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Recap: Canes Win in Wild Finish, 30 - 24

Recap: Canes Win in Wild Finish, 30 - 24

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) — Jacory Harris passed for 267 yards and three touchdowns to help Miami beat North Carolina 30-24 on Saturday.

The Hurricanes (3-3, 1-2 Atlantic Coast Conference) nearly lost a 24-point lead, surviving a sluggish second half for their first road win under Al Golden.

Miami, which gained 263 of its 311 total yards in the first half, avoided the first 0-3 start in league play in program history. The Hurricanes also picked up their first win in five tries at North Carolina.

Bryn Renner passed for 288 yards and two touchdowns for the Tar Heels (5-2, 1-2), who trailed 27-3 late in the second quarter.

Giovani Bernard rushed for 110 yards and a touchdown, becoming the first North Carolina player to rush for at least 100 yards in five consecutive games since Ethan Horton in 1984.

The Tar Heels scored two fourth-quarter touchdowns, cutting Miami’s lead to 30-24 on a 20-yard catch by Reggie Wilkins with 46 seconds remaining. Curtis Campbell recovered the onside kick for North Carolina after Miami’s LaRon Byrd was unable to secure the ball.

North Carolina moved the ball to Miami’s 30 before Sean Spence sacked Renner. The Tar Heels had a final play from the Miami 37, but a pass to Bernard with laterals to Erik Highsmith and Jheranie Boyd was stopped after a 13-yard gain.

Miami’s Lamar Miller entered the game as the ACC’s leading rusher, but his streak of five consecutive 100-yard games ended. He managed just 29 yards on 16 carries.

Miami found other ways to move the ball, jumping on the Tar Heels for a 17-0 lead after one quarter. North Carolina had outscored its opponents by a combined margin of 42-3 in the first quarter before the Hurricanes rolled into town.

Miami led 14-0 before its defense ever took the field.

Harris marched the Hurricanes 71 yards for a touchdown on the game’s opening drive, capping the 13-play series with a 4-yard scoring pass to Mike James.

North Carolina’s T.J. Thorpe lost a fumble on the ensuing kickoff, setting up the Hurricanes on the UNC 27. Harris found Tommy Streeter, who got open deep after an end-around fake to Benjamin, on the next play for a touchdown.

After North Carolina’s Thomas Moore kicked a 20-yard field goal to cut Miami’s lead to 17-3, the Hurricanes answered with a field goal of their own.

Then they capitalized after a 13-yard punt by North Carolina’s Thomas Hibbard gave them the ball at UNC’s 40. Harris connected with Benjamin on a deep pass down the right sideline for a 30-yard touchdown and a 27-3 advantage.

Stats | Photos | Notes | Highlights

  1st 2nd 3rd 4th F
Miami 17 10 0 3 30
UNC 0 10 0 14 24
Team Stat Comparison
  UNC UM
1st Downs 25 15
Rushing 1st Downs 11 2
Passing 1st Downs 14 12
Net Yards Rushing 141 44
Rushing Attempts 42 27
Avg Per Rush 3.4 1.6
Rushing TDs 1 0
Net Yards Passing 283 267
Cmp-Att-Int 29-37-0 20-30-0
Avg Per Attempt 7.6 8.9
Avg Per Completition 9.8 13.4
Passing TDs 2 3
Individual Stat Leaders
Passing Leaders
  Cmp-Att-Int Yds TD Lng
J. Harris 20-30-0 267 3 30
B. Renner 28-36-0 275 2 39
Rushing Leaders
Miami No Yds TD Avg
  L. Miller 16 29 0 1.8
  T. Benjamin 3 13 0 4.3
UNC        
  G. Bernard 27 110 1 4.1
  R. Houston 5 22 0 4.4
Receiving Leaders
Miami No Yds TD Lng
  T. Benjamin 8 99 1 30
  T. Streeter 4 89 1 28
UNC        
  D. Jones 9 82 1 15
  E. Highsmith 9 74 0 17

Criticized heavily throughout his career for being turnover-prone, Harris finished without an interception for the third consecutive game. Before he took a knee to close out the first half, Harris had led the Hurricanes to points on 10 of their last 11 possessions dating to their 38-35 loss at Virginia Tech last week.

