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Recap and More: 'Canes Blow Past Heels

MIAMI (AP)–Sean Spence and Brandon Harris danced toward the sideline in such exaggerated celebration that they drew penalty. Randy Shannon chest-bumped 310-pound left tackle Orlando Franklin. Allen Bailey shook his fist and screamed at no one in particular.

No, it wasn’t the old days of bad-boy Miami football.

But the Hurricanes showed plenty of fire–and got a win that saved their Atlantic Coast Conference title hopes.

Jacory Harris threw three touchdown passes to move into second place on Miami’s career list, Damien Berry ran for his fourth straight game of 100-plus yards and the 25th-ranked Hurricanes scored the game’s last 30 points to easily beat North Carolina 33-10 on Saturday night.

“They challenged each other to step up and make plays,” said Shannon, the Miami coach who beat North Carolina for the first time in four tries. “I think that’s one thing about this football team–guys are starting to develop a mentality of what we’re trying to get done. The great teams and the great players step up and challenge each player.”

Berry finished with 109 yards and a touchdown for the Hurricanes (5-2, 3-1 Atlantic Coast Conference). LaRon Byrd, Travis Benjamin and Leonard Hankerson had touchdown catches for Miami and Spence forced a key fumble in the opening quarter to deny North Carolina a touchdown.

Johnny White had a 76-yard touchdown run for North Carolina (4-3, 2-2), the longest carry for the Tar Heels in more than nine years. White’s score gave North Carolina a 10-3 lead in the second quarter, before Miami took over and denied the Tar Heels’ bid for their first five-game winning streak since 2001.

“We never got a good handle on the running game,” North Carolina coach Butch Davis said. “They kept us off-balance with the run and the play-action pass. They played well.”

Jacory Harris completed 21 of 32 passes for 217 yards for Miami. T.J. Yates was 12 of 21 for 140 yards and two interceptions for North Carolina, which got 85 yards from White and 71 more from Shaun Draughn.

Miami sacked Yates five times, a season-worst for North Carolina–with Allen Bailey getting credited for 3 1/2 of them.

“The formula when you play against Miami is you don’t want to play from behind,” Davis said. “They’ve got some great defensive linemen who can put pressure on your quarterback.”

Miami had lost to North Carolina in each of the past three seasons, and picked a good time to finally end that streak. The win moved the Hurricanes into outright possession of second place in the Coastal Division, a game behind Virginia Tech–while everyone else in the division now has at least two conference losses.

“We control our own destiny,” Brandon Harris said. “We know that.”

Jacory Harris increased his career total to 50 TD passes. He came into Saturday tied for fourth on the career list with Gino Torretta, then passed Vinny Testaverde and Steve Walsh (both of whom had 48) when Benjamin made an acrobatic play for a score early in the third quarter. Benjamin leaped for a catch while getting hit, never going to the ground, then spun and ran into the end zone.

From there, the Hurricanes started to roll.

Yates came into the night leading the nation in lowest interception percentage; his streak of 95 straight passes without getting picked off ended when Miami’s Brandon Harris had a takeaway to end the ensuing Tar Heels’ drive.

Yates threw another interception to Ramon Buchanan early in the fourth, and Berry plunged in from 2 yards out seven plays later to wrap things up for Miami.

“Big win,” Spence said. “Very important win.”

North Carolina struck first, settling for a 19-yard field goal from Casey Barth on its opening drive even though Yates had completions of 34 and 26 yards on consecutive plays. And when Jacory Harris was intercepted by Da’Norris Searcy on the first play of Miami’s ensuing drive, the Hurricanes seemed to be reeling.

Davis apparently sensed the same, and a fourth-down sneak by Yates gave North Carolina a first down at the Miami 9. Yates connected on the next play with Anthony Elzy, who appeared to be headed toward a score–until Spence knocked the ball free, Vaughn Telemaque caught the carom in the end zone, and Miami escaped unscathed.

“Definitely changed the momentum,” Shannon said.

White made at least a half-dozen Miami defenders miss while breaking loose on the long touchdown run that was North Carolina’s longest carry since Sept. 1, 2001, a span of 4,054 carries according to STATS LLC.

But Byrd’s 6-yard touchdown catch gave Miami a 13-10 lead at intermission, and the Hurricanes controlled the second half.

“When we forced that fumble in the end zone and covered it, that changed the whole demeanor of the game,” Brandon Harris said. “It stopped the game from turning in the wrong direction for us.”

