No. 20 UNC runs wild, rolls past No. 9 Miami 62-26

Sports

UNC running back Michael Carter (8) celebrates a touchdown against Miami during the first half of an during an NCAA college football game at Hard Rock Stadium In Miami Gardens, Fla, Saturday, Dec, 12, 2020. (Al Diaz/Miami Herald via AP)

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. (AP) – Michael Carter and Javonte Williams set an NCAA record by combining for 544 yards rushing, and No. 20 UNC-Chapel Hill embarrassed No. 9 Miami 62-26 on Saturday in the regular-season finale for both teams.

Carter ran for 308 yards and two touchdowns, while Williams had 236 yards and three touchdowns for the Tar Heels (8-3, 7-3 Atlantic Coast Conference). Per the NCAA, it was the seventh time that two teammates each ran for at least 200 yards, the first since 2016 and the first such instance in ACC history.

And the numbers only got worse for Miami (8-2, 7-2). Carter and Williams’s combined total topped the NCAA’s listed FBS record for teammates, set on Nov. 30 when Jaret Patterson (409) and Kevin Marks (97) rushed for 506 for Buffalo against Kent State.

North Carolina finished with 778 yards – the most ever yielded by Miami and a Tar Heels record – and 554 yards rushing, also the most allowed in Hurricanes history. Sam Howell threw for a score, ran for a score and caught a TD pass for the Tar Heels.

It was the third-most points allowed in Miami history, the most since 66 for Syracuse in 1998. The record is 70 by Texas A&M in 1944.

D’Eriq King completed 18 of 30 passes for 239 yards and two touchdowns for Miami, which had won five in a row and probably lost any hope of playing in the Orange Bowl.

It was 34-10 at the half, and North Carolina kept the ball for 7 minutes, 36 seconds on the opening drive of the third quarter – chewing up clock and adding to the margin when Howell stretched the tip of the ball onto the goal line for another Tar Heel touchdown, capping a 13-play drive.

Howell caught a TD pass on a trick play in the third quarter, and his streak of games with a touchdown pass – now 24 and representing his entire college career – was extended when he found Kamari Morales with 11:00 left for a 55-26 lead.

BIG PICTURE

North Carolina: The Heels have never made an Orange Bowl appearance and haven’t played in a New Year’s Six bowl since 2001. Those statements might not be true for much longer. If ACC finalists Notre Dame and Clemson both go to the College Football Playoff semifinals – a real possibility – an Orange Bowl berth goes to the league’s next highest-ranked team by the CFP committee. And when those rankings are updated Tuesday night, the Tar Heels will more than likely jump the Hurricanes; Miami was No. 10 in those rankings this past week, seven spots clear of North Carolina.

Miami: King remains the biggest bright spot for Miami. He now has more than 300 passes for the Hurricanes, which qualifies him for the school’s all-time lists – and at this rate, he would pass Bernie Kosar’s career completion percentage record.

POLL IMPLICATIONS

Pretty simple: Miami will fall, and North Carolina will rise.

CLOSE ARRIVAL

ESPN analyst Kirk Herbstreit’s morning started at West Point, where he and the “College GameDay” crew were broadcasting in advance of Saturday’s Army-Navy game. He finished the show in a helicopter that was carrying him from the United States Military Academy to Teterboro Airport, where he hopped in a private jet for the flight to Miami. The plane landed at 2:59 p.m., just 42 minutes before kickoff.

UP NEXT

Both teams await bowl announcements on Dec. 20.

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