Recap: Miami Survives UNC 27-23

Recap: Miami Survives UNC 27-23

Dan E. Dangerously
Dan E. Dangerously
After losing 3 key starters to injuries in the 1st quarter and overcoming 4 turnovers for the 3rd week in a row, Miami found a way to steal a victory and turn out the lights on UNC's season.


Zero Dark Thursday? I guess that makes us Seal Team 6-0. OK, we had no business winning this game...but we did. The 1st 50 minutes gave everyone flashbacks to last year. Blaming D'Onofrio for being born. Screaming at Morris for being erratic and throwing picks. Complaining about our OC for questionable play calling. I was freaking out during the game just like everyone else. That's alright, you're allowed to be upset.



But since we escaped with the win I'm not as down on the team as I could have been. Especially since I was one of the few people exercising caution around here about this game while the rest were debating whether we'd win by 3 touchdowns or 4. Winning masks a lot of stuff. We've been so bad for so long that I'm not ready to make a whole lot of complaints about a game that we won. I mean, we're bowl eligible midway through October. We still have a chance to be undefeated heading into November for our trip to Tallahassee. So I'm taking a very NCAA Tournament-like mindset towards this season. Survive, advance, and **** everything else. Ask UNC if they'd rather play sloppy and win, or look good and lose. In case you're unsure, read this:

Mark Armstrong @ArmstrongABC11 Ebron was surrounded by Canes following the game - telling him how great a player he is. On his return to UNC tunnel - he burst into tears.

Winning games >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> everything else. That includes such things as poll rankings, margin of victory, stats, whether people around the country think we're a legit top 10 team, NFL 1st round draft picks, and especially consecutive weeks with an NFL player scoring a touchdown. None of that other stuff matters. Another many heartbreaking losses we've had to this basketball school, it feels pretty **** good to drop a deuce on their faces in their own house.


Here is what I said were the main story lines in the game day post.

1. Can Miami take the crowd out of the game early?


We seemed ok at the start by forcing UNC to go 3 and out on their 1st possession. But Morris got picked on our 1st possession and we couldn't turn our early big plays from Duke and Dorsett into touchdowns. The crowd seemed to get louder as the game went on and the Heels fed off of that. They had to win this game to salvage their season and they believed they were going to take us down. Oh well.

2. Can Miami clean up their recent turnover problems?


I believe my exact words when discussing this section were:

...For the last two games Miami has turned it over 4 times in each game. We won't beat UNC if we do that again...

When Morris threw is 4th pick I thought we were done. I almost turned off the TV. Really frustrating stuff to watch. The only good thing is UNC was only able to get 2 field goals off of those 4 picks. Their other two drives after a Morris interception resulted in Tracy Howard getting 2 picks of his own. No question we got lucky, but I'll take the win.

3. Can Miami run the ball against UNC?


In UNC's previous 5 games they gave up over 200 yards on the ground 3 times (South Carolina, Georgia Tech, and ECU). We got 234. When Duke went out with an apparent head injury, it looked like the running game would go away. That's when Dallas Crawford took Clinton Portis' message about no backups to heart, and carried us to a victory. If I told you yesterday that Duke would leave the game with an injury in the 1st quarter and that Crawford would get 137 yards on 33 carries and 2 touchdowns, you'd think I was full of ****. Our last drive was almost exclusively on the ground with Eduardo Clements stepping up for back to back 10+ yard carries. Dallas Crawford is why we're still undefeated. Before the final drive, Clinton Portis told Crawford, "this is your moment". Crawford seized it.

4. Can Miami's pass rush get to Renner to disrupt their passing game?


Bryn Renner and Marquise Williams combined for 32/43 for 395 yards through the air. I didn't even know McCord was even in the game until he finally registered a sack on UNC's 2nd to last possession. ESPN's announcing crew kept mentioning in the game how surprised they were that we weren't blitzing more. D'Onofrio was content to drop everyone back to keep everything in front of them and that allowed UNC to throw short crossing and drag routes all night. It looked like 7 on 7 for them most of the game. Losing Rodgers, Jenkins, and Bush throughout the game didn't help things either.

Let's recap.

1st Quarter:

UM won the toss and deferred to the 2nd half. The defense responded by forcing UNC into a 3 and out. Chickillo made a great play batting down Renner's pass on 3rd down to force the punt. When Miami took over Duke Johnson got 2 carries that totaled 20 yards to get them to midfield. 2 plays later Dominique Green jumped in front of a pass intended for Herb Waters to make the interception. 3 plays later Renner found Ebron for a 20 yard gain that got UNC down to UM's 32. On the next play Larry Fedora put Williams in at QB, who promptly threw a pick to Tracy Howard in the endzone. UM took over at the 20 and on 3rd and 1 Duke broke free on the sideline for a 59 yard gain to the UNC 12.


