another solid run up the middle. UM caps the drive with a Marve to Aldarius Johnson touchdown pass with 9:59 to play. UM 24, UNC 14.

> UNC's 4th Drive: Right when it looks like UM is going to put the 'Heels away, UNC's speciality -- the big play -- strikes. On third and 10 at his own 26, Sexton finds Nicks down the center of the field for a 74-yard scoring strike. Bruce Johnson had the coverage on the play and missed the tackle. There was no safety help. UM 24, UNC 21.

> UM's 4th Drive: The Canes catch a break when the ensuing kickoff goes out of bounds, giving UM possession at the 40. After Graig Cooper picks up a couple first downs on the ground, UM gets called for holding at the UNC 39. Faced with a third and long, Marve forces a deep pass that gets picked and returned to the UM 43.

> UNC's 5th Drive: UNC picks up one first down and move to the UM 29. But on third and long, freshman Brandon Harris sacks Sexton back at the 36. On fourth down, Jay Wooten's 53-yard field goal attempt sails just wide left with 3:50 to play.

> UM's 5th Drive: Miami runs the ball three times trying to run the clock, but a holding penalty on Jason Fox hurts the team. Miami s only able to eat up 49 seconds off the clock as Butch Davis uses all three of his timeouts to leave 3:01 to play.

> UNC's 6th Drive: UNC partially blocks Bosher's punt and takes over at its own 44. On first down, Sexton picks up a 13-yard completion to the UM 42. Two plays later, Sexton finds Nicks for about a 22-yard gain when Bruce Johnson misses yet another tackle. But UM catches a break when Nicks get flagged for an offensive face mask. The ball is moved back to the UM 35. Sexton then finds Tate for an 11-yard gain and first down to the UM 24. On second and 9, UM's Chavez Grant collides with Brooks Forster at the 15-yard line. Referees throw flags and ultimately rule pass interference on Grant at the UM 14. Two plays later, Foster sneaks behind DeMarcus Van Dyke and makes a leaping catch for a touchdown with :46 left.

> Couple of injury notes... backup running back Damien Berry left the game midway through the first quarter with a lower left leg injury... receiver Thearon Collier had his abdomen looked at after taking a hit and dropping pass late in the first quarter... right tackle Reggie Youngblood is having his lower left foot looked at by trainers.

> UM's 1st Drive: The Canes start at their own 11 after Jojo Nicholas gets flagged for holding on the kickoff. Graig Cooper, just like a week ago, gets the Canes rolling with three long runs including a 31-yard scamper to the UNC 9. On the next play, quarterback Robert Marve finds Kayne Farquharson in the middle of the end zone for a touchdown. Miami scores in 8 plays, going 89 yards. Impressive. UM 7, UNC 0.

Butch_davis_randy_shannon> UNC's 1st Drive: The Heels pick up a first down on three straight runs when UM's defense wakes up. Colin McCarthy and Chavez Grant pick up the first tackle for loss. Two incomplete passes later, UNC punts and Grant picks up the second big hit of the game when he absolutely lights up Melvin Williams on the return. It springs Travis Benjamin for a 38-yard punt return to the UM 48-yard line. That block just edged out Jason Fox for the biggest hit of the game so far. On the second offensive play of the game, Fox destroyed defensive end Robert Quinn.

> UM's 2nd Drive: The Canes once again move the ball down the field, picking up first downs on two third down conversions including another nice run by Graig Cooper and Benjamin. But on 3rd and 11 at the UNC 25, Thearon Collier drops a pass at the first down marker. Matt Bosher's 42-yard field goal attempt goes wide right.

> UNC's 2nd Drive: Penalties, penalties, penalties. Carolina moves the ball and then picks up a 36-yard run by Shaun Draughn deep into UM territory. But it gets negated by a holding penalty. Carolina eventually is forced to punt. Punter Terrence Brown the bobbles the punt and falls on the ball at the Carolina 11 giving UM great field position.

> UM's 3rd Drive: Following an incomplete pass to an open Dedrick Epps and a 1-yard run by Cooper, Marve finds Cooper on a middle screen and Coop does the rest, avoiding two tackles on his way to the end zone with :39 left in the first quarter. Joel Figueroa had a key block to spring him. UM 14, UNC 0.

