The Tar Heels used a very balanced offensive attack and scored just enough to hang on for the victory. North Carolina threw for 214 yards and ran for 272 as they put up nearly 500 yards of offense against a Miami defense that showed signs of improvement over recent weeks.
Sophomore Gio Bernard, a former South Florida high school standout, was the best player on the field today. He finished the game with 177 yards and two scores on the ground and also added 36 yards through the air.
Miami quarterback Stephen Morris, who entered the game as the leading passer in the ACC, struggled in what turned out to be a shaky performance for him. He hit less than 50-percent of his passes (several of his balls were dropped, however) for just 155 yards and two interceptions.
Unfortunately for the Canes, Morris was injured in the fourth quarter when he rolled his ankle. Backup Ryan Williams entered the game and was unable to Miami in the endzone.
Mike James was Miami's top offensive performer in the game, rushing for 96 yards and a score and adding 29 yards as a receiver.
The two teams traded first half touchdowns before North Carolina took a 15-7 lead into halftime. Miami scored in the third to narrow the gap to one-point before Casey Barth added another field goal for the Tar Heels.
The loss sends Miami to 4-3 on the season and 3-1 in the conference. It will play host to arch-rival Florida State next Saturday night in what appears to be a must-win game for the Canes if they want to keep their ACC Championship Game hopes alive.