Thursday Night ACC College Football Picks: #10 Miami Hurricanes at North Carolina Tar Heels
#10 Miami Hurricanes at North Carolina Tar Heels
Kenan Stadium – Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Thursday, October 17, 2013, 8:30 pm Eastern, TV: ESPN
Opening Line: Miami -9 1/2
Current Line: Miami -9 1/2
Opening Total: 62 1/2
Current Total: 63 1/2
Opening Money Line: Miami -300 / UNC +250
Current Money Line: Miami -400 / UNC +320
At the beginning of the season, most experts thought it would be a four team race for the ACC Coastal Division between the Miami Hurricanes, Virginia Tech Hokies, Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets and North Carolina Tar Heels. Well, Virginia Tech and Miami are both undefeated in conference play but Georgia Tech and North Carolina have fallen 0ff the pace. The 5-0 Miami Hurricanes are 1-0 in the ACC and travel to the 1-4 North Carolina Tar Heels Thursday night. The Tar Heels are 0-2 in conference play. North Carolina leads the series 9-7 including 4-1 in Chapel Hill. The Tar Heels have won 4 of the last 6 against the Hurricanes including 18-14 in Miami last season.
Miami is coached by Al Golden. The #10 Hurricanes have home wins over Florida Atlantic 34-6, Florida 21-16, Savannah State 77-7, and two weeks ago against Georgia Tech 45-30. Miami also won at South Florida 49-31. This is the first game for Miami outside the state of Florida this season. The Hurricanes are 4-1 ATS and the total is 3-2 this season. Miami was a 6 point favorite at home against Georgia Tech and the game easily went over the 56 point total.
Georgia Tech took a 17-7 lead in the first quarter against Miami but the Hurricanes would tie it up by halftime. Miami would take a 24-17 late in the third quarter. The Yellow Jackets scored the potential game tying touchdown early in the fourth but missed the extra point. The Hurricanes then scored 21 straight points including a pick six to take a 45-23 lead. Georgia Tech would add a meaningless touchdown with under a minute to go make the final 45-30. The Hurricanes had 551 total yards including 324 passing and 227 rushing yards. The Yellow Jackets had 401 total yards including 335 rushing yards. Both teams were sloppy as Miami had 4 turnovers and Georgia Tech had 3.
Miami is outscoring teams 45-16 this season. The Hurricanes are #9 nationally in both categories. Only Oregon and Florida State are also in the top ten in scoring and points allowed. Miami is averaging 488.6 total yards including 274.8 passing yards and 213.8 rushing yards. The Hurricanes are 34th or better nationally in all three categories. Miami is allowing 312 yards per game on defense including the nation’s leading pass defense at 142.4 yards per game and 169.6 rushing yards. The Hurricanes are #13 in total defense. Miami is +6 in turnovers with 16 takeaways. The Hurricanes are averaging 60 penalty yards per game and opponents are averaging 29. Miami is 25/61 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 28/90. Miami has forced 18 sacks and allowed 4 this season. The Hurricanes are 22/29 scoring in the red zone with 20 touchdowns and opponents are 9/13 with 6 touchdowns. Miami has 3 defensive/special teams touchdowns this season and has allowed one pick six this season.
Miami quarterback Stephen Morris has completed 61.7% of his passes for 950 yards with 9 touchdowns and 4 interceptions. Back-up Ryan Williams could see a few snaps and has completed 71% of his passes for 369 yards with 3 touchdowns and an interception. Running back Duke Johnson has 84 carries, 572 yards with 4 touchdowns, along with 4 catches for 77 yards. Gus Edwards has 28 carries for 185 yards and 3 touchdowns. Dallas Crawford has 25 carries for 119 yards with 7 touchdowns, along with 3 catches with a touchdown grab. Running back Eduardo Clements has 17 carries for 98 yards but is questionable with a hamstring. Receiver Allan Hurns has 20 catches, 383 yards and 2 touchdowns along with 13 rushing yards. Stacy Coley has 12 catches, 205 yards and 3 touchdowns, along with a kick return for a touchdown. Phillip Dorsett (son of legendary NFL running back Tony) has 11 catches, 204 yards and 2 touchdowns. Herb Waters has 9 catches, 170 yards and 2 touchdowns, along with 2 catches, 58 yards and rushing touchdown. Clive Walford has 11 catches, 154 yards and 2 touchdowns. Rashawn Scott is questionable with a shoulder injury. Three offensive linemen are out for the season or indefinitely.
