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GAME THREAD: Miami Hurricanes at North Carolina Tar Heels

Payback and a big win should be on deck today for the Canes

Miami v Florida State Photo by Butch Dill/Getty Images

Hello again, Canes fans. We’re back for another GameThread as your UNDEFEATED Miami Hurricanes look to continue their strong season.

Today, the Miami Hurricanes go on the road for the penultimate time this season to take on the North Carolina Tar Heels at 12 Noon on ESPN2.

Here’s our Game Preview by Stefan Adams.

Here’s our X’s and O’s Scheme Preview by Justin Dottavio.

Here’s our Matchup of the Week by Matt Washington.

Here’s this week’s injury report by Cam Underwood.

Here’s our picks from around the CFB world for this week by John Pickens.

Here’s a tailgating guide for this week from Donovan Hutchins.

Here’s a look at the season stats coming into today’s game:

And, as always, additional game notes from Miami Athletics:



• #8/#8 Miami (6-0, 4-0 ACC) will be in search of its 12th straight win when it takes on North Carolina (1-7, 0-5 ACC) at Kenan Stadium on Oct. 28 in Chapel Hill. Kickoff is at noon on ESPN2.

• The Hurricanes enter the game with a 4-0 mark in ACC play for the first time in program history.

• UM sits in first place in the ACC Coastal while North Carolina, riddled by injuries, is in last (0-5).

• The Canes' current 11-game winning streak is their longest since the 2002 season (Sept. 7-Dec. 7) and the second-longest winning streak in FBS nationwide, trailing only South Florida (12).

• Miami has not won 12 in a row since it went undefeated at 12-0 during the 2002 regular season.

• North Carolina carries a 10-9 all-time series lead and has won the last two matchups: a 21-59 win in Chapel Hill in 2015 and a 13-20 win at Hard Rock Stadium in 2016, Mark Richt's first year at UM.


• Miami secured the first 4-0 start to ACC play in program history with a 27-19 win over Syracuse last time out at Hard Rock Stadium. The win was Miami's 11th in a row dating to October 2016.

• Redshirt junior Malik Rosier improved to 7-0 as starting quarterback at Miami with a career-high 344 yards against the Orange, finishing 26-for-43 with two touchdowns and no interceptions.

• Facing one of the nation's top passing offenses in Syracuse, the Hurricanes held SU to a season-low 135 passing yards and intercepted QB Eric Dungey four times, matching his season total.

• DB Michael Jackson had the first multi-interception game (2) by a Cane since Artie Burns vs. Virginia Tech in 2015. UM had four interceptions in a game for the first time since Sept. 21, 2013.

• DL Demetrius Jackson and DB Jaquan Johnson also recorded picks in the first matchup between the two schools since the 2003 season. Miami outgained Syracuse 480-399 in the win.

• LB Michael Pinckney delivered a standout performance on the defensive side of the ball, leading Miami with nine tackles, including career-high totals of 3.5 tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks. For his performance against Syracuse, Pinckney was named ACC Linebacker of the Week.


• QB Malik Rosier will be making the eighth start of his career and fourth road start when he lines up versus North Carolina on Oct. 28. He has career marks of 3-0 on the road and 4-0 at home.

• Rosier became the first Hurricane starting QB to open his career with a 7-0 record since Brock Berlin did it in 2003. He is fifth in the ACC in passing efficiency (145.4) with 14 TDs & three INTs.

• Rosier ranks second in the ACC in passing yards per game (285.8) and third in total offense per game (317.7). His two 300-yard passing games this season are tied for fourth among ACC QBs.

• In his career on the road as a starting quarterback (three games), Rosier has completed 55% of his passes (55-of-100) for 796 passing yards with seven touchdowns and three interceptions.

• Rosier's home splits: 64.6% completion rate (93-of-144), 1,191 yards, nine TDs, one interception.

• Rosier was named Athlon Sports ACC Offensive Player of the Week for his performance vs. Syracuse.

• The Mobile, Ala., native has added 191 rushing yards on 57 carries (3.4 average) with two TDs.

• Rosier's only start prior to 2017 came on Oct. 31, 2015, when he played in place of injured Brad Kaaya in a 30-27 win at Duke. Rosier finished 20-for-29 for 272 yards with two touchdowns.

