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Monday Musings: goin’ to Carolina

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NCAA Football: Miami at North Carolina Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

It’s Monday! Meaning it’s time to tie the boots, zip up the vest, rub the orange and green paint on my face, and get ready to tackle Canes-related topics 1985-Commando-on-an-island-of-mercenary-soldiers-style.

1) I’m just sick about the D’Eriq King news. The guy has had nothing but terrible breaks since he came over from Houston. His entire team literally forgot how to play football on December 12, 2020. The next game he suffered an ACL injury. Then, after coming back seemingly healthy for the start of the year, his supposedly experienced offensive line completely fails him and the offense in the first four (and later five games). Now, his shoulder injury will require surgery and end his season.

King is a smart, smart dude. That’s obvious from how he’s handled the NIL opportunities that have come his way this year. Saavy. As such, I’m confident he has a bright future ahead in the business world. I just don’t know if that’s the last we’ll see of him on a football field. I don’t know if he’ll be back at UM next year (Manny Diaz said today he could potentially have another year of eligibility), nor am I a scout to posit his draft/NFL opportunities. But it doesn’t really matter. He’s gonna be alright, and that’s the most important thing.

Thanks for everything, D’Eriq.

2) As for the remaining Canes, we’re off to Chapel Hill this weekend for a tilt with the (just-beaten-by-terrible-FSU) North Carolina Tar Heels. If there’s a team that can match being as much of an enigma from week to week as the Canes, and the Coastal for that matter, it’s the Tar Heels.

But more on that in a minute.....

3) ......because I’m going to the game this weekend, and I’m currently soliciting suggestions for eatery/watering hole spots in Chapel Hill. Full disclaimer: I went to the game in 2015, but I was with my dad and we spent time basically at the hotel, briefly on campus, then the game. I’m going with my buddies from UM, so I’m looking for a good, relaxed place to grab a quality beer and a good burger. I do remember we drove past Franklin Street and saw a bunch of options, but if anyone has anything more specific, hit me up. Any Canes’ gatherings this weekend? Please also let me know.

4) As for the game...man, this is a really, REALLY hard game to forecast. I originally had this as the Canes getting whitewashed by the Heels’ potent offense...but after last week I’m not so sure. UNC opened as a 6-point favorite, which has already swelled to UNC -7 over at Draft Kings. So the early money is on any angry UNC team bouncing back.

Honestly, I can see us getting our doors blown off. The recipe is there for that. We’re coming off the loss of our senior QB and team leader. There was reportedly a physical fight last week among several teammates in practice, and not just the normal kind of pushing and shoving for 5 seconds. We’re coming off a bye week (good for any team not named Miami). UNC just got embarrassed at home by dreadful FSU, so they’ll be extra motivated to bounce back. And Kenan Memorial Stadium has been a house of horrors for Miami since it joined the ACC.

But man...something about the second half of the UVA game hit me. The offensive line had shades of dominance in the fourth quarter as the team stormed back. The freshman WRs are out there making plays, and Jaylon Knighton will be back for UM. I really liked what I saw from Tyler Van Dyke in the second half, and if UNC’s defense is as bad as it’s been this year (45 points to Georgia Tech, 39 to Virginia, 35 to FSU), why can’t Miami go in there and score some points?

The rational side of my brain says UNC 45, Miami 27. The irrational side and my heart both say Miami 34, UNC 31. I’m not sure which one to trust here.

So I’ll ride this fence until the weekend before I decide. (Hey, it’s my article, my rules.)

Go Canes!