Live updates and commentary: No. 8 Miami Hurricanes at North Carolina Tar Heels

CHAPEL HILL, NC – OCTOBER 28: Christopher Herndon IV #23 of the Miami Hurricanes breaks away from Cole Holcomb #36 of the North Carolina Tar Heels for a touchdown during the second quarter of their game at Kenan Stadium on October 28, 2017 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

[Pregame news, notes and photos]

[Report:  Shoulder trouble for Rosier]

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — In this post, we’ll let you know what’s happening in the Miami-UNC game. Join in:

FINAL: No. 8 Miami 24, North Carolina 19

Miami survived an upset bid yet again.

UNC fumble (2:11 4Q) 

Joe Jackson saved Miami by forcing a fumble. Jaquan Johnson recovered.

Miami fumble (2:56 4Q) 

Travis Homer lost the ball when UNC linebacker Cayson Collins punched it out.

UNC has three timeouts and half a field left.

UNC, Miami trade punts (4:56 4Q)

Not much doing on offense here at Kenan Stadium.

Miami interception (8:08 4Q)

After an illegal block made it second-and-28, J.K. Britt collected an interception. Malik Rosier’s throw wasn’t anywhere near Ahmmon Richards, who was bolting to the end zone.

Turnover Chain, Pt. III (9:13 4Q)

Bad throw, easy pick for Sheldrick Redwine.

UNC’s last seven passing attempts: four incompletions, three interceptions.

No. 8 Miami 24, North Carolina 13 (9:26 4Q) 

Braxton Berrios dove and caught a 6-yard touchdown pass, and in response to the last UNC touchdown, threw up the ‘U’ high.

Malik Rosier got lucky on that drive. One of his passes was underthrown and intercepted, but a defender pushed Jeff Thomas out of the way to earn a pass-interference flag. Miami kept driving.

Thomas isn’t the only Miami freshman shining. DeeJay Dallas put a quick shake on a defender and gained 49 yards on a slant. He then took his first carry of his career for no gain, before Rosier hit Berrios for the score.

UNC punt (11:28 4Q) 

UM forced a punt, though UNC got to UM’s 44, further putting a scare into the Canes fans here at Kenan Stadium.

Before that, Miami got lucky on two fronts: UNC tried the same receiver-to-QB trickery, and the pass was incomplete despite the fact UM didn’t have Nathan Elliott covered. Then, Amari Carter was not penalized despite popping the QB-turned-receiver with a hard hit after the ball fell.

Miami punt (15:00 4Q) 

END 3Q: No. 8 Miami 17, North Carolina 13

Turnover Chain Pt. II (0:53) 

On the next play after Miami’s fourth-down failure, linebacker Charles Perry intercepted Nathan Elliott’s pass over the middle.

Miami turnover on downs (0:59 3Q)

Miami’s struggling offensive line allowed two sacks, putting the Hurricanes at third-and-22, before UM went for it on fourth-and-13 from the 37. Rosier’s pass was tipped.

There were promising moments before that. Braxton Berrios laid out and made a spectacular 42-yard catch, tracking a deep ball and securing it as he crashed to the turf. Rosier showed good wheels on an 18-yard keeper around the right side.

Turnover Chain (4:47 3Q) 

Michael Jackson hauled in an arm-punt at the UM 4-yard line. There wasn’t a lot of celebrating, at least compared to what we’ve seen when Miami breaks out its Turnover Chain.

Quarterback Nathan Elliott, the Tar Heels’ third-stringer, bounced off a tackle for an 11-yard keeper. He hit former St. Andrew’s tight end Jake Bargas for 14, and UNC had momentum before the interception.

Miami punt (6:48 3Q) 

Jeff Thomas was swallowed at his own 8, and Miami advanced to its own 25.

Miami has 30 rushing yards on 15 carries and is 3-for-12 on third down.

No. 8 Miami 17, North Carolina 13 (7:54 3Q)

The Hurricanes continue to look like anything but the nation’s eight-ranked team.

Miami allowed a 43-yard kickoff return to Anthony Ratliff-Williams, a 28-yard Jordon Brown catch and a 12-yard rush by Brown as the Tar Heels marched to the red zone in three plays.

Then the Heels used another trick play: quarterback Nathan Elliott handed to Ratliff-Williams, who floated one to Beau Corrales for an 18-yard touchdown. Ratliff-Williams found Elliott for 33 yards in the first quarter, a play that set up the game’s first points (a UNC field goal).

