It has been a tough season for the North Carolina Tar Heels, thus far. A team who was picked by some to compete for the top of the Coastal Division has yet to win a conference game and will meet unbeaten Miami in Chapel Hill on Thursday.
Carolina will unveil their alternate black jerseys for the nationally televised prime time game, dubbing the night as, "Zero Dark Thursday".
They will need any sort of advantage possible to defeat the 10th ranked Hurricanes who have seen a resurgence under coach Al Golden. The Canes will attempt to avoid a fate they faced in 2004 when a heavily favored Miami team went into Chapel Hill only to fall after Connor Barth hit a game winning field goal, for North Carolina.
Despite the 1-4 start, the Tar Heels are dangerous, particularly on offense. Bryn Renner brings leadership and potential for big plays at the quarterback position. He has two legitimate weapons in Eric Ebron at tight end and Quinshad Davis at receiver. The pair have combined for 6 touchdown receptions.
North Carolina has struggled finding any consistent running game but hope for a big game from either A.J Blue or Romar Morris.
Meanwhile, Miami brings in a balanced attack led by quarterback Stephen Morris who has thrown 9 touchdown passes. With targets such as Allen Hurns and Stacey Coley, the Tar Heel secondary will be tested.
To complement the passing game, Duke Johnson highlights a solid running attack. Johnson has rushed for 572 yards and 4 touchdowns.
With all of the Miami offensive star power, the defense somewhat goes unnoticed, despite being ranked 9th in the country in scoring defense. When you pair that with an offense who has averaged 45.2 points a game, the young Tar Heel defense will have their hands full.
But in the college game, emotion goes a long way and this is the biggest home game left on the Tar Heel schedule, last chance to make a huge splash. Expect North Carolina to bring a spirited effort.
Prediction: North Carolina by 3