Jake Wieclaw

 

Final Notes

TODAY’S WIN…
– Gave the Hurricanes their first road victory of the season.
– Gave Al Golden his first ACC victory.
– Was the first in Chapel Hill for the Hurricanes.
– Was the second straight over the Tar Heels; UNC leads the all-time series 8-7.

HARRIS’ BIG HALF
Jacory Harris’ 233 yards passing in the opening half today against UNC are the most in any half for the senior. He threw for 209 yards in the second half against Florida State in 2009. That same season, Harris recorded 208 yards in the opening half against Wake Forest. Today, Harris connected on 16-of-22 passes with three touchdowns in the first half.

Harris finished the day connecting on 20-of-30 attempts for 267 yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions.

BENJAMIN’S CAREER DAY
With eight receptions and three rushes, senior wide receiver Travis Benjamin set career-highs in both categories. He ended the game with 99 receiving yards and 13 rushing yards. He also added 28 return yards for 140 all-purpose yards.

SCORING DRIVES
In the 12 possessions Miami had in the second half against Virginia Tech and the six in the first half today against UNC, it scored on 10 of them. The only two the Canes didn’t score came in the final possessions of each half as time expired.

STRETCH `EM OUT STREETER
Junior wide receiver Tommy Streeter now has 18 catches on the season, seven of those have gone for 25-yards or more and five have been for a touchdown.

Harris hit the 6-5 Miami, Fla. native for a 27-yard touchdown on a fake reverse for the Canes’ second score and on Miami’s next drive found Streeter for a 25-yard gain on a 2nd-and-22 play.

In the second quarter, Harris again connected with Streeter for 28-yards on a 3rd-and-10 play.

SOME QUARTER
The Hurricanes scored 17 points in the opening quarter. It was the first time Miami has scored at least that many first-quarter points since the Nov. 7, 2009 against Virginia, when it also scored 17.

Coming into today’s game, North Carolina had gone 95 minutes and 55 seconds in first quarters w/out allowing a TD. It gave up two touchdowns to Miami in a 14-second span today.

PERFECT ON THE YEAR
Junior kicker Jake Wieclaw was 3-for-3 on extra points and hit a career-long 43-yard field goal in the second quarter. He hit a then-career-long 41-yarder in the first quarter. He would later add a 28-yard field goal in the fourth that proved to be vital for the Hurricanes. On the year, the New Lenox, Ill. native has yet to miss, going 23-of-23 on PATs and 7-of-7 on field goals.

A GAME OF FIRSTS
Freshman linebacker Denzel Perryman forced his first career fumble in the first quarter, which was recovered by junior defensive back Nathan Gholston – the first of his career.

Junior defensive back Brandon McGee recorded his first career sack in the second quarter, resulting in an 8-yard loss.

Senior linebacker Jordan Futch recovered his first career fumble in the third quarter after it was forced by Marcus Robinson.

Freshman Thomas Finnie recorded his first career tackle for loss in the third quarter for a loss of four yards

TD GRAB
For just the second time in his three-year career, junior running back Mike James caught a touchdown pass. The play was a four-yard reception and capped the game’s opening drive.

MIAMI’S STARTERS
Miami’s offensive starters today were: Jacory Harris (QB), Travis Benjamin (WR), Chase Ford (TE), Brandon Washington (LT), Harland Gunn (LG), Tyler Horn (C), Brandon Linder (RG), Jon Feliciano (RT), Clive Walford (TE) and Lamar Miller (RB), Mike James (RB)

Starting for Miami on defense was:  Anthony Chickillo (LDE), Micanor Regis (LT), Adewale Ojomo (RT), Marcus Robinson (RDE), Sean Spence (WLB), James Gaines (MLB), Jordan Futch (SLB), Mike Williams (CB), Vaughn Telemaque (FS), JoJo Nicolas (SS), Brandon McGee (CB).

MIAMI’S CAPTAINS
Seniors Jacory Harris, Tyler Horn, JoJo Nicolas, Sean Spence and junior Andrew Swasey are serving as Miami’s captains today.

WEATHER
Today’s weather at kick-off: Sunny; 70 degrees; Wind from the WNW at 14 mph; 41 percent humidity.