And probably the season, too.

Game Notes

THE SERIES
With the 33-10 win, Miami has its first 3-1 start in ACC play under head coach Randy Shannon.

The Hurricanes are now 37-19-1 all-time versus teams from the state of North Carolina, including a 13-5 mark since joining the ACC in 2004. Miami snaps a three-game skid to North Carolina, although the Tar Heels still lead the series, 8-6.

BERRY JOINS ELITE COMPANY
Senior running back Damien Berry racked up 109 rushing yards becoming the fourth Hurricane since 1975 to record four-straight 100-yard rushing games (Willis McGahee – 2002, Clinton Portis – 1999, Edgerrin James – 1998).

Berry added his team-high fourth rushing touchdown of the season to put Miami up 32-10 in the fourth quarter. He has scored a TD in three straight and in four of the last five games.

Stats | Photos | Video | Notes | Quotes
  1st 2nd 3rd 4th F
Miami 0 13 13 7 33
UNC 3 7 0 0 10
Team Stat Comparison
  UNC UM
1st Downs 10 26
   Rushing 1st downs 5 13
   Passing 1st downs 5 11
Net Yards Rushing 149 225
   Rushing Attempts 29 44
   Avg Per Rush 5.1 5.1
   Rushing TDs 1 1
Net Yards Passing 140 217
   Cmp-Att-Int 12-21-2 21-32-1
   Avg Per Attempt 6.7 6.8
   Avg Per Completion 11.7 10.3
   Passing TDs 0 3

unc2.jpg

Individual Stat Leaders
Passing Leaders
  Cmp-Att-Int Yds TD Long
   J. Harris 21-32-1 217 3 26
   T.J. Yates 12-21-2 140 0 34

unc4.jpg

Rushing Leaders
Miami No Yds TD Avg
   D. Berry 19 109 1 5.7
   L. Miller 11 69 0 6.1
UNC No Yds TD Avg
  J. White 8 88 1 10.6
   S. Draughn 10 74 0 7.1

unc3.jpg

Recieving Leaders
Miami No Yds TD Long
  T. Benjamin 4 67 1 26
   L. Hankerson 4 51 1 19
UNC No Yds TD Long
   D. Jones 4 74 0 34
   J. White 2 27 0 26

MOVING ON UP
With Jacory Harris’ 24-yard touchdown pass to Travis Benjamin to put Miami up 19-10 in the third quarter, Harris has passed Vinny Testaverde and Steve Walsh for sole possession of second all-time in school history in TD passes with 49. Harris added his 50th TD pass later in the third quarter.

In addition, Harris has moved him into third place all-time in Miami’s career passing yardage list with 6,108 yards.

I’LL TAKE THAT
Junior cornerback Brandon Harris picked off UNC’s T.J. Yates in the third quarter – just the second interception thrown by Yates this season and his first in 96 attempts. It marked Harris’ first interception of the season.

Ramon Buchanan joined in on the action in the fourth quarter – picking off Yates for his first career INT. Miami is the first team to record multiple interceptions of Yates since Nov. 20, 2009, when he threw three interceptions at Boston College.

The Hurricanes now have 14 interceptions in seven games this season – surpassing their nine in 13 games in 2009.

Sophomore safety Vaughn Telemaque recorded his fifth turnover and his second fumble recovery of the season, taking possession in the Carolina endzone in the first quarter. He has tallied a turnover in four-straight games.

DEFENSIVE STOPS
Allen Bailey posted a career-high 3.5 sacks for a loss of 13 yards – more than doubling his total for the season – versus North Carolina as the Hurricanes finished with five sacks and eight tackles for loss.

The Hurricanes entered this evening’s game leading the nation in tackles for loss per game (9.5) and ranking fourth in the nation in sacks (3.33).

Colin McCarthy led Miami’s defense with seven tackles, while Bailey added six.

Miami limited North Carolina to just 289 yards of total offense – keeping the Tar Heels to their second-lowest production of the season.

OFFENSIVE PRODUCTION
With 442 yards of total offense, Miami has surpassed 400 yards of total offense for the third-straight game and for the fourth time this season. The Hurricanes went 5-for-5 in the red zone versus the Tar Heels.

Tonight also marks the third time this season Jacory Harris has thrown three-or-more touchdown passes.

