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UNC vs. Miami: Three things learned

There’s something mystical about UNC’s four-game winning streak against Miami that I can’t quite put my finger on. It’s also increasingly perplexing that we wonder if the U is back every season (well, some people feel the need) and they can’t even eliminate the Tar Heels, but that could also say more on Mack Brown’s team than on the Hurricanes.

Whichever way we want to cut it, yesterday’s game was pure chaos towards the end and the Heels really could have left Coral Gables with a loss. Fortunately, the mystique I mentioned earlier took over, and now the Heels lead the Coastal Division. Let’s discuss three things we learned about the game that earned them that right.

Drake Maye’s Bad Day

We all knew this would happen at some point, but UNC quarterback Drake Maye finally had a bad game yesterday afternoon. The star quarterback was humming to start the game, but his offensive line was getting blasted by Miami, which may or may not have led to some not-so-smart decision-making.

His first interception came in the first quarter when he tried to force a pass over a defender without success. Then in the second quarter, Maye threw an early interception in double coverage, and from there he never really looked like himself for the rest of the game. Watching him go from Superman to mere mortal was unsettling to watch, but he still finished the game with 309 passing yards, two touchdowns, and 53 rushing yards. Not bad for a sub-optimal output, right?

There’s no reason for fans to be concerned about Maye’s downhill play, but I think better offensive line play and teams respecting the run more will go a long way to preventing some of these unusual mistakes. . Hopefully the offense will be able to work out some of those issues before they face Duke next week.

The close game that shouldn’t have been so close

Sure, Drake Maye didn’t perform as well as you would normally expect from him, but there were moments in yesterday’s match that made things even worse than they were. really weren’t. Take Desmond Evans, for example: He had multiple face masks/illegal hands to deal with penalties, which ultimately helped Miami stay alive in drives that should have been dead in the water. Then there was Tony Grimes, who was in great position to get an interception and throw it back for a touchdown, but he questioned himself and stopped play instead. Finally, there was Cam’Ron Kelly’s interception being called up for a penalty, which ultimately led to Miami cutting UNC’s lead to three.

There are two ways to look at these errors on defense: the knee-jerk is that this group still hasn’t improved, and the 537 total yards they gave up only proves that point. However, the second way to look at this is that the defense created opportunities throughout the game to close the door on Miami, they just weren’t able to close the deal as cleanly as they could have.

Sometimes progress doesn’t look as good as we’d like, but it’s still progress regardless. Or maybe that’s just what I tell myself so I don’t go completely crazy. At this point, who knows, but when they’re still doing enough to fend off the Hurricanes, does it really matter?

Mack river boat

Listen, I’ll be honest: I don’t agree with nicknames for specific people being applied to other people. Honestly, this just feels lazy to me, and maybe even a bit awkward and forced. However, Ron Rivera may really have a distant cousin in Mack Brown, as the UNC head coach played like it was his job throughout yesterday’s game.

The Tar Heels found themselves in three fourth situations against the Hurricanes, and they managed to move the sticks twice. Brown has expressed his dedication to analysis, and when the odds should be in their favor, he plans to get the team going. To its credit, it worked really well: Against Virginia Tech, the Heels converted on their fourth three attempts, and even against Notre Dame, they went 2-2. Their fourth-highest conversion rate is insane so far this season, which is helped by the fact that they have one of the best quarterbacks in the country.

I expected Mack Brown to make some changes this season, but becoming Ron Rivera 2.0 was not on my expectation list. Let’s just hope his luck doesn’t run out at the wrong time because if Riverboat Ron knows anything, it’s that fans will only like your gambling problem until you do something to make them hate.