MIAMI GARDENS — Keep it here for observations leading up to the 16th-ranked Hurricanes’ 3:30 p.m. kickoff against North Carolina.
Switching to live blog mode. Click here.
Not a large crowd here, 15 minutes or so before kickoff. I’ll say that.
Perhaps it fills in as we get closer to kick, but it’s about 35 percent full right now.
As usual, Braxton Berrios, Stacy Coley, Malcolm Lewis and Dionte Mullins are working as the return specialists in warmups.
Coley (sprained MCL) is wearing a brace on his left knee.
Thomas has a hard cast on his broken right hand. Quarterman has a brace on his left shoulder.
2:53 p.m. Pregame thoughts
2:30 p.m. Clearing up
The skies are looking a lot more friendly now. The field is wet, but should not be soggy at kickoff unless we get another passing storm.
Miami is wearing the same uniforms as last week — orange jerseys, white pants — but has black cleats and black socks instead of white.
UNC is in all-white.
1:05 p.m. Sky-watching
Reports from Hard Rock Stadium say it’s raining hard. The forecast calls for scattered thunderstorms.
Not the best news for UNC, which lost 34-3 in a deluge brought on by Hurricane Matthew. The Tar Heels’ aerial attack fell apart in the rain and wind, with quarterback Mitch Trubisky unable to effectively distribute a wet, heavy ball.
Could be a day for the run game, which could favor Miami and its sore-shouldered quarterback.
12:03 p.m. Injury notes
Brad Kaaya, who absorbed several hard, high hits and injured his shoulder against Florida State, threw in practices this week. He was not available to speak to us, which is unusual; the only other time in his career he was not made available was the week he sat out last season following his concussion against Clemson. Coach Mark Richt said his starting quarterback participated without issue.
Right tackle Sunny Odogwu could miss the rest of the season after surgery to fix his broken leg. Sophomore Tyree St. Louis will start for the first time.
Linebacker Shaq Quaterman (shoulder), defensive end Chad Thomas (broken hand) and wide receiver Stacy Coley (knee; MCL) are likely to play.
Defensive end Scott Patchan (knee; ACL) and tackle Gerald Willis (knee; MCL) are out.
11:50 a.m. Gameday picks
Desmond Howard “liked what he saw” from Miami last week, and took UM.
Guest picker Ric Flair, the wrestling legend, took North Carolina. No surprise. He makes his home in Charlotte and is something of a local legend there, appearing at Carolina Panthers and Carolina Hurricanes games. (He was born in Minnesota and was a Golden Gopher, which is ostensibly why he was a guest for a Gameday at the Ohio State-Wisconsin Big Ten clash).
“Not so fast,” Lee Corso, 81, told Flair, 69. He took Miami.
Kirk Herbstreit took the Hurricanes, too. “Carolina, it’s a little bit of a guessing game. They’re up, they’re down. … Mark Richt is onto something. They’re getting better.”
11:40 a.m. Links
In case you missed it this week, here’s most of our coverage leading up to UM-UNC: