The ACC Coastal division was still within reach.
After a heart-stopping victory against Duke and a thrilling win against Virginia, Miami fans had begun to think it was meant to be.
It had been just three weeks since Miami fired Al Golden as their head coach, but they looked like a different team; A team that could handle any challenge thrown their way.
But then, there was North Carolina.
A team with a national championship winning defensive coordinator, and a roster that was undefeated in the conference after nine consecutive victories. Led by 5th year senior Marquise Williams, the Tar Heels came in determined to burst Miami’s bubble.
And that’s exactly what North Carolina did, in embarrassing fashion.
After a 66 point offensive outing against Duke last week, the Tar Heels put together an encore performance. With nearly 200 more rushing yards than the ‘Canes, North Carolina rolled to a 59-21 victory in front of their home crowd.
They had successfully burst Miami’s bubble and brought them to reality.
During the Miami Hurricanes’ national championship runs they did the taunting. Whether it was Randal Hill shooting air pistols out of the tunnel, or Jessie Armstead thrusting his arms back and forth after a sack, the ‘Canes did the talking.
But on Saturday afternoon, it was the Tar Heels who mocked the Hurricanes.
After a touchdown run in the first quarter, North Carolina quarterback Marquise Williams made it known that Miami’s run was over. With safety Rashawn Jenkins behind him, Williams flipped “The U” upside down and looked toward the crowd.
Immediately after the motion, Miami fans reacted.
Marquise Williams is super disrespectful…i am adding him to my list of players that I intensely dislike…he's just a heel!
— Sonia M. Gonzalez (@smg9891) November 14, 2015
I hate Marquise Williams #UNC
— L (@ojscooter) November 14, 2015
Despite all the tradition and excellence associated with the University; however, fans should not expect anything less than the taunting.
Miami has struggled mightily over the last decade, and has yet to represent the coastal in an ACC Championship game. The problem may be gone in Miami fan’s minds with the departure of Al Golden, but his imprint on the program still remains.
Two times this season Miami has gotten bullied by a conference opponent, and both times Miami’s defense gave up nearly 60 points. On Saturday night, it was apparent that Miami had neither the ability nor stamina to compete with a conference powerhouse.
Like many years over the last decade, Miami walked into a big matchup with hopes of a division title, and like every one of those years they fell short.
Instead of leaving with a sense of confidence down the stretch, the ‘Canes left that bitter night in Chapel Hill with the realization that little progress had been made.
Game Prediction: The wheels fall off the wagon against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. The Yellow Jackets are not bowl eligible, but their offensive attack is too much for the Hurricanes to handle. Miami does not play with the same energy they did in the Duke game, struggles to put up points. Like the Yellow Jackets did last year, Georgia Tech puts up over 30 points on a struggling Miami defense. The nightmare continues for the Hurricanes.
Final Score: Georgia Tech 34 Miami 17