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Miami falls to North Carolina 27-24

It’s Groundhog Day again for the Canes against the Heels.

NCAA Football: North Carolina at Miami Rich Storry-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Hurricanes lost to the North Carolina Tar Heels Saturday at Hard Rock Stadium 27-24 in a key ACC Coastal matchup. Tyler Van Dyke had a resurgent performance, completing 42 of 57 passes for 496 yards and 3 touchdowns with 1 interception. Drake Maye threw for 309 yards, 2 touchdowns and 2 interceptions for North Carolina.

For the second straight week, the Miami ground game was absolutely abysmal, going for a combined 43 yards on 24 carries and a 1.8 ypc average. Conversely, UNC tallied 161 yards on 43 carries. Miami’s leading receiver was Will Mallory, who grabbed 8 passes for 115 yards. 9 different receivers caught passes for UM. JJ Jones led Carolina with 2 catches for 80 yards, including a 74-yard touchdown to open the scoring.

After Jones’ touchdown, Miami moved the ball before settling for a 53-yard Andres Borregales field goal attempt, which was pulled wide left. After Miami came up short later on downs at the UNC 1, the Heels engineered a 99-yard touchdown drive that ended with a 2-yard touchdown after chunk plays of 11, 22, and 52 yards.

Miami finally found paydirt on a Key’Shawn Smith catch and run TD for 20 yards, but UNC answered right back with a wild touchdown after Maye lobbed a pass while falling backwards to Josh Downs, who caught it and weaved his way to the end zone. Miami would answer with a touchdown and a field goal in the half’s final two minutes to draw to 21-17 at the break.

Miami’s second-half defense was far improved, allowing only six points. Unfortunately, the Canes ended offensive drives with a turnover on downs, a punt, a fumble in the red zone after converting on 4th down before falling down 27-17.

The Canes found the end zone with 2:20 to go on a Colbie Young touchdown grab to draw to 27-24, then appeared initially to have recovered the onside kick, but Al Blades had stepped out of bounds before making an acrobatic play to bat the ball back inbounds to Chase Smith. Miami was able to force a punt with 1:20 left, but a late Van Dyke pass around the Carolina 30 was picked off after what appeared to be a miscommunication.

Next up: Miami is at Virginia Tech on 10/15. North Carolina is at Duke on 10/15.