Tar Heels Reclaim Victory Bell, Down Duke

The North Carolina football team dashed out to a commanding 28-7 halftime lead and went on to beat rival Duke 45-20 Thursday night at Wallace Wade Stadium to improve to 6-5 on the season and in the process, gain bowl eligibility.

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With the loss, the Blue Devils dropped to 8-3 on the season and handed the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets the ACC Coastal division crown and a spot in the ACC Championship game opposite Florida State.

Marquise Williams threw for 374 yards and scored four touchdowns to lead the Tar Heel offense to a torrid start, and despite a few hiccups in the second quarter that could have broken the game open further, turned in an impressive performance that the careless Blue Devils were unable to match.

Williams back for the snap (Elliott Rubin)

Williams back for the snap (Elliott Rubin)

In an encouraging sign, for the first time this season, the Tar Heels had a running back eclipse the 100-yard mark in a game. It was T.J. Logan who earned the distinction with 117 yards and a touchdown.

“I think we finally put together a complete game in all three phases – offensively, defensively and special teams. Other than the three turnovers we had offensively, it couldn’t have been a more solid game for us,” UNC head coach Larry Fedora says.

In a surprising twist, the much-maligned Tar Heel defense rose to the occasion, coming up with big stops after the offensive miscues in the second quarter that gave Duke a chance to hang around in the game.

“It was huge. For the defense to go out there in those situations and hold them to no points after those three fumbles, that was big. And that gave a shot of adrenaline to the entire team,” Coach Fedora says.

Duke’s signal caller Anthony Boone tossed two touchdowns and threw for 262 yards, but he was sacked three times and gave away an interception.

“I don’t know if there are words that fit how you feel. I told the team after the game, I said ‘First thing I don’t want you to forget is all this winning that has led us to a Thursday night opportunity on national television playing your arch rival. Obviously it was a disaster from our standpoint,” Duke head coach David Cutcliffe says.

***Listen to Larry Fedora’s postgame remarks***

On Duke’s first drive, UNC linebacker Jeff Schoettmer recovered a fumble. It got the Tar Heels rolling.

From there, the offense raced ahead. A 3-yard touchdown pass from Williams to Switzer got UNC on the scoreboard first, and then the defense pitched in again with a 10-yard fumble return for a touchdown by senior safety Tim Scott.

At the end of the first quarter, the Tar Heels had claimed a 21-7 lead over the Blue Devils. Duke got on the board with a 10-yard touchdown heave by Boone into the arms of Isaac Blakeney.

The Victory Bell (UNC Athletics)

The Victory Bell (UNC Athletics)

But that was the home team’s only score of the half to the dismay of the crowd. As for UNC, it added seven more points to its ledger thanks to a 1-yard Williams keeper into the end zone with 13:02 on the second quarter clock.

On the critical second half opening drive, the Blue Devils turned the ball over when Boone tossed an interception to MJ Stewart.

The Tar Heels took advantage immediately with an impressive offensive possession that ended with a one-yard touchdown by TJ Logan with 9:10 remaining in the third quarter.

Everything was going right for the Tar Heels. A season-long 30-yard field goal make by Thomas Moore to push the lead up to 38-7 with 6:23 in the third quarter, confirmed that. It was that kind of night.

UNC coasted from there, gliding to the rivalry win that earned  them back the coveted Victory Bell after a two-year hiatus.

Next up for the Tar Heels comes a season-ending in-state matchup with the N.C. State Wolfpack next Saturday in Chapel Hill.



Tar Heels, Blue Devils Battle For The Bell

The North Carolina football team, 5-5 on the season, meets 8-2 rival Duke Thursday night in front of a nationally-televised audience at Wallace Wade Stadium. The Battle for the Bell kicks off at 7:30 p.m.

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With the short week, UNC head coach Larry Fedora says the Tar Heels have had to adjust everything about their preparation.

“It’s not normal. The whole week is different for you. The players have to do a great job of staying in the moment and make sure they have adjusted their minds to what day of practice it is. It’s a different situation for them,” Coach Fedora says.

Coach Fedora consoles the Pitt head coach last weekend (Elliott Rubin)

Coach Fedora consoles the Pitt head coach last weekend (Elliott Rubin)

Duke is coming off a disappointing 17-16 home loss to Coastal division foe Virginia Tech, but still controls its own destiny in the race to the ACC Championship game in Charlotte.

The hungry Tar Heels, coming off a 40-35 victory  over Pittsburgh, would like nothing more than to knock their bitter rivals off their desired path to the Queen City.

