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This Saturday, there is a college football matchup between two ACC teams. Specifically, the Miami Hurricanes and the North Carolina Tar Heels will face off at about 8:00 PM. This is game two of the regular season for both teams, which will take place at Kenan Stadium.
The Miami Hurricanes are 0-1 after losing to the Florida Gators while the North Carolina Tar Heels are 1-0 after beating the South Carolina Gamecocks.
The Miami Hurricanes entered the 2019 season with hopes of recapturing some of the program’s swagger that helped make it so famous about two decades ago. Last season, Miami went a disappointing 7-6 overall and only went 4-4 in conference play. To make matters worse, Miami also got embarrassed by Wisconsin in the Pinstripe Bowl as the Hurricanes lost by 32 points. However, Miami had a chance to get a signature win against an in-state rival in its first game of the season but ended up losing to Florida by a score of 24-20. Now, Miami has its first conference game of the year and will need to come out focused if it plans on making it back to the ACC title game.
The starting quarterback for the Hurricanes is freshman Jarren Williams who looked solid in the first game of the regular season. Specifically, he went 19-30 for 214 passing yards along with one passing touchdown and no interceptions. However, he got sacked a whopping ten times by the Gators as he spent a decent portion of the evening on his back. Even though that was mainly due to a below average offensive line, Williams will have to do a better job getting the ball out of his hands more quickly.
Miami’s biggest X-factor on offense is junior running back DeeJay Dallas who played extremely well in the season opener. Despite playing behind an overwhelmed offensive line, Dallas was able to find some running lanes as he ran for 94 yards and a touchdown on just 11 carries. However, he also made an impact in the passing game as he had four receptions for 37 yards. After such an impressive showing, look for Miami to get him more touches on Saturday.
The North Carolina Tar Heels entered the 2019 season with hopes of massive improvement. After a couple of quality seasons, North Carolina became one of the worst teams in the ACC for the last two years as the Tar Heels went just 5-18 overall. As a result, expectations were relatively low for this program in 2019 as coach Mack Brown had his hands full setting this program up for future success. However, no one expected North Carolina to upset South Carolina in its first game of the season as the Tar Heels were double digit underdogs and even trailed by 11 points entering the fourth quarter. However, North Carolina rallied and picked up the comeback win. Now, North Carolina is an underdog once again and will look for another upset victory.
The starting quarterback for the Tar Heels is freshman Sam Howell who showed tremendous poise in the first game of the regular season. In his first college game ever, he led the Tar Heels to 15 unanswered points in the fourth quarter despite looking overwhelmed during the majority of the game. Howell ended the game going 15-24 for 245 passing yards and two passing touchdowns with both of them coming in the fourth quarter. However, now he faces a much better defense and one has to hope he is up for the challenge.
North Carolina’s biggest X-factor is junior defensive back Myles Wolfolk who was amazing in the season opener. In addition to recording six tackles, Wolfolk also caught two interceptions in the last five minutes of the fourth quarter to help North Carolina maintain its slim four point lead. If North Carolina plans on limiting Miami’s offense, expect Wolfolk to have a huge impact.
Simply put, Miami is the significantly more talented team in this game and I think it will show on Saturday. North Carolina did win last week but Miami had to face a top-ten opponent and has had an extra week of preparation for North Carolina after having last week off which I think should pay dividends. Miami still has an elite defense and a mobile quarterback that should give North Carolina some fits defensively. I think this game will be close but I expect Miami to break out the “Turnover Chain” a few times en route to a seven point victory. Give me the road team as a result.Prediction: Miami Hurricanes -4.5Click here to bet this pick RISK FREE for up to $1,000 with PointsBet®!Second Opinion on this pick from StatSalt.com