MIAMI (CBSMiami) – University of Miami Hurricanes fans are likely looking ahead to next weekend’s matchup with the Florida State Seminoles. But, the team can’t afford to do that with a stout North Carolina Tar Heels team coming to Sun Life Stadium on Saturday.
The Hurricanes are looking to rebound after getting destroyed by the Notre Dame Fighting Irish last Saturday in Chicago. Miami’s problems have fallen square on a defense that is one of the worst in the nation this season.
Overall, UM’s defense is ranked 122nd out of 124 teams, besting only Louisiana Tech and Baylor, in total defense. The Hurricanes are giving up nearly 6.6 yards per play and more than 500 yards of offense per game to its opponents.
Miami’s run defense has been especially porous this season. The Canes are giving up nearly 5 yards per carry and roughly 250.7 yards per game on the ground. All of it makes Miami’s 4-2 record and undefeated record in conference play that much more unlikely.
North Carolina will bring in one of the highest scoring teams in the nation, averaging 44 points per game, according to cfbstats.com. The Tar Heels average 6.64 yards per play and thrown for 16 touchdowns to just four interceptions this season.
UNC likes to run the football and the ground attack is led by sophomore running back Giovani Bernard. He’s played in four games this season and run the ball 52 times for 475 yards and 5 touchdowns. He’s averaging almost a first down every time he touches the ball on the ground.
The Tar Heels’ offense is handled by junior quarterback Bryn Renner. He’s completing 62.7 percent of his passes in 2012 and thrown for more than 1,600 yards this season, averaging nearly 270 yards passing per game.
Last week against the normally stout Virginia Tech defense, the Tar Heels tore through Va. Tech for 48 points in a 14 point victory over the Hokies.
Miami’s offense is averaging 30 points per game, which is good for 55th in the country. The Hurricanes are especially dangerous on big plays, but sometimes have problems sustaining drives. Miami’s passing offense is ranked in the top 20 in the nation by cfbstats.com, averaging 307.2 yards passing per game.
But Miami’s offense is going to be running head long into a defense that gives up just 17.8 points per game this season. North Carolina’s defense has surrendered just 13 touchdowns in 2012.
The Canes and Tar Heels will play at Sun Life Stadium this Saturday with kick off scheduled for 2:30 p.m. The game can be seen on ESPNU.