Week 5: Miami Hurricanes vs UNC Preview

For the first time in what seems like forever the Miami Hurricanes are hosting a Thursday night game tomorrow, and its a big one. The Hurricanes athletic department had specifically requested for the ACC to refrain from scheduling home Thursday games, and it had been granted for quite some time. Now, ACC play begins for UM with a matchup against North Carolina.

Quarterback

And of course, the big question first and foremost, is who starts at quarterback for Miami? Nkosi Perry played most of the game Saturday and played well, albeit against an overmatched FIU. But when he was handed the keys to the offense on the third series of the game, it sure seemed like a changing of the guard for coach Mark Richt.

Richt has still declined to say who will start Thursday night, even going as far as to switch starters in the portion of practice open to the media. But all signs are pointing to the redshirt freshman Perry getting the nod, and we assume keeping the job unless he absolutely falls apart. Malik Rosier is a senior, he’s been a backup before, he’s been pulled from games before, and has continued to show maturity throughout this process. So my gut says Rosier will play again at some point this season, but the job should be handed to Perry at this point.

The injury status of Jaquan Johnson and Ahmonn Richards are still up in the air, and we may get more clarity later today. If Johnson still can’t go, Amari Carter and Gurvan Hall will see more playing time again, and both fared well last week. Richards’ loss has been covered up by a relatively easy stretch of games, and a very deep WR corps.

Travis Homer is coming off his best game of the season, and the Hurricanes need him to continue to be a powerful force. The better he is, the more of a compliment Deejay Dallas becomes, and that’s his best role.

North Carolina

The Tar Heels are already 1-0 in conference, beating Pitt 38-35 last weekend. Quarterback Nathan Elliot has been inconsistent, but played by far his best game Saturday and seems to be settling into the starter’s job. They run the ball well, at nearly 5 ypc, and have a big added boost coming into this game. UNC will get 6 players back on the roster who were suspended to start the year for selling Nike gear in the offseason.

Carolina, who was 3-9 last season, nearly shocked Miami in Chapel Hill last October, in one of the uglier performances by UM all year. If they come in here and beat the Hurricanes, with how bad Virginia Tech’s situation seems to be, the Heels and Duke Blue Devils could be in prime position to take command of the ACC Coastal Division. Sounds crazy, but that’s what Miami has to avoid on Thursday night.

I want to see Nkosi Perry come off his first read and make good decisions. I want to see the defense contain outstanding RB Antonio Williams, and I want to see Joe Jackson and Jon Garvin explode off the edge against a QB who is prone to turnovers. I’ve got UM 37-20. Don’t look ahead to FSU next weekend, or you’ll be caught in a dogfight in a game you should win.

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