But UNC junior linebacker Shakeel Rashad says the Tar Heels will be up against it with the efficient Duke attack bolstered by a rock-solid offensive line.

“They’re very efficient. They don’t really make mistakes. Their offensive line really works well together. They’ve got some great players at quarterback and receiver. They’re spread out all over the field, and they’ve got a lot of people who can make big plays on the offensive line that allows them to do it,” Rashad says.

Coach Fedora says it’s Duke’s speedy wide receiver Jamison Crowder that gives him the most cause for concern.

Crowder has 5,197 career all-purpose yards and recently became only the 11th player in ACC football history to reach the 5,000 yard plateau.

“That guy [Crowder] can do it all. He’s got great speed and catches the ball really well. They use him in the return game, too. He’s a special player. Watching him for three years, he’s a dang-good player,” Coach Fedora says.

Jamison Crowder hits his stride (GoDuke.com)

Jamison Crowder hits his stride (GoDuke.com)

Blue Devil head coach David Cucliffe says preparing for Coach Fedora’s up-tempo and high-powered offense in just a few days has been a stern challenge.

“I have the upmost respect for what they [UNC] do. They do it extremely well. Coach Fedora is one of the brightest offensive minds in the game. I’ve followed his career all the way back, whether it was Florida, Middle Tennessee or Oklahoma State. He’s been on the cutting edge. They present a lot of problems. There’s no question they’re difficult to get ready for in just a few days,” Coach Cutcliffe says.

There will be an intriguing position battle in the contest with dynamic signal caller Marquise Williams going up against the much-improved Duke quarterback Anthony Boone.

Boone had a rough outing against the Hokies last weekend, but says he’s confident his team will take better care of the football against the Tar Heels.

“It’s not really a huge concern. We’ve had pretty good success as far as not turning the ball over and creating explosive plays. We’ve just got to go out there and be who we are and not try to speed it up too much or worry about what they’re doing. We’ve just got to go out there and execute our offense,” Boone says.

UNC’s Rashad says not having the Victory Bell out at practice the past couple seasons has been painful and has only fueled his teammates’ ambitions to reclaim the prize.

Marquise Williams escapes a defender (Elliott Rubin)

Marquise Williams escapes a defender (Elliott Rubin)

“It’s something that’s really important around here. This game means a lot to a lot of people. It means a lot to us. I remember my freshman year; we had the Bell out here at practice that week. So not seeing it out here the last couple years, you’re reminded of it,” Rashad says.

On the gridiron, UNC holds a 58-38-4 advantage in the all-time head-to-head series between the two schools.

The 101st meeting promises to be a compelling one, but the underdog Tar Heels will certainly need to put together a complete four quarters of clean, disciplined football to recapture the Victory Bell in enemy territory Thursday night.


Fighting Fedora, Williams Eyeing Strong Football Finish

The 5-5 UNC football team has seen its fair share of adversity in a season that once again, hasn’t met expectations.

But through it all, the Tar Heels have continued to display a fighting spirit that filters down from two of their leaders – head coach Larry Fedora and signal caller Marquise Williams.

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Coach Fedora says he has the utmost confidence in his players to keep battling, even in the crucible of a fourth quarter deficit.

“Our guys don’t panic. They really don’t. After the Georgia Tech game, it was the same situation. You looked at them and nobody was in a bog hurry or worried. They just played,” Coach Fedora says.

The unflappable Tar Heels have trailed in almost every game this season and have surrendered an ACC worst number of points to opposing teams, but somehow, some way, Carolina remains at a respectable 5-5 mark on the season.

Heart isn’t always easy to measure in an athlete, but Coach Fedora and for that matter, any other UNC football observer must wonder if junior quarterback Marquise Williams has an extra heart beating inside his chest somewhere.

Marquise Williams surveys the defense (Elliott Rubin)

Marquise Williams surveys the defense (Elliott Rubin)

Williams, the ACC Offensive Back of the Week yet again, has led the Tar Heels to final drive victories now in two huge home contests.

Thrilling victories against 9-2 Georgia Tech and 4-6 Pittsburgh have kept UNC’s bowl hopes alive, and the MVP of both of those games was no doubt Williams.

Williams says he’ll do anything, including sacrificing his body against big, bruising linebackers, in order to secure victory for his teammates.

“Me one-on-one with the linebacker – I like my chances. I felt confident. I feel like no one man is going to bring me down. That’s how I think when I run the football. I wanted to put the team on my back and let them know, ‘Hey, I’m in this for ya’ll,’” Williams says.

