UNC-Miami grades: Trubisky bounces back in Tar Heels win
North Carolina Tar Heels 20, Miami (FL) Hurricanes 13
Here are the biggest takeaways and highest-graded players from North Carolina’s 20-13 victory over Miami.
North Carolina Tar Heels
Quarterback grade: Mitch Trubisky, 73.1
Trubisky bounces back
After struggling mightily last week, Trubisky righted the ship down in Miami. Trubisky was able to throw from a clean pocket for most of the night – experiencing pressure on just 10 of his 50 dropbacks – and he was masterful when given time, completing 31 of 40 attempts for 264 yards, a pair of touchdowns and a 110.8 QB rating; when the Hurricane’s were able to disrupt his pocket he was just three of seven for 53 yards to go with a 69.3 QB rating.
Top offensive grades:
T Bentley Spain, 75.3
QB Mitch Trubisky, 73.1
C Lucas Crowley, 71.5
WR Bug Howard, 69.3
WR Mack Hollins, 68.7
Offense does just enough to win
Some games you don’t have to be great to win, you just can’t be as bad as your opponent — and that was North Carolina’s offense down in Florida. The offensive line had a good game in pass protection, allowing just six total pressures between them; but no members from the unit stood out as having an impact performance as a run blocker and the unit shot itself in the foot repeatedly with false start penalties. Bug Howard had a productive day catching the football, hauling in 10 of 12 targets for 156 yards. Opposite of him, Ryan Switzer was also active, seeing 14 targets on the game and catching nine of them. He gained a total of just 18 yards on those nine catches and also had a pair of drops.
Top defensive grades:
CB M.J. Stewart, 87.9
DI Nazair Jones, 80.2
ED Malik Carney, 78.2
LB Ayden Bonilla, 77.0
S Dominiquie Green, 77.0
Standout performances on all three levels
Nazair Jones was a force in the middle of the defense against the fun, finishing the game with a very nice 82.0 run defense grade while also tallying two hits on just 19 pass rush attempts. Malik Carney led the defense with an 83.1 run defense grade – all five of his tackles qualified as a stop (a stop is a solo tackle which constitutes as a loss for the offense, given the situation) – and he also all but wrapped up the game with his strip sack in the final few minutes of the game. In the coverage game, M.J. Stewart led the Tar Heels by allowing just one of the five balls that was thrown in his direction to be caught, and that pass resulted in a nine yard loss for the Hurricanes; Stewart also had one pass defense and Brad Kaaya had just a 39.6 QB rating when throwing at him. Kaaya was able to pick on LB Andre Smith though – that is, until Smith was ejected in the second half on a targeting penalty – completing six of eight passes for 110 yards and a 116.7 QB rating when throwing at Smith’s receiver.
QB Grade: Brad Kaaya, 58.8
Kaaya unable to move ball downfield
Outside of the fumble he lost the last time the Hurricanes had the ball, QB Brad Kaaya really didn’t do anything to cost his team from winning this football game — but at the same time he didn’t do anything to elevate their chances of winning, either. Kaaya was unable to capitalize on anything in the intermediate-to-deep range. When throwing the ball at least 10 yards in the air on Saturday, Kaaya was just one of seven for a total of 30 yards.
Top offensive grades:
HB Joseph Yearby, 67.5
G Danny Isidora, 64.5
TE Christopher Herndon IV, 60.5
TE David Njoku, 60.3
HB Mark Walton, 55.9
Offense doesn’t show up versus North Carolina
There aren’t many positive things to say about the Hurricanes’ offensive performance this weekend. The offensive line held its own during pass-protection, allowing just five total pressures with all five of those being split up between LT Trevor Darling and LG Kc McDermott. However, they were dominated in the trenches by Carolina when they tried to keep the ball on the ground — not a single offensive linemen graded positively as a run-blocker. Kaaya also received little help from his receivers, who combined to drop four passes.
Top defensive grades:
CB Corn Elder, 85.0
DI RJ McIntosh, 77.8
CB Adrian Colbert, 73.6
LB Shaquille Quarterman, 75.5
LB Michael Pinckney, 70.7
Corn Elder turns in another spectacular performance
Elder finished the game with his top overall grade of the season, and that’s saying something considering he’s now finished every game this year with an above-average overall grade. The Hurricanes’ star CB did allow seven receptions on 10 targets, but he limited the production on those seven receptions to just 27 total yards and he didn’t allow a single reception to go for more than seven yards. Elder led the team with 13 tackles and nine stops and he also had a sack on a well-timed blitz. Elder is now tied for fourth– with Desmond King from Iowa – among all Power-5 draft-eligible cornerbacks with allowing just 0.57 yards per coverage snap