No. 20 North Carolina (7-3, 6-3 ACC, No. 17 CFP) at No. 9 Miami (8-1, 7-1, No. 10), Saturday at 3:30 p.m. EST (ABC).
Line: Miami by 3.
Series record: North Carolina leads 12-11.
WHAT’S AT STAKE?
This game is going to play a big role in deciding the ACC’s bowl lineup. Both teams still have a shot at getting to the Orange Bowl. Miami would ensure a top-three ACC finish with a win, alongside Notre Dame and Clemson. North Carolina would get to eight wins for the first time since 2016 with a victory.
North Carolina RBs Michael Carter and Javonte Williams vs. Miami’s defensive front. Consider this: North Carolina is 7-0 all-time when QB Sam Howell throws 26 passes or less and a mere 7-9 when he attempts 27 or more passes. If Carter and Williams can keep Miami’s defense honest, the Heels’ chances will soar.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
North Carolina: LB Chazz Surratt. He went to North Carolina as a quarterback for his first two college seasons and now is one of the top linebackers in the ACC, three tackles shy of 200 for his career.
Miami: DE Quincy Roche. North Carolina was one of the schools that tried to land Roche when he left Temple and entered the transfer portal last year. He’s been a leader of Miami’s defense all season.
FACTS & FIGURES
It’ll be Miami’s first home game in 49 days. … Forecasters are calling for a high of 80 degrees in the Miami area Saturday; if it gets there, it’ll be North Carolina’s warmest kickoff temperature this season. … Miami coach Manny Diaz was the defensive coordinator for North Carolina coach Mack Brown when Brown was at Texas; Brown fired Diaz in the 2013 season. … This game is the regular-season finale for both teams. Miami was still scheduled to play Georgia Tech on Dec. 19, but that game was canceled Friday. … Of the current ACC football members, North Carolina is one of only three schools with an over-.500 head-to-head record against Miami. The others: Notre Dame (18-8-1) and Georgia Tech (13-12). … North Carolina won last year’s meeting 28-25, converting a 4th-and-17 on its final drive on the way to the eventual game-winning TD in a matchup where Miami gave up 10 points on the Heels’ first eight plays, plus missed two field goals and an extra point.
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