Corrales, a freshman from Texas, put up the ‘U’ hand sign and turned it down — shades of former UNC quarterback Marquise Williams, who did the same thing during his team’s 59-21 blowout of the Hurricanes in their last visit to Chapel Hill.

Injury notes: Jaquan Johnson returned to the lineup. … Michael Pinckney was in pain after a collision. He walked off with UM’s trainers.

No. 8 Miami 17, North Carolina 6 (9:52 3Q)

More offensive frustration.

Miami had outstanding field position at the Tar Heels’ 13, but couldn’t turn Jonathan Garvin’s blocked punt into a touchdown.

Michael Badgley’s 21-yard field goal extended the Hurricanes’ lead, after UM went nine yards in four plays.

UNC turnover (11:03 3Q)

Jonathan Garvin’s block-and-tackle on punter Tom Sheldon gave Miami the ball at UNC’s 13-yard line.

It was the first Miami blocked punt since Zach McCloud since Oct. 29, 2016 at Notre Dame. That was also the last time Miami lost a game.

Injury note: safety Jaquan Johnson, one of UM’s best defensive players, sat on the turf as trainers assessed him. He jogged off.

No. 8 Miami 14, North Carolina 6 (14:43 3Q)

Crisis over?

Freshman Jeff Thomas took the first play from scrimmage 78 yards for a touchdown. He was wide open, Malik Rosier hit him near the 30 and he took it the rest of the way. It was the longest passing play of the season for the Hurricanes.

That gave the fleet-footed Illinois native his first career 100-yard game. He has 101 yards and a touchdown on three grabs. Thomas is averaging a cool 34.28 yards per catch in his last two-plus games (7 receptions, 240 yards, two touchdowns).

Halftime thoughts

HALF: No. 8 Miami 7,  North Carolina 6

In the first half, Miami’s defense allowed 248 total yards to a team that hasn’t won an FBS game this year.

UNC gained 15 first downs, was 4-of-11 on third down, converted a fourth-down try, ran 46 plays and held the ball for 17:52. Four different players completed a pass, with backup quarterback Nathan Elliott (subbing for the injured Chazz Surratt) going 10-for-18 for 88 yards. Backup running back Jordon Brown broke a 56-yard run and finished the half with 70 yards on 13 carries.

Miami’s offense was 3-for-9 on third downs and averaged 5.2 yards per play.

Miami ran the ball 11 times for 19 yards.

Miami punt (0:59 2Q)

After a punt rolled to Miami’s 24, UM tried to string together a last-minute drive. It went 12 yards on four plays.

The offensive woes continue.

UNC unt (1:31 2Q)

UNC went backward on three plays, and Miami  will get a shot to score before the half.

Smart call: Mark Richt called timeout after UNC ran the ball on first down, hoping to put together a one-minute drive to end the half.

No. 8 Miami 7, North Carolina 6 (1:58 2Q) 

After sleepwalking through most of the first half, Miami is on the board.

Tight end Chris Herndon caught a pass from Rosier near the 35, spun out of two would-be tackles, and raced 51 yards to the house for UM’s first touchdown. That was the longest career reception for the senior, who had a career-high 10 catches and 96 yards and a touchdown last week against Syracuse.

The other highlight play of the drive: Jeff Thomas made a 17-yard catch on third-and-8 to give Miami some life.

Personnel notes: Trayone Gray started the drive at tailback. He carried once for two yards. Right guard Hayden Mahoney returned, after ceding that spot to Navaughn Donaldson for a series.

North Carolina 6, No. 8 Miami (3:48 2Q) 

The longest career field goal for UNC’s Freeman Jones, a 45-yarder, extended the Tar Heels’ lead.

Jones entered the day 4-for-8 on three-point tries.

Elsewhere: Miami’s front seven, as usual, is doing its job. But its secondary, as usual, is shaky.

A holding call on safety Robert Knowles moved the chains to the UNC 38. Cornerback Michael Jackson allowed a 26-yard catch — he thought he was about to pick it off — at the Miami 41. Cornerback Trajan Bandy lost his man on a 7-yard reception.

Defensive tackle R.J. McIntosh broke up a pass — his sixth of the year — and defensive end Demetrius Jackson pressured quarterback Nathan Elliott into an incomplete throw to force the field goal.

Miami punt (6:58 2Q) 

Miami’s offense — in particularly its offensive line — continues to struggle.

