Thanks to a blocked field goal returned for a touchdown, No. 10 Miami has an early 13-7 lead over North Carolina on Zero Dark Thursday, but the Hurricanes might be facing some long-term problems.
Early in the second quarter, star running back Duke Johnson, playmaking wideout Phillip Dorsett, and safety Rayshawn Jenkins all suffered injuries of unknown severity. Johnson appeared to take a knee to the head in pass protection. Dorsett got hit awkwardly and hard in the knee area while carrying the ball on an end-around and was seen crying on the sideline while having his knee iced.
Compounding the frustration for the Hurricanes' offense, they twice had 1st-and-10 inside the Tar Heels' 10-yard line only to walk away with a pair of field goals. After North Carolina and Miami traded interceptions, Johnson ripped off a 59-yard run that put the Hurricanes on the UNC 12-yard line. But Miami's drive stalled out on 4th-and-goal from the UNC 4 and the team had to settle for a 22-yard Matt Goudis field goal to open scoring.
Later, Stephen Morris connected with Dorsett on a 68-yard bomb to put the Hurricanes on the Tar Heels' seven-yard line, but the quarterback overthrew his target on 3rd-and-goal from the three, and Al Golden opted for the chip shot field goal.
The Miami special teams unit bailed out the offense when Thomas Moore blocked a field goal that would have put North Carolina up 10-6, and Ladarius Gunter returned the ball 67 yards for a touchdown and a 13-7 second quarter Miami lead.
Early on, North Carolina has kept its promise of rotating quarterbacks, with both Bryn Renner and Marquise Williams getting snaps. It was Williams who connected with tight end Eric Ebron for a 71-yard touchdown to give the Tar Heels an early 7-3 lead.