Another example of perseverance for the Tar Heels comes in the form of wide receiver Quinshad Davis. Davis has battled injuries all season, but came up with a few key grabs in the Pitt game last weekend.

Coach Fedora says he never has to worry about Davis on Saturdays.

“For Quinshad [Davis], anytime you go to him, he’s going to make a play. He’s fighting, scratching and clawing just trying to get in that end zone. He’s always going to come through,” Coach Fedora says.

Maybe Coach Fedora could learn a thing or two from Williams on how to stay calm on the sidelines? The Carolina skipper says his quarterback is always under control these days.

“I get a lot more frustrated than he does. He stays pretty calm and collected. He’s busy encouraging guys, talking things through and talking to the O-line and the receivers. You don’t see a whole lot of frustration on his part,” Coach Fedora says.

The finish line is in sight now. With two rivalry games against Duke this Thursday night at Wallace Wade Stadium and a home tilt against the Wolfpack the following Saturday, UNC will surely be hungry to put an exclamation point on 2014 and secure a spot in the postseason.

But Coach Fedora says the Tar Heels don’t care who their opponents are coming up and says the team isn’t talking bowl scenarios just yet.

“I’ll be honest; we haven’t even talked about a bowl game. I don’t have any doubt that our team is going to prepare and be ready to play on Thursday. I believe that and don’t worry about that. We plan on being in a bowl game, but I don’t know if it matters who we play,” Coach Fedora says.

The fighting, comeback Tar Heels will certainly need plenty of perseverance Thursday night when they head into enemy territory looking to bring the Victory Bell back to Chapel Hill.


Tar Heels Tame Panthers For Happy Homecoming

The North Carolina football team rallied past Pittsburgh 40-35 Saturday afternoon thanks to a four-touchdown performance from quarterback Marquise Williams that electrified the Kenan Stadium crowd and evened the Tar Heels’ record at 5-5 overall and 3-3 in ACC play.

With the loss, the Panthers dropped to 4-6 on the year and 2-4 in conference play.

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Williams’ key fourth-down conversion kept the final drive alive for the Tar Heels and allowed for T.J. Logan to punch the ball in the end zone for the go-ahead score with 50 ticks remaining on the clock.

The win was absolutely vital for Carolina’s postseason chances. UNC head coach Fedora says he was happy with the perseverance of his team Saturday afternoon.

“We had a lot of guys who were very resilient and persevered when things didn’t look good. We were really positive all the time on the sideline with each other. No matter what mistakes were made, there was a lot of encouragement. They just kept playing. We talked about it during the week […] that if we stay together, we’ll be all right. We found a way to get the win,” Coach Fedora says.

In total, Williams tallied 276 yards and one touchdown through the air and racked up 122 yards on the ground with three scores. Logan led all UNC running backs with 92 yards and a touchdown that sealed the victory.

Pitt’s prolific running back James Conner didn’t disappoint. The sophomore churned out 220 yards and scored four touchdowns to lead the Panther offensive attack.

James Conner

James Conner rumbles ahead (Post-gazette.com)

The Panthers shot out to a quick 14-0 lead in the first quarter thanks to a pair of Conner touchdown runs, one for 56 yards and another from 16 yards out.

From there, the Tar Heels answered. A 23-yard dash on a keeper by Williams cut the deficit down to 14-7 with 12:03 on the second quarter clock.

But Pitt responded right back with a 50-yard touchdown pass from Chad Voytik to Tyler Boyd to extend their edge out to 21-7 with 6:57 left in the half.

A late scoring drive that served as the longest of UNC’s season, ended with a 2-yard touchdown by Williams around the end. But a failed two-point conversion attempt had the halftime scoreboard reading 21-13 in favor of the visitors from Pittsburgh.

In the second half, a 63-yard connection from Williams to Switzer narrowed the gap to a mere two points with 13:48 in the third quarter.

The Tar Heels got things clicking on offense, finding rhythm and distributing the ball effectively in a typically up-tempo manner.

But with 3:33 left in the game, Conner dashed into the end zone for his fourth score and gave his Panthers the 35-34 edge.

Marquise Williams and Ryan Switzer share a call with the coaching staff. (Elliott Rubin)

Marquise Williams and Ryan Switzer share a call with the coaching staff. (Elliott Rubin)

As it turns out, there was far too much time on the clock. UNC answered the bell with a gutsy drive that included a fourth down conversion from Williams and ultimately ended with the game-winning Logan rushing touchdown that sealed the 40-35 win.