HANKERSON EXTENDS STREAK
With a 13-yard reception in the opening series, Leonard Hankerson extended his consecutive games with a catch streak to 20. Hankerson also improved on his team-leading touchdown total, recording his eighth TD this season with a 19-yard touchdown reception in the third quarter.

FOURTH DOWN
The Hurricanes were 3-for-3 in fourth down conversions. Miami was converting 20 percent on fourth downs entering the game (2/10).

THROUGH THE UPRIGHTS
The Hurricanes got on the board with a 38-yard field goal by Matt Bosher with 14:16 to go in the first half. With 232 career points scored kicking, he needs just 12 more points to move into a tie for seventh place. In addition, Bosher ranks eighth in overall points scored.

CAREER MARKS
Redshirt freshman Lamar Miller rushed for a career-long 27 yards in the third quarter to get UM to the 36-yard line.

Freshman Eduardo Clements returned the ball a career-long 29 yards in the second quarter. It was his third 20-plus yard return of the season.

Freshman tight end Asante Cleveland grabbed a career-high 25-yard reception in the second half from Jacory Harris. It was the longest catch by a Hurricanes tight end this season.

BYRD FOR SIX
LaRon Byrd caught a 6-yard touchdown reception – his first of the season – from Jacory Harris to put the Hurricanes up 12-10 in the second half.

COOOOOOP
With 38 yards this evening, Graig Cooper now has 3,573 all-purpose yards and needs just 17 yards to pass Edgerrin James for third place in program history.

TODAY’S STARTERS
Miami’s offensive starters today were: Jacory Harris (QB), LaRon Byrd (WR), Leonard Hankerson (WR), Richard Gordon (TE), Orlando Franklin (LT), Harland Gunn (LG), Tyler Horn (C), Brandon Washington (RG), Seantrel Henderson (RT), Patrick Hill (FB) and Damien Berry (RB)

Starting for Miami on defense was: Olivier Vernon (DE), Micanor Regis (LT), Marcus Forston (RT), Allen Bailey (DE), Colin McCarthy (LB), Sean Spence (LB), Brandon Harris (CB), Vaughn Telemaque (FS), JoJo Nicolas (SS), Ryan Hill (CB), Ramon Buchanan (LB).

Videos

Sean Spence

Brandon Harris

Damien Berry

LaRon Byrd

Allen Bailey

Vaughn Telemaque

Quotes

Miami Head Coach Randy Shannon

“Real big win for us tonight; it was huge. We’re taking the next step in the Atlantic Coast Conference, playing North Carolina really was a big victory for myself and this whole University. Being 0-3, playing against North Carolina, and having an opportunity to come back on national TV and respond in the way we did tonight was unbelievable. A lot of credit goes to these football players who are responding to this coaching staff, doing a phenomenal job of really getting this team ready to play. You watch the game defensively, they came out of the gate and we gave up a big, long run, which is inexcusable, but the guys responded back. They didn’t go in the tank, and I think that’s part of playing football. You get a negative play – how quick you’re going to respond until you have as good a defense that you can have. And with the turnovers and the sacks by Allen Bailey tonight was unbelievable.

Offensively, running the football was key. We pounded the football and that opened up our passing game. You see some guys, besides [Leonard] Hankerson, you see some other guys step up and make some plays, and I think that’s part of what this team is about. I thought the biggest play of the game was Tyrone Cornelius’ hit on the kickoff… It was a good game, it was an exciting game, it was fun to be around with those guys and see how they would be challenged.”

On the verbal exchanged between players earlier in the game…
“It was good, because what it was doing was challenging each other to step up and make plays. I think that’s the one thing about this football team is that guys are starting to develop a mentality of what we’re trying to get done. The great teams and the great players step up and challenge each player, and I think anytime you can challenge a player the right way it becomes a positive.”

About where this team was against Florida State…
“That’s too long ago to think about. We got to go about what we did this week, and then we have to move on. We can’t keep worrying about Florida State – that week is gone. We can’t change it, we lost, it’s a loss in the column, we got to move forward. After tonight, tomorrow we’ll grade this film and move on to Virginia.”

On whether the fumble in the first quarter changed the momentum…
“That one, yes, it definitely changed the momentum because it stopped them from getting up ahead. It kept the game within one score, and then once we got up the guys started thriving.”

On what the win means personally…
“It a big win like I said earlier. It’s the first time that I beat North Carolina and first time in a long time that we’ve beaten North Carolina, so it was big for the University and for the fans that we showed up.”

DB Brandon Harris

On turnovers…
“That’s been our main focus all year. We wanted to show the offense that we would continue to give them the ball.”

On emotions…
“We wanted to come out focused and show our fans and former `Canes that we could win this game. We also wanted to win for Coach Shannon. It was an emotional high out there all night.”

WR LaRon Byrd

On the win…
“They are a great team and it was a big win for us. We just have to keep moving the string.”

On having fun…
“There was an emphasis on having fun. We were a little tense early on in the season, but not tonight. We let loose and it came through. It was good to see Coach Shannon smiling.”

Tight end Asante Cleveland

On motivation…
“I think we motivated ourselves. We were focused on beating North Carolina. Our defense stepped up in the second half as well as our offense. We did what we needed to do. We were determined on all sides of the ball.”

RB Damien Berry

On beating UNC…
“We just came out focused this week in practice. The coaches stayed on us about finishing and staying focused and having fun. It was a great time.”

On 100-yard game…
“The offensive line did a great job. I have to give them credit.”

On halftime adjustments…
“We went in the locker room and then did the things the coaches said to do. He said finish and we went out and finished it.”

North Carolina Head Coach Butch Davis

“I thing we lost to a pretty good football team tonight – one that’s got a lot of talent and played well. I thought that one of the most significant factors in the ballgame was we never ever really got a real good handle on the running game. They were able to really kind of keep us off balance with the run and the play action pass. They played well and I thought our kids got off to a good start. We had a chance to play a little bit better early in the game to put some points on the board when Anthony Elzy, unfortunately, fumbled in the end zone. It could have been a huge big play. Obviously, one of the formulas for playing against Miami is to try to take the run away by keeping the score to such that it makes them have to play a little bit more pass oriented and a little bit less run oriented. They’re a good football team. I was proud of the way our kids competed, the way that they played and we will learn something from tonight’s game and we will play better next week.”

On if Miami’s running game helped protect Jacory Harris
“We knew going into the ball game that they had several personnel packages that included six offensive linemen – where they use a big offensive lineman as a true tight end along with tight end and multiple backs in the back field. They kept us off balance with it. They had some success and they did a good job. Their running backs ran hard.”

On injuries taking a toll on the team…
“It’s a challenge. As I told the players in the locker room, coaches always say that you’re one injury away or one something from somebody having to go into the ball game and step up. I would venture to say that probably cost us every single kid that we thought we were going to redshirt. We probably won’t be able to redshirt any of them. We probably have to end up playing all of these kids before the season is over.”

Quarterback T.J. Yates

On the game…
“We did a good job coming out, and when we had the chance to build some momentum and go up on them, we shot ourselves in the foot and fumbled into the end zone. That kind of killed our momentum because early we should’ve been up 17-6 and it’s tough to play a team like that when they get momentum. When they start doing well defensively and offensively they have a lot of motivation to keep playing well. We can’t get in holes against a team like that and beat ourselves because they will take advantage of mistakes.”

On continual poor field position…
“That definitely hurt us. Once we got the ball we were so unsuccessful on third down because we were so unsuccessful on first down, which led us to get behind the count with second and long. We gave up some sacks and negative runs on first down and it killed the start of our drives. We couldn’t build any momentum after that.”

Linebacker Bruce Carter

On not defending like they have been…
“I just think it was the scheme we had going into this game. We needed our corner to have support on the edge and we got a young secondary. They (Miami) did a great job coming in and finding our weakness on defense… they’re a great team with great athletes.”

Running back Johnny White

On struggling to move the ball…
“We couldn’t really get a routine going. We had some plays get us off schedule, sacks and negative runs that got us off schedule.”

On not scoring touchdowns on the first two drives…
“That’s deflating to any team. When you’re playing a team as good as Miami, you need to take advantage of every opportunity you get in the red zone and can’t leave points out there on the field.”

Safety Deunta Williams

On missing starters this game…
“Well I think it was obvious they tried to pick on us in the secondary tonight. But at the same time, we haven’t had Kendrick or C.B. all year. So it wasn’t like that was anything new for us. We were just down one corner and we have young guys that can play. I was telling them how when we were freshmen we would get picked on too. The only way to get them to stop picking on you is to make them go away from you. We encourage them … [and they] just need to go out and play.”