Before the season, I had this game circled as maybe the most talent-rich game of the season. Following some off-field issues and subpar play by the team's stars the shine is somewhat off this game.
The struggles of Tar Heels defensive end Quinton Coples has been noted on this site several times. It's often noted that sits because he's being double teamed so often. I'm not sure that's the only case. Coples has been slow off the line and not overpowering his blocker.
But at least Coples is receiving consistent playing time. That's not the case for UNC pass rusher Donte Paige-Moss. I was convinced, and remain so, that he'll develop into an excellent pass rusher. The trouble is that he's seen his playing time greatly decreased this season. There are reports that he's going to come out after this season, and unless he starts having big games, it would be unwise.
Miami linebacker Sean Spence missed time earlier this season due to suspension, and hasn't looked like the same player. He seems a step slower and less committal to working upfield. For a player with below-average size, Spence has to snow effort and smarts every play. His draft stock is plummeting.
Miami's Lamar Miller is right up there with Trent Richardson of Alabama as the best draft-eligible running back in the nation. He hasn't been chased down by someone like UNC's Zach Brown, maybe the most athletic linebacker in the nation. I have Brown rated as the No. 5 overall player in the country and he'll get plenty of chances to show why today.
Fellow UNC linebacker Kevin Reddick has looked good this season as well and Is another strong possibility to come out early.
Don't underscore cornerback Charles Brown of UNC because he lacks prototypical size. He's really physical and is a great tackler for a corner.