> UNC's 3rd Drive: Cameron Sexton comes in the game quarterback, replacing Paulus, and instantly sparks the Tar Heels offense. Carolina caps a 7-play, 58-yard drive and scores with 12:49 left when Greg Little follows a pack of blockers into the end zone on a 6-yard run. UM 14, UNC 7.

> UM's 4th Drive: Jacory Harris replaces Marve at quarterback with 12:46 left in the half and the offense goes three and out. But Carolina keeps the drive alive with a running into the punter penalty. Miami takes advantage of new life. Harris connects on one key passes on third down to Farquharson and another 14-yard gain to freshman Davon Johnson. UM caps a 14-play, 62-yard drive that chews up 7 minutes, 42 seconds with a 35-yard field goal by Matt Bosher. UM 17, UNC 7.

> UNC's 4th Drive: Sexton picks up a first down on his first play of the drive. But the Heels offense fizzles and the drive ends when DeMarcus Van Dyke bats away a third down pass.

> UM's 5th Drive: Marve comes back in at quarterback, but UM goes three-and-out before draining the clock and punting it. Carolina takes over at its own 7 with :25 left.

> Miami's starting offense featured Aldarius Johnson and Khalil Jones at receiver, Chris Zellner and Dedrick Epps at tight end, Robert Marve at quarterback, Graig Cooper in the backfield and Jason Fox, AJ Trump, Xavier Shannon, Joel Figueroa and Reggie Youngblood starting from left to right on the line.
> Miami's starting defense featured Steven Wesley, Dwayne Hendricks, Joe Joseph and Eric Moncur starting left to right on the line, Darryl Sharpton at strongside linebacker, Colin McCarthy at weakside, Glenn Cook in the middle, Chavez Grant and Bruce Johnson at corner and Anthony Reddick and Jojo Nicholas at safety.

> Defensive tackle Marcus Forston is definitely out for this game. He's not dressed out.

> Checking in before kickoff here at Dolphin Stadium where Miami is about to open ACC play against former coach Butch Davis and the North Carolina Tar Heels in what will be overcast and maybe rainy conditions. I've got my pregame keys to the game as well as this week's market watch and prediction to share with you.

But before I do, some interesting comments from ESPN analysts Kirk Herbstreit moments ago. Herbstreit said he believes the Canes' ceiling is winning the ACC title this year. Lee Corso, meanwhile, picked the Canes to win today by at least two touchdowns.

> WIN THE BATTLE UP FRONT: This is where Carolina can win the game. Next to the Florida Gators, this could be the most physical team UM faces all season. North Carolina's strength is its defensive line. Up front, Marvin Austin and Cam Thomas are two of the best defensive tackles in the country. Butch Davis teams have always been good at shutting down the run. We know that's going to be their focus today. Carolina only has three sacks this season -- but had two last week against Virginia Tech, which means they could be getting better at rushing the passer. If Miami can own the line, they'll own this game.
> CONTAIN BRANDON TATE: With starting quarterback T.J. Yates out, nobody is expecting either of Carolina's quarterbacks to Mike Paulus or Cameron Sexton to be flinging the ball deep down field. Davis is going to play this game conservatively and try to get the ball in the hands of his best playmaker and that's Tate. The 6-1, 195-pound senior had 54-yard touchdown run last year against Miami and leads the nation in all purpose yards (265.7 yards per game) and is explosive on punt returns. Miami can't let Tate have a big day.
> GET OFF TO A BETTER START: Last year, Miami fell behind North Carolina 27-0 before a rally fell short. Last week, UM gave up an early score and responded with a scoring drive. Although UM has shown some toughness in being able to come back in games, this UM team is still a young team. You can't keep putting yourself in a hole and expect to come out of it every time. This is a game Miami should win because Carolina is without its starting quarterback. But come out slow and give a Butch Davis team confidence and you give Carolina a chance to win a game it shouldn't.

