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3 Keys to Victory: Miami Vs North Carolina

What will it take for the 'Canes to win their third straight, and keep ACC Coastal hopes alive?

Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

All of a sudden UM has some momentum.

Not only did they go to Blacksburg and beat the Hokies on the road, they dominated both sides of the ball.

But the Hurricanes do not have time to rest on their laurels.  UNC comes in on a high note as well, having subdued their last two opponents to get themselves back in the Coastal Division mix.

So what is required of Miami to keep the roll going heading into an all important bye week (with FSU to follow)?

Here are my three keys to victory this afternoon:

#1 Don't look back - So now that the 'Canes have found some success, especially their much maligned defense, it's time to put the Louisville and especially Nebraska and GT failures behind them.  As ESPN pointed out this week, Miami is allowing 1.2 yards per carry less than its opponents are averaging in their other games. No one is stopping Georgia Tech or Nebraska, and while the Canes weren’t a stout exception, they also didn’t fare significantly worse then other teams did against those two. In other words, no need to harp on those games.  It's time for Denzel Perryman, Jermaine Grace, Raphael Kirby and Co to make performances like last weeks the rule, and those of earlier this season the exceptions.  A continuance of the more aggressive scheme that DC Mark D'Onofrio showed against VT would go  a long ways toward that end as well.

#2 Take care of the ball -  The Heels defense is bad,  really bad.  The surrender 302 yards a game through the air, and 210+ on the ground. Brad Kaaya, Duke Johnson, Joe Yearby, Clive Walford AND Phillip Dorsett could all be in for big games.  The one caveat?   North Carolina does have 11 INTs (tied for 11th nationally)  and 7 fumble recoveries on the season.  The only way they stop the 'Canes anyone is by forcing turnovers.  If UM can take care of the ball they will light up the scoreboard this afternoon.

#3 Swarm SwitzerRyan Switzer is going to see the football.  He catches it (35 catches - 456 yards - 3TDs), occasionally sees it as a ball carrier, is a big factor in the return game (5 returns for TDs last season as a true freshman),  and even throws it once in a while (1 35 yard TD completion this season).  It is important that the Hurricanes keep tabs on the 5'10 180 pound do-it-all WR.  He's a good football player and is going to contribute, but if UM makes him look like a Heisman contender,  it could be a long day.

There you have it Miami fans, if the 'Canes build off of last week's defensive performance, keep the turnovers to a minimum,and contain Ryan Switzer, they should come away with the win.  Enjoy the game and stop by SOTU for much more coverage on the Hurricanes.