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Week 7 Staff Picks

After a week off, thanks to Hurricane Matthew, our panel takes another stab at this weekend’s action, along with a thought on the UNC-Miami tilt.......

UNC @ Miami:

Michael: I don't see Miami keeping up with UNC. The offense is flawed due to the lack or perimeter play makers and the offensive line not opening holes for the run game.

The Miami defense is improved but they haven't seen an offense this potent all season. Corner will be put to the test and i don't think they can keep up. UNC 35, Miami 24

Ricky: Before North Carolina’s matchup with Virginia Tech, Tar Heels quarterback Mitch Trubisky appeared unstoppable. Trubisky had thrown for over 400 yards in his last three games. The Hokies defense, along with tropical storm playing conditions, held Trubisky to just 58 passing yards and two interceptions.

Now, I’m preparing for Trubisky’s best against the Hurricanes. And we’ve seen his best has led to victories over Florida State and Pittsburgh. However, after seeing how Miami’s defensive line attacked Florida State, I’m confident the ‘Canes can bring pressure. North Carolina, with or without running back Elijah Hood (likely with), isn’t a very good running team – they rank 116th nationally in rush offense. I like the ‘Canes to keep the pressure on Trubisky, hitting home on crucial sacks, allowing a big play or two, but getting enough disruption to force the Tar Heels to deviate from their plan. Hurricanes win in another tense Coastal Division battle. Canes 35-24.

Cam: Miami looks to have a bounce back performance after last week's loss. North Carolina has a diverse offense that will be a challenge to slow down, but I think Miami's defense is up to the task. The key, for me, will be better execution on offense. Miami needs to get back to basics running the ball, a task they should be able to do vs North Carolina's 113th ranked run defense. It'll be a close one, but Miami has the fortitude to get a much needed ACC Coastal win. UM 31, UNC 27.

Daniel: Miami’s defense will be the difference in this game. Although a few players on the defense were injured against Florida State, it seems that they will all play Saturday. The key is to make North Carolina one dimensional, either running or throwing. Since they probably like to throw the ball more often, it will be important that the pass rushers get to the QB throughout the game. The UNC offense is based upon making chunk plays, which Miami will have to limit. UM 24-17.

Craig: I’d like to believe that Miami is over the most stinging loss in maybe the past decade. I really would. But I’m not. I watched UNC march up and down the field last year against the Canes in what was the most one-sided game - outside of the Clemson debacle - of the year. Now, UNC is coming off a home embarrassment to a resurgent Hokie squad, in what has become a must-win game for them? And UNC has been tested more heavily this year and found a way to finish against FSU and Pitt. I hope to hell the Canes win. And if the offensive line can get itself right, they can control the pace of the game and allow Richt to feature the running game against a sub-par UNC run defense. But this feels like a UNC rebound. And I don’t trust the line. UNC 34, UM 28.