Star signal caller Williams says he had no doubts about his ability to come up with the goods in his team’s final drive.

“If a team goes down to score and we have maybe three minutes to go, I go down to the right far end zone, stand by myself and get my thoughts together. I tell myself that I practice this every Wednesday. I told myself I’m going to win this two-minute drill for the team. It felt good,” Williams says.

Next up for the Tar Heels comes a short week of practice before a nationally-televised contest against 8-2 rival Duke Thursday night at Wallace Wade Stadium.



UNC Football Looking To Match Pitt’s Physicality Saturday

The 4-5 North Carolina football team desperately needs a Homecoming win against the 4-5 Pittsburgh Panthers Saturday. The 12:30 p.m. kickoff inside Kenan Stadium will feature one of the nation’s premier running backs, and he’s not playing for the Tar Heels.

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The Panthers are playing an old-school brand of power football that Pittsburgh fans enjoy and opposing ACC defenses lament.

UNC head coach Larry Fedora puts it bluntly, saying the Tar Heels have two choices this weekend – man up or take a beating.

“You have to come with a mentality that you’re going to match the physicality. If you don’t, you’re going to get embarrassed,” Coach Fedora says.

Sophomore wide receiver Ryan Switzer says the five losses have been hard to swallow, but the upperclassmen leadership is holding the team together with the stretch run of the season to come.

Switzer making people miss (UNC Athletics)

Switzer making people miss (UNC Athletics)

“It’s hard to stay positive when you have five losses. But that’s where the seniors and leaders on this team come into play. That’s how they earn their titles as leaders when we’re struggling. It’s our job as a team to stay positive. We have three big games left to finish the season,” Switzer says.

The star attraction for the Panthers is running back James Conner, who’s already racked up over 1,300 yards on the ground this year.

Coach Fedora says the Panther offense can wear out opposing defenses and will offer a severe challenge to the struggling Tar Heel unit.

“He’s [Conner] a big 6’ 2”, 250-pound guy that can go. They lead him with a 270-pound fullback and are really big up front. The quarterback is doing a nice job and then you’ve got the [Tyler] Boyd kid that makes all kinds of plays out at wide receiver for them. We’ve got our work cut out for us,” Coach Fedora says.

Coach Fedora is under no illusions. He doesn’t expect his defense to completely shut down a runner as talented as Conner, but he says the Tar Heels will have to limit his damage and come up big on third downs.

“I don’t know if you can go into the game and say you’re going to stop the run. We have to control the run. We have to be effective, force them into third downs and then get off the field on third down,” Coach Fedora says.

The Kenan scoreboard operators best be prepared for some fireworks Saturday.

Former Panther quarterback and current color analyst for Pitt radio Pat Bostick says although the game will feature two strong offenses, they both go about their business in very different ways.

“It’s two different styles. Carolina is going to run plays at a fever pace. They want to run fast. They want to run 75-80 plays a game and possess the ball for less than 25 minutes. Pitt’s going to want to do the opposite by running the football and score points running the football. The key for both of them is protecting the ball,” Bostick says.

James Conner (Post-gazette.com)

James Conner (Post-gazette.com)

Switzer, for one, recognizes the urgency surrounding this time of year. He says the Tar Heels need to take full advantage of each play on the football field with the finish line looming large.

“We don’t get to get these games back. It’s important for us to go into the next three games with that mindset. I feel like that will help us all as a team. You’re definitely not promised another game. We need to make sure that we don’t take these last few for granted and play with everything we have,” Switzer says.

Against a rugged Panther football team that likes to use ball control to eat up the clock with long, sustained drives, Coach Fedora says junior quarterback Marquise Williams and company must be efficient on offense to emerge victorious.

“They’re going to get in their base fronts and play football. They’re going be very sound, tackle well and be where they’re supposed to be. They’re going to make you beat them. We have to execute on offense to be able to do it. We have to get back to playing football the way we play it,” Coach Fedora says.

The Tar Heels lead the all-time series against the Panthers on the gridiron by a 5-3 margin and snagged the most recent meeting in 2013 – a 34-27 victory spurred on by a pair of Switzer punt returns that went the distance.

With both squads needing to win two of their final three games to qualify for the postseason, the stakes will be high Saturday afternoon in Kenan Stadium.