• Rosier was announced as Miami’s starting quarterback by head coach Mark Richt on Aug. 22 during the final week of Hurricanes fall camp, winning a four-man quarterback race for the job.

• Rosier redshirted the 2014 football season and served as back-up in Kaaya's final two seasons (2015, 2016). Rosier was a member of the 2015 Miami Hurricanes baseball team that made it to the College World Series, though he did not travel to Omaha, Neb., with the team.


• With a 27-19 win over Syracuse last time out, Miami remained at No. 8 in the Associated Press poll and slipped one spot from No. 7 to No. 8 in the Amway Coaches Poll released on Oct. 22.

• It's the second straight year head coach Mark Richt has Miami ranked in the top 10 after UM had not ascended to such a poll position since Oct. 27, 2013 (No. 7 in AP / No. 6 in Coaches Poll).

• Miami was ranked No. 10 in both the AP and Coaches Polls on Oct. 2, 2016 after starting 4-0.


• The Miami Hurricanes have won 11 games in a row dating back to Nov. 5, 2016, and have not lost since a 27-30 defeat at Notre Dame in South Bend, Ind. on Oct. 29, 2016. The 11-game winning streak is the second-longest nationwide at the FBS level (South Florida - 12).

• Miami's average margin of victory during its current 11-game winning streak is 16.5 points.

• Since taking over, Mark Richt has guided Miami to a 15-4 record and Miami’s 15 wins have come by an average of 21.7 points. The four losses have come by an average of just 8.0 points.


• Senior WR Braxton Berrios has been one of Miami’s top offensive threats in the first six games of 2017, and leads all players with 337 yards and five touchdowns in six starts. He has 25 catches.

Berrios' stat line in 2017 either exceeds his combined stat line from the past two years (2015-16), when he totaled three starts, 24 catches, 264 yards and two touchdowns in 24 games.

• Berrios came up big against Florida State, on Oct. 7, starting and hauling in a career-high eight receptions for 90 yards with two scores. He was named ACC Receiver of the Week on Oct. 9.

• Berrios caught two passes for first downs on the game-winning drive against the Seminoles.

• It was the first career weekly ACC honor for Berrios and the first for a Hurricane this season.

• Berrios posted his first career 100-yard receiving game in a win over Toledo on Sept. 23, catching five passes, including a career-long 55-yarder, for 105 yards with one receiving score.

• Berrios became the first Hurricane since legendary WR Reggie Wayne in 2000 to record a touchdown catch in each of his first four games of the season. Berrios’ two-touchdown performance against Florida State on Oct. 7 was the first multi-score game of his career at UM.

• Berrios' streak of a touchdown catch in five straight games ended Oct. 14 vs. Georgia Tech. It started in a win over West Virginia in the 2016 Russell Athletic Bowl, and was the longest such streak for a Hurricane pass-catcher since WR Leonard Hankerson in 2010.


• Since Mark Richt's arrival as head coach, Miami has outscored its opponents in the second half in 15 of 19 games, but a streak of 11 straight games ended last time out vs. Syracuse (14-16).

• Miami has a second-half point differential of +195 in 19 games under Richt, good for an average of 10.3 points in second halves. UM has lost the second-half battle just three times under Richt.

• Miami's only three games on the wrong end of second-half scoring came vs. Florida State (-11) and at Virginia Tech (-14) in 2016 and vs. Syracuse at Hard Rock Stadium last time out (-2).

• The Hurricanes have outscored opponents 359-164 in the second half in 19 games under Richt, and have held an opponent to 10 points or fewer in the second half in 14 of 19 games.


• RB Travis Homer delivered a dominant performance in the first start of his career vs. Georgia Tech (Oct. 14) - no back has had more rushing yards in his first start at UM since at least 2000.

• Homer had 95 rushing yards and a 33-yard touchdown run last time out vs. Syracuse (Oct. 21).

• Homer assumed starting duties when RB Mark Walton suffered a season-ending injury Oct. 7.

• The Palm Beach native became the eighth Miami tailback to have recorded a 100-yard game in his first career start since 2000, and the fourth to do it in an Atlantic Coast Conference game.

• Homer recorded the first career receiving touchdown of his career on an impressive display of athleticism with less than a minute before halftime, stretching for the pylon and sneaking in.

• Homer's performance was just the 22nd game of 170 yards or more by a Miami back since 1980.

• His 170 yards against Georgia Tech were the ninth-most by an ACC player in a game this season.


