College Football: UNC at Miami preview
MIAMI ó Colin McCarthy doesn’t remember everything about the trip Miami made to North Carolina a year ago. He suffered a concussion in the opening minutes of that game.
And there represents the perfect microcosm for the Hurricanes’ 2007 season: They went to Chapel Hill and got knocked out.
A 27-0 halftime deficit that afternoon led to a 33-27 loss, and the season simply fell apart. Starting with that upset, Miami lost six of its final seven games. And the Hurricanes (2-1, 0-0 ACC) know that if this year is going to be different, they need a win today when North Carolina (2-1, 0-1) visits.
“We’re looking forward to getting on the field and kind of getting payback,” said McCarthy, one of Miami’s starting linebackers and a special teams standout.
There’s more at stake than payback.
Today’s loser will clearly be facing an overwhelming climb in the ACC’s Coastal Division race.
Virginia Tech is already 2-0 in the chase for a spot in the ACC title game in Tampa, and if North Carolina falls Saturday, the Heels ó a popular longshot pick to be in the divisional title picture entering the season ó would already be two games off the pace.
Miami know North Carolina coach Butch Davis, who led the Hurricanes back to national prominence a decade ago, will have some sort of defensive surprise awaiting them.