On Wednesday I heard Kirk Herbstreit interviewed on Primetime with the Packman here is how the conversation went(paraphrasing from memory)
Mark Packer: So we have Miami coming to Chapel Hill, should be an interesting matchup.
Kirk Herbstreit: It will be interesting until about the 3rd quarter….I think in the end North Carolina does not have enough talent to keep up with Miami.
HOW ‘BOUT THEM HEELS!!!!!!
First off some credit to the believers in the persons of Adam Gold and Joe Ovies at 850 the Buzz who picked the Heels to win. As I said in my game preview there was just something about this game that made me think UNC could win it and despite that even I was surprised as the dominating performance UNC put on in the first half. It was shocking to see UNC stake such a huge lead on a legitimate opponent with a winning record mainly because I am not sure when was the last time a UNC team do such a thing. The more impressive aspect of the first half was the sheer notion that this his how good the Heels can be when they attain offensive balance and play hard nose in-the-QB’s-face defense while controlling the turnover battle. UNC posted 27 points getting huge yards from a running game that had generally only been seen in force during the fourth quarter and all of things even Joe Dailey had a reception. And kudos to the coaching staff for showing serious guts and going for it on fourth down three times making it twice. On defense the Heels created turnovers and was able to produce plenty of three and outs. The pressure on the QB as well as better execution when it came to tackling and coverage. Even the special teams got into the act blocking a punt to set up a score.
The tide turned in a huge way during the second half as Miami stepped up their game and UNC began having trouble doing what they had done in the first half. Blame a costly turnover and a fairly inexcusable breakdown that led to a 97 yard pass play to draw the Hurricanes within seven points by the fourth quarter. The character of this team showed up when, following 20 unanswered points UNC found a way to put points on the board as well as stopping Miami’s offensive run. It was an incredible statement from a young team that could have shrunk from the pressure but instead made all the right plays to hang onto the win.
In the final analysis UNC showed how good they could be when all the cylinders are firing. It serves as another reason to be excited about UNC football for the rest of the season and in seasons to come given how young this team is and how much they can still stand to improve. And for most UNC fans who have suffered through the embarrassment of so many bad losses it was nice to see a win versus a good team at Kenan. It is a feeling long absent during football season and it was nice to have it back. UNC still has a long way to go before achieving that consistent level of successful but to get a glimpse of it six games into the Butch Davis era was a nice gift and hopefully a sign it will be sooner rather than later.