Losing playmakers left and right, Stephen Morris didn’t really handle the pressure and the situation very well. However, Miami were lucky enough to have Dallas Crawford step up and assume a completely different role from what he usually does, keeping the Hurricanes perfect, although possibly not convincing enough as a team to remain in the top 10.
With the BCS standings, they are sure to take a hit from the computers, but the polls aren’t going to like them beating North Carolina, now 1-5, only 27-23. The same North Carolina that hasn’t beaten a top 10 team since 2004, and has beaten only four teams in the top 10 over the last 30 years.
Things just didn’t go right for Miami, who lost Duke Johnson and Phillip Dorsett as the game went on, with Morris struggling under the conditions in any case. Without his best playmakers on the field, he didn’t throw a single touchdown pass. Luckily, Dallas Crawford stepped up from the role of goalline bulldozer to feature back, finishing with 137 yards on 33 carries with 2 touchdown runs. Having Ladarius Gunter returned a blocked field goal 67 yards for a touchdown was just as beneficial.
It’s a great win, because you’re on the road, you’re down 10 points, you’re fighting the elements and the environment, we have four interceptions, we lose pivotal players and everybody just rallies. It just says a lot about the guys. There’s no turning back for this group right now. They’re not turning back. There’s no finger-pointing. They’re too invested in each other in what they’ve given and what they’ve sacrificed to turn back. I told them all week we’re going to have to win this game by playing until there are four zeros, right to the end.
Stephen Morris outdid himself with four interception passes, doubling his total from this season in one game. It was his second consecutive game with multiple interceptions thrown, and it also was the second time that Stephen Morris has thrown 2 interceptions in the first half in his career. Entering the game, he had only one first-half interception this season, in the October 5 win over Georgia Tech. Entering the game, the Tar Heels had only forced five turnovers all season, tied for the third-fewest in FBS.
Dallas Crawford now has nine touchdowns this season, and has run for two in each of the last four games, the longest active streak for multiple touchdowns in a game.
Miami did struggle with Eric Ebron, the Tar Heel’s tight end, with the Junior catching nine passes for 199 yards and scoring a touchdown on a 71-yard passing play, connecting with Marquise Williams. He had 144 receiving yards in the first half, the most receiving yards in the first half by a tight end this season, and the most since Ben Guidugli (Cincinnati) had 144 in 2009 vs Illinois.
Miami aren’t as good as Florida State (Coming up in two weeks) or Clemson, but they’re still undefeated, and shouldn’t be counted out in the ACC, especially after such a show of resiliency. Even better for the Hurricanes, if they do hear the injuries to Dorsett and Johnson aren’t too serious, is the rather easy schedule they have left – after the Semionles, playing at home against Virginia Tech seems to be the highest hurdle for them to jump over.