> As usual, we take a look at the guys we expect to blow up, guys who are on the bubble and guys who probably won't factor into this game.
> Steven Wesley, defensive end: Eric Moncur was the star last week at A&M. I think Wesley will be the guy this week. He's been UM's most consistent end and stopper in the run game. I think the Canes turn up the pressure today and Wesley racks up a few sacks and maybe recovers a fumble.
> Dedrick Epps, tight end: Epps caught 3 passes for 48 yards last week and has five catches this season, but still hasn't gotten into the end zone. I think when UM gets into the red zone today, Carolina will be focused on stopping the run. Epps will get some chances to catch touchdown passes.
> Xavier Shannon, center: You might as well as include Orlando Franklin, Chris Rutledge, A.J. Trump and Joel Figueroa in this group considering the interior of Miami's offense will be tested today by UNC's defensive tackle duo. If these guys have a good day, UM has a good day. If they struggle, Carolina has a chance to win this game.
> Bruce Johnson, cornerback: Guess who is probably going to be covering Tate? You got it. Bruce, who has nine tackles this season, is going to have to do a good job wrapping up and making sure the rest of the secondary doesn't give up a lot of big plays. Carolina's offense has generated three scoring plays this year of 50 yards or more and has nine passes of 20 yards or more.
> DeMarcus Van Dyke, cornerback: What's happened to DVD? He's gone from projected starter to lost in the shuffle. Today could be an opportunity to bounce back. But he may not see the field very much other than special teams.

> My prediction: UM 30, North Carolina 13. I'm expecting a close game for three quarters before Miami's defense starts creating turnovers in the fourth quarter that lead to a few easy points. It's going to be a battle though. Carolina is going to be real physical.


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Wow, the quick strike Offense is back. JJ I think has officially lost the starting RB job upon his return. The ole "don't get injured at Miami because you may never see the field again" quote is back! Fox's block was one of the 5 best blocks I have ever seen.

Marve is very accurate, I love it.

Dang they'll be competing for the ACC this year and definitely winning it next and I like Desmond Howard's prediction that the Canes will be playing for the championship in two.

Go Canes!

My boy Kane the Cane in the house baby! Go U!

1 negative I know, I always have to say:
Why are the stands so empty? My excuse is I live 3,000 miles away in Seattle. I hope ESPN stops showing the stands. Perhaps the Canes blowup the Heels and are ranked on Monday and the Noles win as well so the game next week will be a sellout.


from Kuala Lumpur Malaysia, following the game via gametracker... good first possession...

wow that return was awesome.. def provided youtube clips for everyone

You gotta love Marve standing beside Thearon Collier after he was shaken up and not heading back to the sideline without his receiver. His leadership qualities are really starting to come through in all sorts of subtle ways.

Also to love: Herbstreit picking Marve as his Game Changer for this week. Kirk said the ceiling for the Canes is an ACC Championship and a BCS game--we're going to have fun playing at home on January 1st!

And how about Chavez Grant! A great hit on the QB and one hell of a helmet-poppin' block.


I am watching on ESPN2 and listening on QAM in Bethesda...the same problem that I had with the stadium announcer at the OB....he's toooo loud. At the OB it was deafening. Now, on TV and radio I can hear him more than Joe or the guys on the tube. It's too bad. It makes the near empty stadium sound deserted.
Somebody tell that dude to turn it down a couple clicks, ok?
Go Canes



Seeing game on TV and is it me or more than half of the stadium empty? Butch Davis is coming back to South Florida and first ACC game, thought you would call out the Hurricanes fans?

This game doesn't have the feel of college football at Dolphins Stadium.


Posted by: Herbal Minded | September 27, 2008 at 01:12 PM

Thats what I was wondering. I think we'll be seeing more blitzing 2nd half, maybe cuz our boys were getting tired around 4th qtr the past couple games. Well see.

I'm with Russell on this one, I'm in Seattle as well but I wish I could be there at the game. I will, however be at the FSU game next week thanks to Alaska Airlines!! Go Canes!!

we got hosed on that kickoff call

defense is not looking good at all what the hell

is this the cookin channel or espn?

This is ridiculous. All the wind was knocked out of the 'Canes sails when Randy Shannon put Jacory Harris in. When is Shannon going to admit to himself and his fans that Marve is the better QB and will commit to him? This QB by committee is so anti-Miami and Shannon needs to commit to Marve NOW. He puts Harris in just as Marve gets comfortable!!! PICK ONE, RANDY!!!!

If UM out scores their opponent and no one is there to see it, is it a win?Lots of empty seats

I am not at a TV. is the game streaming online anywhere?