Miami couldn't punch it in and had to settle for a 22 yard Matt Goudis field goal. 3-0 Miami.

Duke getting walked down by some guy would prove costly for 2 reasons. The obvious one was that Miami had to settle for a chip shot field goal. The 2nd was that on 3rd and goal Duke tried to cut block a pass rusher and took a knee to the dome. He looked shaken up, but there was no confirmation on an injury yet. UNC and Miami traded 3 and outs and when the Heels got the ball back, Williams found Ebron on a crossing route over the middle. He broke tackles from Raphael Kirby and Tracy Howard, and then ran down the sideline for a 71 yard touchdown.


Eeek. 7-3 UNC.

When Miami went back on offense the camera shows Duke walking to the locker room and the announcers say he had his helmet taken away...****. On 3rd and long Morris steps back and launches a bomb. It travels like 10 miles in the air, and Dorsett times his jump perfectly to make the catch for a gain of 68 yards down to the UNC 7 yard line.


Once again Miami can't punch it in and settle for another Goudis chip shot. 7-6 UNC.

O'Donnell's kickoff goes out of bounds but it doesn't matter because Miami forces their 3rd three and out of the 1st quarter. On Miami's 2nd play of the ensuing drive, Coley calls for that ridiculously ineffective reverse where Morris makes a one touch pass to a receiver coming in motion. This time the receiver in motion (Coley) hands it off to Dorsett who goes the other way on a double reverse. There isn't anything there and he takes a helmet to the knee.


It looks bad and has to be helped off the field. The Canes end up punting, and O'Donnell saves us from disaster by leaping to catch a bad snap. UNC hands it to T.J. Logan 3 straight times to get to their own 45 yard line to end the 1st quarter still leading 7-6.

2nd Quarter:

When we come back for the 2nd frame, WQAM updates everyone with the news that Duke and Dorsett wont be returning. We also learn that Kacey Rodgers wont be returning either. He got nicked up earlier and was done for the game. ESPN then shows a shot of Dorsett balling his eyes out as team physician Dr. Kaplan speaks into his ear. Man. Before you can get over all the injuries we have, Renner throws a 30 yard strike to Davis to get down to UM's 18 yard line. Green blows up back to back running plays to put UNC in 3rd and long. Renner makes a great effort to avoid the rush and completes a pass, but the replay shows his knee was down before the ball left his hand. UNC then sets up for the field goal, but they don't account for Artie Burns coming off the edge and he blocks the kick. The ball goes directly to Gunter who returns it 67 yards for a touchdown.


13-7 UM. Such a huge play, it was 10 point swing in our favor. We go from possibly being down 10-6 to being up 13-7.

Carolina quickly gets to midfield before UM forces them into another 3rd and long situation. Renner lol's at our pass rush and throws a 31 yard pass to Ebron over the middle to get them into the redzone.


To make matters worse, Bush got dinged up so we were down another DB for this drive. The crowd boos because they think Bush is faking an injury to buy time for the defense to rest. They're stupid so I didn't care. 3 plays later it's 3rd and long again. Renner has all day to throw and finds Davis chillin' in the endzone. Gunter blows the coverage. He thought he was supposed to have help from Jenkins, but actually he should have stayed with Davis throughout the play. This allowed Renner to float a pass over his head for the touchdown. 14-13 UNC.

On UM's next drive they are facing 3rd and long. Morris goes deep to Hurns who got open on a sweet double move. The play picks up 42 yard and gets Miami in field goal range. Before you know it, it's 3rd and long again. The crowd is going nuts. Some guy jumps the snap and has Flowers beat. Flowers grabs his face mask and turns him around, but the pressure gets to Morris. Morris panics and throws a wild pass that gets intercepted by Tre Boston. Another trip into UNC territory with not much to show for it. It's starting to feel like karma for how we won the Florida game. This guy was starting to regret his choice of outfit.


Marquise Williams is in at QB and he scrambles for 14 yards to get UNC to midfield. Their offense is rolling and picking up almost 10 yards every play and are in the redzone again. UNC gets flagged for offensive pass interference which pushes them back and they end up having to settle for a field goal. 17-13 UNC.

