A closer look at five big plays in No. 10 Miamis victory over North Carolina.
1. Ebrons catch, plow and run
• The score: Miami 3, UNC 0, 5:30 left in first quarter.
• The situation: UNC ball, 2nd-and-5 at UNC 29.
• The play: UNC QB Marquise Williams faked a pitch, rolled right and hit tight end Eric Ebron for what appeared to be a short gain. Ebron broke through two tackle attempts, turned toward the sideline and ran untouched the rest of the way for a 71-yard touchdown.
• Why it mattered: Aside from impressing NFL scouts with his size-speed combo on one play, Ebron also accounted for UNCs longest play of the season to give the Tar Heels their first lead.
2. Blitz prevents TD
• The score: UNC 7, Miami 3, late first quarter.
• The situation: Miami ball, 3rd-and-goal from UNC 3.
• The play: UNCs Jeff Schoettmer came on a safety blitz, chased Stephen Morris out of the pocket and forced an incomplete pass.
• Why it mattered: Two plays after Ebrons long TD, Morris answered by hitting Phillip Dorsett for a 68-yard pass play, giving the Hurricanes 1st-and-goal at UNCs 7. UNC forced the Canes to settle for a field goal, maintaining a 7-6 lead.
3. Canes block party
• The score: UNC 7, Miami 6, early second quarter.
• The situation: UNC lining up for 47-yard field goal.
• The play: Artie Burns bursts around UNCs line and blocks Thomas Moores kick. The ball landed in Ladarius Gunters hands, and he ran 67 yards for a go-ahead touchdown.
• Why it mattered: It was a 10-point swing. Instead of giving up three, Miami got seven, critical considering UNCs defense was keeping Morris and Co. in check, intercepting one pass, forcing two three-and-outs. UNCs first blocked FG since 2005 erased all of that and gave the Canes a 13-7 lead.
4. Heels D does it again
• The score: UNC 20, Miami 13, 3:35 left in third quarter.
• The situation: Miami ball, 2nd-and-11 at UNC 19.
• The play: Morris dropped back to set up a screen, but his pass hit a Miami lineman in the helmet. UNCs Norkeithus Otis dived and made the interception.
• Why it mattered: UNC, which had kept Miamis offense out of the end zone, ended another scoring threat by picking off Morris for the third time. The Heels took over at their 20 and drove for a field goal and 23-13 lead. Morris entered the game with just four interceptions.
5. Penalties, penalties
• The score: UNC 23, Miami 20, about 4:30 left in game.
• The situation: UNC ball, 3rd-and-1 from UNC 49.
• The plays: UNC switched QBs from Williams to Renner, and that affected their ability to call the play in time. A delay of game pushed the Heels back, and a false start made it 3rd-and-10.
• Why it mattered: The clock was creeping toward 4 minutes left. A first down on 3rd-and-1 would have eaten more time. Instead, the two penalties led to a sack and punt. The Hurricanes took over with 4:11 left and drove 90 yards for the winning touchdown with 16 seconds left.