(Saturday, November 14th)
Final Score: North Carolina 33, (12) Miami-Florida 24
Chapel Hill, NC (Sports Network) - T.J. Yates completed 17-of-31 passes for 213 yards with a touchdown, and Casey Barth kicked four field goals, as North Carolina topped 12th-ranked Miami-Florida, 33-24, in an ACC Coastal Division clash.
Kendric Burney had three interceptions, with one returned for a touchdown, and Melvin Williams returned a Burney fumble following a pick for another score for North Carolina (7-3, 3-3 ACC), which was coming off a 19-6 victory over Duke on November 7. The Tar Heels have won three straight and four of five overall.
"Clearly, the major story of the entire night had to be the big plays on the interceptions," said UNC coach Butch Davis. "We've been very fortunate. We've got some kids in the secondary that are very talented athletes. Not only can they play the ball well in the air, but clearly they can catch the football. And tonight, (the interceptions) couldn't have come at a bigger time. Kendric Burney made some just phenomenal plays. Our pressure early in the ball game was very good."
Greg Little added a touchdown catch, while Ryan Houston rushed 24 times for 76 yards.
Jacory Harris threw for 319 yards on 28-of-50 passes with a touchdown and four costly interceptions for Miami (7-3, 4-3), which hammered Virginia, 52-17, last weekend. The Hurricanes had a brief two-game winning streak snapped and have split their last four contests.
"It was a good game, we fought back and didn't quit, we kept going, but when you have four turnovers and two of those go for touchdowns it's going to be a long day," said Miami coach Randy Shannon. "We had our shots, tried to get stops, tried to get field goals, but that's football."
Graig Cooper finished with 63 yards rushing and a TD on 15 carries, while Damien Berry added 41 yards on the ground with a score. Jimmy Graham chipped in with a 14-yard touchdown grab, and Leonard Hankerson had seven catches for 92 yards.
With the 'Canes driving early in the fourth and down 23-17, Burney picked off Harris for the third time of the game and returned it 45 yards before fumbling into the hands of Williams, who took it the rest of the way for a 44-yard score. After the officials reviewed the play, it was upheld after it was determined there was no conclusive video evidence that it was an illegal forward pass.
Miami quickly responded on its ensuing drive when Harris hooked up with Graham for a 14-yard score that capped a five-play, 69-yard drive with nearly 7 1/2 minutes left.
After the Tar Heels came up a yard short of the first down marker with just over two minutes to play, Barth came on and split the uprights from 33 yards away for a nine-point UNC lead with 1:57 remaining.
The Hurricanes would go to the hurry-up offense and Harris guided his squad down to the 11-yard line. But with no timeouts and bad time management, Miami was not able to reach the end zone.
After a scoreless first quarter, North Carolina opened the scoring in the early stages of the second. Yates hit Little with a 29-yard scoring strike to cap a seven-play, 80-yard drive.
However, the Hurricanes answered when Berry banged in from a yard out to tie things. The Tar Heels then went back in front when Barth converted on a 22- yard field goal, then a 42-yard effort for a 13-7 advantage with a little over four minutes to play in the half.
Harris was then intercepted by Burney, who returned the pick 77 yards for the score, lifting UNC to a 20-7 lead at the break.
Barth tacked on a 32-yard field goal with 8:47 left in the third. Miami then scored 10 unanswered points after Matt Bosher booted a 39-yard effort and Cooper ran in from three yards out to make it a 23-17 game with 1:18 to go in the period.
Miami hosts Duke on November 21, while North Carolina plays at Boston College next weekend...The all-time series is in favor of UNC, which holds an 8-5 edge over the Hurricanes, including a 28-24 triumph in Miami last season.
11/14 20:38:59 ET