North Carolina is coached by Larry Fedora, The only win for the Tar Heels came at home against Middle Tennessee 40-20. UNC has road losses at South Carolina 27-10, at Georgia Tech 28-20, at home against East Carolina 55-31 and two weeks ago at Virginia Tech 27-17. The Tar Heels are 1-4 ATS and the total is 1-4 this season. UNC was an 8 point underdog at Virginia Tech and the total was 45.5.
Virginia Tech took a 21-7 lead at halftime against North Carolina. The Tar Heels kicked a field goal in third quarter to pull within 21-10. The Hokies added a touchdown with 4 minutes left in the game but missed the extra point to make it 27-10. North Carolina added a late touchdown to lose by 10 and make the game seem closer than it was. The Tar Heels had 376 total yards including 277 passing yards. The Hokies had 341 total yards including 293 passing yards. UNC had 3 turnovers and 11 penalties for 79 yards.
North Carolina is being outscored 31-24 this season. The Tar Heels are #93 in scoring and #95 in points allowed. UNC is averaging 392.8 total yards, including 292.8 passing and 100 rushing. The Tar Heels are #23 in passing and #115 out of 125 teams nationally in rushing. On defense, UNC is allowing 435.8 yards per game including 238.8 passing and 197 rushing. The Tar Heels are #95 in total defense and #101 in rush defense. UNC is -3 in turnovers with 8 giveaways. North Carolina is averaging 67 penalty yards per game and opponents are averaging 43. The Tar Heels are 42/88 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 41/88. UNC has forced 8 sacks and allowed 11 this season. The Tar Heels are 13/14 scoring in the red zone with 9 touchdowns, and opponents are 16/19 with 13 touchdowns. North Carolina has allowed one fumble recovery for a touchdown.
UNC quarterback Bryn Renner has completed 59.9% of his passes for 1,117 yards with 7 touchdowns and 3 interceptions, along with a rushing touchdown. He missed the Virginia Tech game with a foot injury but will start against Miami. If Renner isn’t 100%, back-up Marquise Williams could see some snaps after staring the Virginia Tech game. Williams has completed 66.7% of his passes for 292 yards with 3 touchdowns and 2 touchdowns, along with 21 carries with 68 yards. Running back A.J. Blue has 49 carries for 187 yards along with 12 catches for 97 yards. Romar Morris has 38 carries, 171 yards and 3 touchdowns, along with 5 catches. Khris Francis has 22 catches for 78 yards, along with 3 catches. Tight end Eric Ebron has 23 catches, 333 yards and 2 touchdowns. Receiver Quinshad Davis has 19 catches for 298 yards and 4 touchdowns, and even threw a touchdown pass. Sean Tapley and T.J. Thorpe will also get some catches. Three defensive players are listed as questionable or out Thursday.
Miami is 8-0 ATS after a cover, 7-0 after accumulating 450 total yards or more, 6-0 after a straight up win, 5-0 after a bye week, 4-0 against teams with winning records, after allowing more than 200 rushing yards, and after allowing less than 170 passing yards, 14-2 in ACC games, 9-2 in road games, 4-1 in Thursday games and after rushing for over 200 yards, 6-2 in October and after passing for 280 yards or more, 19-7 overall and on grass. The last 4 games in this series in Chapel Hill have gone over the total.
North Carolina is 4-1 ATS in Thursday games and after rushing for less than 100 yards, 16-5 against teams with winning road records, 8-3 at home, 7-3 after a straight up loss, 27-12-1 after scoring less than 20 points, 2-5 against teams with winning records, 1-5 after allowing less than 100 rushing yards, overall and on grass, 1-4 in ACC games and after a bye, and 0-5 after allowing 280 passing yards or more. The underdog is 7-1-1 ATS in this series recently.
North Carolina began this season with ACC title aspirations, but now they will be lucky to even make a bowl game. The Tar Heels are terrible on defense especially against the rush. Miami should win this game handily even on the road.