Scouting Report: Radio Analyst & Former Pitt QB Pat Bostick

WCHL’s Matt Oakes had the chance to chat with Pittsburgh color commentator and former Panther quarterback Pat Bostick. The two discussed Pitt’s transition into the ACC, star running back James Conner, the loss of historic rivalries and the keys to the Panthers-Tar Heels matchup this weekend.

***Listen to the interview***


Larry Fedora Preaching Urgency, Confident Kicking

With the college football season winding down, the urgency in the UNC locker room is high. The Tar Heels must win two of their final three contests to qualify for postseason play.

***Listen to the story***

Yet again, the 4-5 Tar Heels find their backs against the wall late in a season.

Following a rough 47-20 loss at Miami, though, Coach Fedora says his team was able to recover in the week off and is now fully fit to take on the 4-5 Pittsburgh Panthers this Saturday at 12:30 pm in Kenan Stadium.

“We had a really good practice. They had a couple days of break there after our open week. I feel like we have everybody fresh and healthy as we’re going to get at this point. We’re raring to go for this next game,” Coach Fedora says.

Thomas Moore in practice (UNC Athletics)

Thomas Moore in practice (UNC Athletics)

An Achilles heel for Carolina has sprung up in the kicking game in recent weeks. Sophomore place-kicker Nick Weiler has struggled to emerge as a reliable alternative to senior Thomas Moore.

Coach Fedora says Weiler has responded well in practice since his rough outing against the Hurricanes.

“We didn’t have an issue until that game. The guy was in a funk and didn’t do well. He’s bounced back and had good practices. We’ll see what happens,” Coach Fedora says.

With that said, Coach Fedora insists the job is up for grabs. Both Moore and Weiler have been facing off over the bye week and a starter will be named after Thursday’s practice.

Despite the inconsistency in the kicking game, Coach Fedora maintains belief in his players and says he won’t hesitate to trot out the field goal team this weekend.

“It doesn’t really weigh on me until I get in the game. It’s not really something I sit around and worry about. I feel like we’ll put a guy out there and he’ll knock it in, I really do. You have to some confidence, that’s all there is to it,” Coach Fedora says.

The lopsided game at Miami left the Tar Heels in a sour mood. Coach Fedora says his team is anxious to ameliorate the situation with another crack at an ACC opponent.

QB Marquise Williams drops back for a pass (Elliott Rubin)

QB Marquise Williams drops back for a pass (Elliott Rubin)

“The kids are hungry to get back out there. They know they didn’t play well in that last one. They don’t like the taste in their mouth because of it. They’re anxious to get back out there and play football the way they can,” Coach Fedora says.

For the seniors, the window is closing on their time in a Carolina uniform. Coach Fedora says the Tar Heels need to seize the opportunity before them and leave everything out on the field in the coming weeks.

“You only get so many opportunities to play this game. You work all year. It’s a full-time, 365 days a year job to get 14 or 12 opportunities. We’re running out of time. We’re down to about ten practices left in this season and only so many opportunities to go out there and do the thing you love. You prepare as hard as you can, you go out and play with great pride and go win a football game,” Coach Fedora says.

The final fate of Coach Fedora’s third season as Carolina skipper is hanging in the balance. UNC’s last-ditch effort for a postseason bowl bid is being met with anxious energy and urgency by coaches, players and fans alike.


UNC RB Romar Morris Charged With DWI

North Carolina starting running back Romar Morris was arrested early Sunday morning in Chapel Hill and charged with a DWI.

Photo courtesy of UNC Athletics

Photo courtesy of UNC Athletics

Morris, 22, was arrested at 4:12 a.m. and was booked by the Chapel Hill Police Department. Morris was released at 5:30 a.m. on a written promise to appear in court.

The junior recorded his 11th start for the Tar Heels in Saturday’s loss at Miami.

Morris is scheduled to appear in court Nov. 13 at 9 a.m.

UNC’s Romar Morris Suspended For Pittsburgh Game
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – University of North Carolina tailback Romar Morris has been suspended for UNC’s next game against Pittsburgh on Nov. 15 for a violation of team rules, head coach Larry Fedora announced Monday.
“We hold our players accountable for their actions and when a player makes a poor decision, he must face the consequences,” said head coach Larry Fedora.  “I’m hopeful Romar will learn from his mistake and make better decisions in the future.”
A native of Salisbury, N.C., Morris has 44 carries for 162 yards and four touchdowns this season and 17 catches for 146 yards.

Tar Heels Licking Wounds Heading Into Bye Week

It was tricks not treats for the Tar Heels over Halloween weekend.

