4. Miami 47, North Carolina 10
If Miami isn’t a lock for another trip to the ACC Championship, it’s looking very, very close to it.
It helps when you come up with six takeaways and three defensive scores.
The Turnover Chain worked into overdrive with six takeaways – three fumble recoveries and three picks – and then the Canes got to take the foot off the gas.
And now, even though it was just a win over North Carolina, there’s reason to really believe that this might still be a real, live player in the College Football Playoff chase.
Always take whatever happens in Week 1 with a grain of salt. The LSU game was a bit of a stunner, but the offense has found its groove since then, the defense dominated on Thursday night, and best of all, the schedule is opening up nicely.
Florida State shouldn’t be a problem next week, and even though there are four road games in five dates to follow, Virginia, Boston College, Georgia Tech, and now, Virginia Tech, all seem winnable. So is the home game against Duke, and so is the regular season finale against Pitt.
But that’s getting ahead of the game. For now, the Canes will take the easy blowout wins and keep moving on.
N’Kosi Perry will have to open it up soon against a good team, and he threw a pick, but going 8-of-12 for 125 yards and a touchdowns – and running for 26 yards – was good enough.
North Carolina was able to run well – that’s a bit of a concern for the Canes – averaging well over five yards per carry, and Chazz Surratt took off for 69 yards and a score.
But he also completed just 4-of-10 throws for ten yards and three picks.
It was going to be a fight to do much against the Hurricanes, but at 1-3, it’s going to take five wins in the last eight games just to get bowl eligible, and that’s not going to be a big, big battle with a team that’s still making way too many mistakes.
But it got the Miami game out of the way.