Page last updated on Sun Feb 01 11:40:00 EST 2015
10/18/2013 12:55 AM EDT
No. 10 Miami edges North Carolina 27-23
MIAMI FL 27, NORTH CAROLINA 23
By AARON BEARD
AP Sports Writer
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) -- Dallas Crawford knew Miami needed a big
game from him after its top rusher went down to an early injury.
He delivered with a performance that kept the 10th-ranked
Hurricanes unbeaten - barely.
The redshirt sophomore ran for a career-high 137 yards,
including the go-ahead 3-yard touchdown with 16 seconds left
that gave Miami a 27-23 victory over North Carolina on Thursday
Crawford's second short score ended a 90-yard drive by the
Hurricanes (6-0, 2-0 Atlantic Coast Conference), who lost top
rusher Duke Johnson to an early injury. But Crawford topped his
season rushing totals in one game, carrying the ball 33 times
and scoring twice in the final quarter to help the Hurricanes
avoid a big upset against the desperate Tar Heels (1-5, 0-3).
"We're resilient," Crawford said. "We've been through a lot over
the years. It took a long time to get to this point. In years
past, we probably would have lost this game. But it's all about
believing, and that's what we did tonight."
Miami's players certainly had every reason to believe this just
wasn't their night.
Johnson left in the first quarter with an undisclosed injury,
starting a run of injuries that also included starting receiver
Phillip Dorsett suffering an apparent left knee injury that had
him standing on the sideline with crutches by halftime.
There was quarterback Stephen Morris throwing four interceptions
to match his season total.
There was a defense ranked among the nation's best that gave up
a season-high 500 yards and struggled to stop UNC tight end Eric
Yet at the end, the Hurricanes rallied from 10 down early in the
fourth quarter to keep themselves in position for a Coastal
Division crown and an appearance in the ACC championship game -
though they still have games against No. 5 Florida State and No.
19 Virginia Tech.
"There's no turning back for this group right now," Miami coach
Al Golden said. "They're not turning back. There's no
finger-pointing. They're too invested in each other and in what
they've given and what they've sacrificed to turn back.
"I told them all week we were going to have to win this game by
playing until there were four zeros, and that was right until
the very end."
That's when Miami got the stop it needed, with Bryn Renner's
final heave into the end zone from the Miami 28 falling
incomplete on the final play.
It sealed the latest stinging setback for the Tar Heels, who
entered the year with hopes of winning the division but now find
themselves off to their worst start since 2006. They led this
one 23-13 early in the fourth only to see Crawford score twice
in the final 11 1/2 minutes to erase the deficit.
North Carolina was playing only the second Thursday night home
game in program history, breaking out black helmets and uniforms
for a night it billed as "Zero Dark Thursday" all the way back
in April. And the Tar Heels nearly earned their first win
against a top-10 opponent since beating then-No. 4 Miami here on
a last-second field goal in 2004.
Instead, the Hurricanes are 6-0 for the first time since that
"We've got a bunch of guys hurting in that locker room down
there," second-year UNC coach Larry Fedora said. "A bunch of
guys that played their tails off tonight, gave everything they
had, they did everything we asked. ... Just a tough one to
swallow for us right now."
Ebron finished with eight catches for 199 yards - a single-game
record for North Carolina tight end - and a 71-yard
catch-and-run touchdown in the first quarter. But Ebron had just
two catches after halftime, while the Tar Heels settled for
three field goals on drives that pushed inside the 20 on the
Miami got a boost when Ladarius Gunter returned a blocked field
goal 67 yards for a touchdown early in the second quarter.
Meanwhile, Crawford kept the offense moving even as Morris kept
turning the ball over against the Tar Heels' maligned defense.
"Obviously, things went terribly wrong for me offensively,"
Morris said. "Our biggest focus was just trying to put that
behind us and focus on this last drive, really."
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