Heels pummel No. 9 Hurricanes 62-26

Published 12:00 am Sunday, December 13, 2020

By Tim Reynolds

AP Sports Writer

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. —  Michael Carter and Javonte Williams accomplished something that no teammates in major college football history had previously done.

The Orange Bowl — where North Carolina has never been — might be their reward.

Carter and Williams set a Football Bowl Subdivision record by combining for 544 yards rushing, and No. 20 North Carolina embarrassed No. 9 Miami 62-26 on Saturday in the regular-season finale for both teams.

Carter ran for 308 yards and two touchdowns, while Williams had 236 yards and three touchdowns for the Tar Heels (8-3, 7-3 Atlantic Coast Conference). Per the NCAA, it was the seventh time that two teammates each ran for at least 200 yards, the first since 2016 and the first such instance in ACC history.

“Remarkable,” North Carolina coach Mack Brown said.

“Humiliating,” Miami coach Manny Diaz said.

There were many numbers, all of them bad for Miami (8-2, 7-2). The combined total by Carter and Williams topped the NCAA’s listed FBS record for teammates, set on Nov. 30 when Jaret Patterson (409) and Kevin Marks (97) rushed for 506 for Buffalo against Kent State.

North Carolina finished with 778 yards — the most ever yielded by Miami and a Tar Heels record — and 554 yards rushing, also the most allowed in Hurricanes history. Sam Howell threw for a score, ran for a score and caught a TD pass for the Tar Heels. It was the first instance of a North Carolina player doing that since 2014, and it almost became an ancillary note given how Carter and Williams played.

“We’re just in a moment right now,” Carter said. “Something that nobody ever did before. It’s a blessing.”

It was the third-most points allowed in Miami history, the most since 66 for Syracuse in 1998. The record is 70 by Texas A&M in 1944.

D’Eriq King completed 18 of 30 passes for 239 yards and two touchdowns for Miami, which had won five in a row.

“Excuse my language,” King said. “I think we got our (butt) whooped all night.”

North Carolina scored on its first six possessions, a streak that was only stopped by the clock getting to halftime. The Tar Heels had 10 rushes that went for 20 yards or more, averaged 10.4 yards per play and Howell connected with Dyami Brown on an 87-yard pass — the
longest pass play of Howell’s two brilliant years at North Carolina.

It added up to North Carolina’s first win against a top-10 team since 2004 — also against then-No. 4 Miami.