Seems like nix is gettin away from the running game that was workin in the first half also for some reason

Nice play by marve hopefully it'll get us Momentum on offensive.

i hope we punch this in cmon

Yes sir!!!

Nix isnt callin that bad of a game overall imo which doesnt mean much but give him a little credit Great game by marve so far herbstriet was on the money with his game changer call this morning .


UNC just missed the fourth-quarter field goal.

Whether they win of lose, I'm watching these young 'Canes, many of whom were playing high-school football a year ago, step up to the plate and swing the bat in clutch situations. (odd: baseball euphemism describing football play)

They guys are for real. They're beating up UNC; beating them at their own game.

Marve is for real. He's outplaying Tebo AGAIN, against a superior team.

Shannon is for real. He's currently out-coaching his former boss.

Sharpton and Cooper are playing Hurricane ball.

The 'Canes are back in town.

Nix is a moron. He lost the Florida game by rushing on first down every freaking time until the 3rd quarter.
Now he puts in Harris and totally screws up UM momentem!!!! Shannon needs to go for keeping him here and Nix needs to go!!!!!!!!!

Damn shannon has no clue as a head coach!!!!!


Terrible absolutely terrible

shannon is dragging UM back to the 70's. UM should have done more to get Davis back

conservative play calling does it to us again!

what a massive choke job in the second half.

shannon should be fired by the end of the year!!!!

I have been trying to stay patient with Patrick Nix but my patiance has run out. I don't recognize this offense this is not a Hurricane offense. Every pass is short Marve is averaging 4.6 yards per pass. The Defense is not affraid of someone getting behind them, the fact that the running game is working is a testament to Graig Coopers talent and the play of the offensive line. Nix in my view either is affraid or is just a horrible play caller. A perfect example is a drive in the 4th in which Graig Cooper is gashing the defense and on 2nd and short a perfect time to call a play action and go deep he instead calls a QB draw that gets stopped for no gain. Nix just doesn't have a killer instinct and Randy Shannon must correct this in the offseason if he want's this team to take it's next step and compete for a national championship.

Lets play a drinking game. Everytime we hear the word "swagger" during a UM game, take a shot!

also, can we stop talking about 'swagger' for god's sake. 'swagger' wins you nothing. it's about EXECUTION.

swagger without execution is worthless. execution without swagger still gets you W's. swagger is fine if you can win ballgames...but you have to make plays first. that's the important part.

damn!!! UM had this game and the freakin MORON coaches lost it!!!! UM needs to hire some good coaches, not wussy ass dumb shits!!!!!!!!!!

exciting good game and it sucks to be on the losing end

Someone's got to teach these kids how to play for four full quarters. This loss was sickening--another implosion during the last 15 minutes. We gave NC that win.

um is doomed to mediocrity until shannon is fired!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Coaching, coaching, coaching...

It amazes me that with all this talent UM comtinues to lose... it has to be the coaching of lack thereof

Need to open this up more -- to conservative -- not enough shots downfield -- amazing final drive -- with everyone back -- still found separation..

Terrible offensive play calling - should drop Marve back instead of these quarterback sneaks, they need to run a pro style offense.

Secondary has been poor for the second straight game.

I love Jacory and want him to see some playing time but man, they way Randy is playing him completely drains the offense of any momentum.
That is what slowed us down in the 2Q and never regained it.

This one hurts no way should this game have been close . Davis owns Shannon. WE're still a long way off. The fact that they're backup Qb came into miami and ate the defensive alive is so discouraging not sure we come bac after this heartbreak.

I will not be as hard as others here but a main problem I saw was the game plan seemed to change from the 1st half to the second ... strike that from mid-way thru the 2nd quarter to maybe the final minute when Miami was forced to play aggressive.

They came out with a lot of energy laying the smack down and then played for clock management and field position the whole 2nd half. Play to win and not to show dammit

Trust me, if Miami wants to win next year.... they will have a whole new coaching staff!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

What is the purpose of stopping are driving, scoring offense with inserting a new QB and stooping the momentum? I hear the Marve gets a break and gets a different perspective from the sideline, but I think it hits the brakes on a offense that is driving the ball. UNC changed QB and hit it in drive, we changed QB and went in reverse...I just don't get it!!!

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