• The University of Miami “turnover chain” made its debut Sept. 2 vs. Bethune-Cookman, when sophomore DB Malek Young was rewarded for his interception with an oversized sparkling “U” chain on the sidelines at Hard Rock Stadium. Since, 10 different players have worn "the chain."

• Three Hurricanes wore the chain, designed by famed Miami icon "A.J. the Jeweler," against Syracuse: DB Michael Jackson (twice), DB Jaquan Johnson and DL Demetrius Jackson.

• Miami has recorded 11 turnovers on defense so far, and the 10 different student-athletes have worn the chain are: Young, DB Amari Carter (forced fumble vs. Bethune-Cookman), DL Ryan Fines (recovered fumble vs. Bethune-Cookman), DB Sheldrick Redwine (recovered fumble vs. Toledo), LB Michael Pinckney (interception vs. Duke), DL Pat Bethel (forced fumble and fumble recovery vs. Duke), DB Michael Jackson (three interceptions), DB Dee Delaney (interception vs. Florida State), LB Shaquille Quarterman (fumble recovery vs. Georgia Tech), DB Jaquan Johnson (interception vs. Syracuse) and DL Demetrius Jackson (interception vs. Syracuse).

• The chain, which was the brainchild of Miami’s defensive staff in an effort to reward players for creating turnovers, has since inspired an adidas-designed t-shirt and been the source of viral social media posts since making its debut on Sept. 2.

• Is it the chain? Miami is first in the ACC and fifth nationally with a turnover margin of +8 (1.33 / game). Miami's four interceptions vs. Syracuse were the most picks by a Hurricanes defense in a single game since recording four against Savannah State at home on Sept. 21, 2013.


• Senior K Michael Badgley, who earned third-team All-ACC honors for the second straight year in 2016, has enjoyed a strong start to 2017, going 11-for-12 on field goals and 23-for-23 on PATs.

Badgley connected on a game-winning field goal with four seconds remaining against Georgia Tech (Oct. 14), his fourth of the game. He had 13 points against the Jackets and has 56 points this year.

• Badgley, who was named to the preseason watch list for the Lou Groza Award, ranks second in Miami history in career made field goals (71). He hit a Miami-record 25 field goals in 2015.

• Badgley needs just two field goals to tie Carlos Huerta’s (1988-91) Miami career record of 73.

• Badgley 361 career points are the second-most in UM history; Huerta (397) owns the UM record.

• Badgley’s lone miss this season came on a season-long 53-yard attempt vs. Duke (Sept. 29).


• The Hurricanes were expecting a big year from senior tight end Christopher Herndon IV, and he has delivered, including career-high totals of 10 catches and 96 yards with one TD vs. Syracuse.

• The Georgia native, who has started all six games this year, ranks first on the team with 28 receptions for 271 yards. He was named ACC Receiver of the Week for his game vs. SU on Oct. 23.

• Herndon hauled in 28 receptions for 334 yards and two touchdowns as a junior a season ago.

• In 38 career games, Herndon has made 21 career starts and totaled 74 receptions, 842 yards and five touchdowns. He started 12 of 13 games in 2016, when he set career marks in every category.

• Herndon’s tight end partner last season, David Njoku, was selected in the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft by the Cleveland Browns (No. 29 overall). Njoku has three TDs with Cleveland already.

• Njoku became the fifth Hurricane tight end drafted in the first round since 2000, joining Bubba Franks (2000), Jeremy Shockey (2002), Kellen Winslow (2004) and Greg Olsen (2007).


• Head coach Mark Richt's 15-4 start to his head coaching career at Miami is the third-best mark through 19 games in the modern era of Miami Hurricanes football (since 1979).

Head Coaching Record at Miami Through First 19 Games:

• Howard Schnellenberger (1979-1980) - 10-9

• Jimmy Johnson (1984-1985) - 13-6

• Dennis Erickson (1989-1990) - 16-3

• Butch Davis (1995-1996) - 14-5

• Larry Coker (2001-2002) - 19-0

• Randy Shannon (2007-2008) - 9-10

• Al Golden (2011-2012) - 10-9

• Mark Richt (2016-17) - 15-4

There you go. All the info you need for today’s game, and a home to discuss the action with your fellow Canes fam.

So get in the comments and discuss all the action while your Canes hopefully blow out the Tar Heels.

Go Canes