On UM's next drive they're facing another 3rd and long and they convert when Morris dumps it off to Crawford for a 15 yard gain. Crawford picks up another 7 yards on the next play to get Miami to midfield. This is when I first noticed how good Crawford looked in relief. The drive stalls and Miami has to punt it away. UNC can't do anything with it and on 3rd and long, the snap flies over Renner's head for a 16 yard loss. Golden calls timeout with 19 seconds left to force them to punt. Crawford splits the 3 man wedge protecting their punter. If UNC's punter kicked with his left foot, that ball is going the other way. Instead Crawford only got his finger tips on it and UNC escaped disaster. UM tries to set up for a hail mary but no one is open and Morris settles for a 32 yard pass to Waters. He gets drilled immediately to end the half with UNC still leading 17-13.

Eric Ebron broke some school record that had been around since 1968 by getting 144 yards receiving in the 1st half. Morris also became the 7th Miami QB to pass for 6,000 yards in his career. No one cared though because he was having a bad game and we were losing.

3rd Quarter:

At halftime Miami must have discussed Ebron so much that they remembered Clive Walford was a real person. So Morris threw a pass to the Warlord on our first play for a pick up of 22 yards. Miami then runs it 3 straight times with Crawford for gains of 10, 16 and then 6. On the next play Kareem Martin chases down Morris for the sack to put us in a 3rd and forever situation. A 13 yard pass to Hurns puts Miami back in field goal range, but Goudis misses it.

Ebron is still tea-bagging our defense and makes a sick 1 handed catch to move them to midfield. After getting to the redzone, UNC faces 3rd and long again. Then Tracy Howard gets flagged for Pass Interference to move them to the 11 yard line.


UNC gets flagged for clipping on the next play to move them back. Chickillo sacks Renner for a loss of 4 yards on the next play, and UNC ends up having to settle for a field goal. 20-13 UNC.

Dallas Crawford is still running hard and picks up another 7 yards on Miami's first play of the drive. 2 plays later Crawford gets banged up and has to leave the game. Gus Edwards comes in and gets stuffed for no gain. On 3rd and long Morris finds Hurns for a gain of 16. 4 plays later Miami sets up for a screen to Crawford. The pass by Morris bounces off Henderson's head and gets intercepted by UNC's Norkeithus Otis.


UNC takes over at their own 20 and Renner gets back to carving up our defense. The 3rd quarter ends with UNC inside our 5 yard line and looking to extend their lead. They're still up 20-13.

4th Quarter:

Miami's defense holds and forces UNC to settle for another field goal to make it 23-13. Miami starts riding the Crawford train again and he picks up 8 and 15 yards on back to back carries. 2 plays later UNC has a busted coverage and Morris finds Walford all alone for a pickup of 35 yards. We're now in the redzone. 2 plays after that Crawford carries it again for a pickup of 11 to set up 1st and goal. On the next play UNC gets flagged for 12 men on the field for the 2nd time of the game. Crawford runs it in on the next play to get us our 1st offensive touchdown of the game.


23-20 UNC.

Carolina goes 3 and out and you can feel Big Mo going in our direction. Then on 3rd and 4, Morris scrambles out of the pocket to his right. It looks like he was going to throw it out of bounds, but instead tried to rifle it over a DB's head. Turns out the DB, Dominique Green, was just baiting him and grabbed his 2nd pick of the game.

Gif that summed up the game to this point:


Renner connects with T.J. Thorpe for a 19 yard gain to move UNC to the 30 yard line. Everyone is freaking out. But on the next play, Renner throws a jump ball, and Tracy Howard snatches his 2nd pick of the game. Miami goes 3 & out and punts it back to UNC.

Williams starts the drive at QB and they run it on back to back plays to set up 3rd and 1 from the 50 yard line. There's now less than 6 minutes left in the game and for some reason, UNC switches from Williams back to Renner at QB. The play clock is ticking away and they can't get the play off in time. It backs them up for a 3rd and 6. Then someone for UNC jumps early, moving them back again for 3rd and 11. UNC's sideline is a **** show.


It's your own fault you dummy. Tyriq McCord finally makes his presence felt by sacking Renner to force the punt. They're punter does a great job of angling his kick and it goes out of bounds at the 10 yard line.

Miami takes over with 4:11 left on the clock. Miami runs it down UNC's throat. The first 2 plays go to Crawford and each one picks up 6 yards. Crawford needs a break now. Clements comes in and goes 13 yards, then 14 yards on consecutive plays to get us to midfield. Crawford checks back in and carries it 2 more times to set up 3rd and 2. UNC calls a timeout with 53 seconds left because they know we're bleeding the clock. Crawford gets the 1st down on the next play by running over some guy and picking up another 5 yards. Then Morris sees Waters open down the sideline and guns it to him for a gain of 17 yards. 2 plays later Morris goes to Hurns for pick up of 9 before going out of bounds at the 3 yard line. On the next play Diamond Dallas Crawford puts the Diamond Cutter on UNC, their fans, and Zero Dark Thursday by barreling into the endzone for the go ahead touchdown with only 16 seconds remaining.




