Miami at UNC: Game day notes as Canes travel to Chapel Hill

Sun Sentinel

Miami at North Carolina, 7:45

Where: Kenan Memorial Stadium, Chapel Hill, N.C.


Weather: 68 degrees, wind: 7 mph to south-southwest, 30 percent chance of rain, 78 percent humidity


Twitter: @ChristyChirinos, #Canes, #UMvsUNC

Quick slant: For the first time since 2009, the Hurricanes will take the field as a top-10 team after moving up to No. 10 in the most recent AP Top 25. But the Hurricanes have had trouble winning at Chapel Hill in the past. They are only 1-4 all-time at UNC, with their lone win at Kenan coming in 2011. The Tar Heels lead the all-time series 8-7, but Miami has performed well under Thursday night national spotlight, going 15-3 in ESPN Thursday Night games.

About Miami: The Hurricanes have the nation’s top-ranked passing defense and have given up just two passing touchdowns, tied with Florida for the fewest in the nation. They also lead the nation in kickoff returns, averaging 33.08 yards per return thanks in part to Duke Johnson’s efforts. He’s totaled 305 yards on kick returns this year.

About North Carolina: The Tar Heels have struggled to start the season and have lost three straight entering Thursday’s game. Two of those losses have come to ACC rivals Virginia Tech and Georgia Tech. North Carolina’s defense is the worst in the conference with the Tar Heels giving up an average of 436 yards per game.

What to watch:

*UNC quarterback Bryn Renner is expected to start after a foot injury sidelined him during the Tar Heels 27-17 loss to Virginia Tech. He has passed for 1,117 yards and seven touchdowns this season.

*After totaling just 13 sacks by seven players in 2012, Miami already has 18 sacks by 13 players through the Hurricanes’ first five games. Shayon Green, Anthony Chickillo, Thurston Armbrister, Tyriq McCord, and Al-Quadin Muhammad each have two sacks apiece.

*Miami, which has scored 171 points in its last three games, is 12-1 in ACC play when scoring more than 40 points. They’re 5-1 when they do that in ACC road games. 

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