A tipped pass on third-and-8 led to another punt. Malik Rosier (shoulder), who returned after a one-series absence, was under pressure from North Carolina’s front.

Braxton Berrios drew a pass-interference call — offset by a hold on Tyler Gauthier — and made a sliding 9-yard grab to get Miami near midfield. Jeff Thomas made a leaping 9-yard grab on third down. Miami converted on fourth-and-inches in its jumbo package to keep the drive going at the Tar Heels’ 45. But it did little else.

Personnel notes: Navaughn Donaldson entered the game at right guard. Donaldson sprained his ankle Oct. 7 at Florida State and missed the next two games. … UM used two tight ends (Chris Herndon and the returning Michael Irvin II) and fullback Michael Parrott on fourth-and-inches at the UNC 46.

UNC turnover on downs (11:00 2Q)

The Tar Heels tried a fake punt pass instead of try a 42-yard field goal, but got 5 of the 18 yards they needed.  Shaq Quarterman made the stop.

END 1Q: North Carolina 3, No. 8 Miami 0 

UNC outgained UM 156-43 after the first quarter, gaining eight first downs to Miami’s two. The Tar Heels, who had the ball for 10:15 of the first 15 minutes, were driving on the Canes’ side of the field. On fourth-and-1 at the Miami 43, quarterback Nathan Elliot found 2 yards on a sneak.

Miami QB change and punt (3:56 1Q)

In a surprising development, Miami also made a quarterback change.

Evan Shirreffs, the redshirt sophomore backup to Malik Rosier, ran the offense that drive.

WQAM and ESPN’s broadcast teams reported Rosier had shoulder trouble. He went to the locker room. As Shirreffs and the Hurricanes went three-and-out, Rosier ran from the locker room to the sideline, helmet in hand, apparently looking to get back in the game.

North Carolina 3, No. 8 Miami 0 (4:52 1Q)

A quarterback change helped UNC score the game’s first points.

Linebacker Zach McCloud hit quarterback Chazz Surratt hard, and a moment too late, and drew a 15-yard foul. Surratt was taken out for sophomore Nathan Elliott.

Elliott’s first play was a reception. He raced down the field as UNC ran a double-reverse, and wideout Anthony Ratliff-Williams heaved a 33-yard pass to the wide-open quarterback. He was pushed out by Sheldrick Redwine at the 4.

Miami’s defense knocked UNC back three yards before the field goal.

Miami missed FG (6:48 1Q)

Michael Badgley, apparently as sleepy as the rest of the offense, was well short on a 53-yard try. Carolina ball at the 36.

UM sputtered after it got beyond midfield. Travis Homer made a slick grab and showed quick feet for a 35-yard pickup, but dropped a screen pass later on the drive. Jeff Thomas was covered on a deep shot to the end zone. Malik Rosier scrambled but found little room.

Formation notes: Miami started the drive with Homer in the slot next to Braxton Berrios, with Chris Herndon, Ahmmon Richards and Thomas out wide.

North Carolina almost scored (9:15 1Q)

It has been this kind of season for UNC: immensely frustrating.

The Tar Heels opened at their 10 after a back-spinning punt from Miami’s Zach Feagles. On the first play, sophomore Jordon Brown — UNC’s backup, starting for injured freshman Michael Carter — took it 56 yards up the sideline. The Hurricanes, apparently still asleep, missed several tackles on that play and the ones after.

Brown nearly scored a 1-yard rushing touchdown after quarterback Chazz Surratt found Dazz Newsome for a 23-yard gain, but his knee was ruled down after review.

UM’s defense, wiping crust from its eyes, forced fourth-and-goal from the 1. Linebacker Shaq Quarterman sacked Surratt for a 10-yard loss, then turned to the sideline with his arms out as if to say, “What, me worry?”

Miami punt (12:16 1Q)

Malik Rosier’s low throw on third-and-10 forced a Miami punt, after Travis Homer went nowhere on UM’s first two run plays. UNC’s defense is fired up, as is a thin crowd of home fans. The crowd is about 80/20 Carolina blue, but about 50/50 empty seats.

Personnel notes: Jeff Thomas started out wide. Hayden Mahoney started at right guard.

UNC punt (13:38 1Q)

Jaquan Johnson had a near-pick on the first third-down try. UNC gained two yards on its first drive. Braxton Berrios did not fair-catch, and returned a punt 15 yard to the 50.


Miami won the toss and deferred until the second half.

Amari Carter made a diving tackle at the 9-yard line.

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