***Listen to the story***

The Tar Heel football team heads into a bye week with a bitter taste in the mouth following a 47-20 beating at Miami Saturday. UNC head coach Larry Fedora’s squad was thoroughly dominated in all three phases of the game.

Coach Fedora says UNC, now owning a 4-5 overall record and 2-3 mark in the ACC, didn’t do much right in Sun Life Stadium Saturday.

Tough day at the office for the Tar Heels (Miami Athletics)

Tough day at the office for the Tar Heels (Miami Athletics)

“They did a great job. They started a lot faster than we did. They pretty much won every phase of the game. I don’t think there’s any doubt about it. They ran the ball on us, we couldn’t move the ball on them, and special teams were atrocious,” Coach Fedora says.

The Tar Heel offense had a season-low six yards rushing and quarterback Marquise Williams was continually battered in the backfield.

Falling behind big early, the Tar Heels were forced to abandon their multi-faceted offensive playbook and become one-dimensional – allowing the Hurricanes to concentrate all their efforts on the passing game.

Coach Fedora says it was a recipe for disaster.

“We gave up six sacks. We didn’t run the ball very good at all and got into a position that we were down so far that we had to throw it every down. That’s not what we’re built for,” Coach Fedora says.

The Tar Heel defense earned a dubious distinction in the process. Star Miami running back Duke Johnson’s 90-yard scoring run was the longest rushing play by a UNC opponent in school history.

To add insult to injury, the normally reliable special teams play was nowhere to be found as well. There were two errant snaps on what should have been routine punts.

Coach Fedora says he’ll use the bye week to shore up the cracks in the special teams armor.

Marquise Williams airs one out (UNC Athletics)

Marquise Williams airs one out (UNC Athletics)

“We’ll go back and evaluate what we’re doing with those kids and make sure that we get it corrected. That’s not very characteristic of the way we play on the special teams. I’m not sure what the reason was,” Coach Fedora says.

The Tar Heels have three games remaining on their schedule – Homecoming against Pittsburgh, a Thursday night contest at Coastal-leading Duke and a battle with N.C. State, who got off the ACC schneid last weekend, to wrap up the regular season.

UNC will need to win at least two of them to earn bowl eligibility. Coach Fedora says the team will get healthy in the bye week and then prepare to close the 2014 campaign strong.

“We need all the help and days we can get to get some extra work in. We’ll try to get some guys healthy, get them freshened up and make a run these last three games,” Coach Fedora says.


Tar Heels Trounced By Canes 47-20

The North Carolina football team fell at Miami 47-20 in a critical ACC Coastal Division matchup Saturday afternoon and dropped to 4-5 on the season and 2-3 in the conference.

With the win, the Hurricanes improved to 6-3 overall and 3-2 in ACC action.

Duke Johnson went over the 3,000-yard mark for his career and scored three times despite getting most of the second half off. Miami freshman quarterback Brad Kaaya threw three touchdown passes to help guide his team by UNC.

Miami's Duke Johnson sprints ahead (Miami Athetics)

Miami’s Duke Johnson sprints ahead (Miami Athetics)

Johnson had a 90-yard touchdown run that tied the Miami record for longest rush from scrimmage, and he finished with 177 yards on 19 carries for the Hurricanes. His one-yard scoring run opened the scoring and later, he turned a middle screen into a 37-yard touchdown catch in the third quarter.

Kaaya completed 11 of 17 passes for 189 yards, and now has 20 touchdown passes in his freshman season. Clive Walford had two touchdown grabs, the first Miami tight end to do so since Greg Olsen in 2005.

Quarterback Marquise Williams had a pair of touchdown runs and Cayson Collins returned a fumble 39 yards for a score for UNC, but the Tar Heels struggled mightily to gain any traction against a motivated Hurricane bunch.

With Miami up 30-6 at halftime and leading 322-57 in total yards, it was practically over.

 Johnson has had a rushing touchdown in each of his last eight games, the first Miami back to do that since Willis McGahee in 2002. And in his last five games, he’s racked up 843 yards on 97 carries.

UNC's Williams drops back (Miami Athletics)

UNC’s Williams drops back (Miami Athletics)

It was the second straight week that Miami led by 24 at halftime. The Hurricanes have had that big a lead at intermission only once in their first 83 ACC games, before doing it last week against Virginia Tech and again Saturday. They’re in form.

 Next up for the Tar Heels after a bye week comes a home game contest against Pittsburgh Nov. 15.