BANG!! It got reviewed and upheld. 27-23 UM. Morris had tears in his eyes on the sideline after that drive. He had a rough night, but he led a 13 play, 90 yard drive when it mattered.

UNC fans were jammed up:


Clinton Portis on the other hand was pumped:


Miami's secondary is going ultra prevent, and Renner throws it to Ebron for a gain of 32. Before that play, Ebron only had 23 yards receiving in the 2nd half. With just 9 seconds remaining Renner goes to A.J. Blue on a dump off for a gain of 15 yards. UNC is now at Miami's 28 yard line with only 3 seconds remaining. On the final play Renner runs around avoiding people and lofts a prayer to the endzone. It looks like it's going sail out of the back of the endzone, but Quinshad Davis is there.


He can't come up with the catch and the game ends.


Replays showed how close it actually was. If not for a great play by Tyrone Cornileus, Davis probably comes up with that catch. After all the injuries and self-inflicted wounds, I have no problem walking away from this game with an ugly win.

The best image from this game:


Good job, good effort UNC.

Feels good to be 6-0.

Comments (28)

Atta boy Dan.

BTW, that's some SERIOUS pants above the knees for Dallas in that first picture.

Coincidence that he's scoring TDs at an alarming rate and starting to carry the O? Methinks not...
From seeing those highlights and stating positives:

I never want to see Wheeler off the field again. This guy is just abusive. I ******* love it.

Crawford and Clements stepping up was amazing (mainly Crawford obviously).

Three cheers for Tracy Howard.
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That screen pass would've been picked off anyway if it didn't bounce off SH's noggin.
Dammmmmm. I'm still pretty much new to this forum and every time I see your Recaps I dnt if I'm more excited for the gifs or the actual recap. Great work and great gifs

Say what you want about the corners play last night but artie burns, tracy howard, and ladarius Gunter all made plays that won us the game. Big shout out to jenkins, wheeler, and walfords big first down catch was clutch
So glad we won! The fellas toughed that one out in the 4th. But I gotta keep it real:

The O-Line
1. I saw time and again penetration behind our O-Line, especially on short yard/goal line situations.
2. McDermott was being pushed back like a blocking sled.
3. Fig too slow to play guard. Can't reach fast enough on stretch runs or get to the LB
4. They got to vary the count. They snap it too fast after the Guard taps the center. Guard doesn't have time see things before resetting.
5. Lets be honest? Coley may be a good recruiter but his offense is high schoolish.
6. Morris has to improve at the mental aspects and technique. At this point he just a pretty good QB.


1. We have to be able to make adjustments quickly, in the heat of battle....before halftime!
2. Don't let one guy beat you!! Jam him! Double him! Do like Bellicheck did Jimmy Graham.
3. If you're going to play zone then at least make it tight pockets to pass through.
4. Go to gain control at the beginning! Can't keep starting slow and expect the offense to make up the difference.

Lastly, but more importantly..........
Coach Golden has to take a page from Ol' Dabo of Clemson whose hard decisions to let friends and close colleagues go is the reason Clemson is where they are today. After being blown out by WV. in Miami by coincidence, made the decision that to be big time you need big time Coordinators. He fired his Defensive Coordinator, broke big bread and hired his new DC from Oklahoma I think.

Turned around the next and brought in an innovative and unpredictable Offensive Coordinator. Paid this cat $800K. Fellas I appreciate what Golden "and staff" have done, but where we want to go, Golden will require some Seal Team caliber Coordinators and position coaches. To prove the point look at UCLA. Nolan and staff are NFL pedigreed. Without that we will be a consistent really good 10-2 teams and outside of the Bowl Playoff series.
Good work Dan. Didn't like the D all night, but in looking at it, they made big plans that kept us in the game and held them to 6 in the second half. Again we were the stronger team in the 4th quarter. Take Morris' really sorry night out of it and we crushed them. But the look on their fans made it worth while. They thought they had it and we ripped their hearts out. All I could think about was all those games in Tally when we left the Nole fans chopping away only to end up crying in their feathers. I liked it, I liked it a lot. We just might have killed their program for years with this. Gotta love this team. We own the 4th quarter.
they came out so sluggish in the first half. duke looked like he was running with a waited fest on the big run to get caught from behind like that. Seriously appeared as if they went out drinking the night before. not sure what they did during the bye week because they came out flatter than calista flockhart's chest
"The pass by Morris bounces off Henderson's head and gets intercepted by UNC's Norkeithus Otis."

Not sure why I chuckled at this.
Dan. E Dangerously is good at his job. + rep