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Marsh’s Mailbag: Thoughts/Predictions On UNC Game, Tate Martell At Receiver, Jarren Williams And More

How will the offensive line look against UNC, what do I think of Sam Howell. Those questions and more.

NCAA Football: Florida at Miami Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

What were your thoughts on Jarren Williams and how he played against the Florida Gators?

My thoughts were that he played well, and even with being sacked 10 times and numerous penalties, he performed well enough to put Miami in a position to win the game. His numbers weren’t insane, but he was accurate, completing 19 of 30 passes for a 63% rate, which is a heck of a lot better than what we’re used to seeing from Canes quarterbacks. That being said, did he make some mistakes, hold on to the ball too long, and not hit receivers downfield? Yes. Jarren has plenty to work on, but when you go back and look and film against the Gators, he really did play well and Miami definitely has a lot to look forward to.

When will Jeff Thomas have a memorable performance this year?

Well, it depends on what you define as memorable. A lot of the blame is being put on Thomas for losing the game against the Gators, which is totally unfair. The muffed punt and dropped touchdown pass weren’t great moments, but Thomas still made plays when he had the ball and contributed to the Miami offense. Still, a lot of heat is on JT4 right now, and eyes will be on him for Saturdays game in Chapel Hill. I think we’re in for a special game from Thomas against UNC.

What is the ceiling for this years team?

Even with the loss to the Gators, my expectations for this team don't change for the 2019 season. Miami showed against UF how far they’ve come, and that they are not the same team that ended 2018. It’s an inexperienced team with a new coaching staff, but with the talent that they have and from what I saw just in one game, I still think that they can 10-2 in the regular season and win 11 games total.

When are we going to see Lorenzo Lingard?

That’s a question I'm not entirely sure on. Lingard is still recovering from an injury he suffered last year, though he was suited up to play against Florida. I’m hoping to see him on Saturday versus the Tar Heels, we’ll see.

Why isn’t Trevon Hill starting over Scott Patchan?

People need to stop with the coming down on Patchan. I think Hill is an incredible talent, and he’ll be playing on Sundays next year for sure, but Scott Patchan is not the slouch that Twitter has made him out to be. Everyone needs to remember that Hill got to Miami later in the summer, so he wasn’t in the kind of UM shape that Patchan was in, so Scott obviously was a head start ahead of Trevon. Now, the starting rotation could change as the weeks go by, but why should it when Patchan played as well as he did against UF?

Give me the stat line for Jarren Williams this Saturday?

I think Jarren will be even better than he was against the Gators, and I'm predicting around 265 yards, with two touchdowns and maybe one interception. Hopefully we’ll see him take shots downfield.

How many sacks does the offensive line give up against UNC?

Much criticism has been made about the Canes offensive line, and for good reason. I mean, when you give up 10 sacks, you kind of deserve it. Though, that was against an extremely talented Gators defensive line, and Jarren Williams was responsible for half of those sacks, and they’ve now had two weeks to improve. I’m not going to put out a number of sacks I believe UNC will have, but I highly doubt they’ll reach five.

What’s a realistic expectation for the offense going up against UNC?

This UNC defense is solid, and has talented DB’s, but I think we’re going to see the Hurricanes offense in great rhythm and really start to click this week. I believe that DeeJay Dallas and Cam’ron Harris are going to have solid games at running back, and Brevin Jordan again will have a big night at tight end. I think Miami will score 31 points, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s higher than that.

Is the offensive line going to be better this week?

I just answered this, but the answer is yes, the offensive line will be better this week, for several reasons. The biggest is that UNC’s DL is nowhere compared to UF’s DL, so they’ll have an easier time. The offensive line has had two weeks to prepare, so they’ve had to improve at least a little bit. In no means do I think we’ll see the kind of a performance we saw from them like we did in the Gators game.

What kind of impact do you see Evidence Njoku having at tight end?

I think Evidence is one of the most naturally gifted and talented players on this roster, but it just hasn’t clicked for him on the field yet. Him moving to tight end I believe could work, just due to the fact that I’m such a huge fan of his talent. His height can be used down near the goal-line, but we’ll see, maybe he can be like his brother David Njoku.

What are your thoughts on UNC quarterback Sam Howell?

He’s a talented kid, I'll definitely give him that. He made some great throws against the South Carolina Gamecocks last week, and he led some impressive drives, and brought UNC back from a 20-9 deficit. The football is out of his hands quickly, and Howell also has the skills to move around and scramble. Though, I think Miami’s secondary is much better than South Carolina’s, and I'll also take the Canes defensive line over the Gamecocks.

Do you like Tate Martell being used at receiver?

I do like it, for two big reasons: Manny Diaz and Dan Enos like it. Everyone has to remember, our coaches are much, much smarter than we are, and they’re going to put the best players on the field. I know people are going to cry about Brian Hightower and Mark Pope having their time cut short by Martell, but Enos is flat out going to put the players on the field who give Miami the best chance to score points.

Is Bubba Bolden eligible to play on Saturday?

Not that I know of. Not sure what the NCAA is waiting for.

The 3-4 defense that the Tar Heels run, will that work to our OLs benefit or will the switch get Jarren hit a lot again?

UNC saw the film from the Gators game, no doubt that they’re creating blitz packages right now in Chapel Hill getting ready for Miami. No matter what way you look at it, Jarren is going to get hit, because at the end of the day it’s still a young offensive line that’s learning. The real question is, is Williams going to show maturity and throw the ball away instead of holding onto it?

Predictions for the UNC game?

Canes win 31-10 in Chapel Hill. I think the game will be close and low scoring at first, but Miami will create turnovers and pull away in the second half.