Friday, December 15, 2017
Colleges

Hurricanes wary of UNC's quick-strike capabilities

CORAL GABLES — In some ways, when Miami faces North Carolina tonight, the No. 10 Hurricanes will face an opponent that looks a little bit like they do.

No, the Tar Heels aren't ranked, as they are coming off three losses in a row, but Miami coach Al Golden sees playmakers on the UNC roster, including strong-armed QB Bryn Renner and TE Eric Ebron. And like Miami, North Carolina can move the ball and score quickly.

North Carolina has 11 scoring drives of three minutes or less during its first five games.

"We're not uptempo like these guys. These guys are warp-speed," Golden said. "… It's hard to replicate that from the scout team."

Renner threw for a career-high 366 yards during his last start before a foot injury, a 55-31 loss to East Carolina on Sept. 28. Ebron averages 14.5 yards on his 23 catches and has two touchdowns.

UCF: QBs on stage

ORLANDO — Friday's matchup between UCF and No. 8 Louisville will feature two quarterbacks, one a bit more well-known than the other.

The Cardinals are led by Heisman candidate Teddy Bridgewater, who will test a young Knights secondary.

But UCF coach George O'Leary said he expects Blake Bortles to play with excitement. "It's like any sport, you get pumped up if you're going against (another) great center in basketball," O'Leary said.

Bortles' nine touchdown passes are half as many as Bridgewater, but he's feeling more in command of the Knights' offense with just three interceptions.

"I'm not necessarily playing against Teddy Bridgewater, but it is very cool to play against a quarterback of his caliber," he said.

Associated Press

UF: Issues with Mizzou

GAINESVILLE — Although No. 14 Missouri will be without QB James Franklin (shoulder), the No. 22 Gators expect to face a similar style of spread offense under redshirt freshman QB Maty Mauk.

Florida also must prepare for elite receivers L'Damian Washington and Dorial Green-Beckham, who are both in the top 10 in the SEC in receiving yards.

"Tough matchups down the field," Florida coach Will Muschamp said. They're going to make you play in space."

Landon Watnick, Times correspondent

USF: Line work

TAMPA — With his most mobile quarterback (Steven Bench) still day to day with a knee injury, offensive coordinator Walt Wells is spending the bye week addressing USF's inconsistent pass protection.

The Bulls are tied for 97th in Division I-A in sacks allowed (2.67 per game) and tied for 77th in tackles for loss allowed (6.17).

"I'd really like to sew up our protection inside," said Wells, who also is seeking better push in a run game averaging 120.3 yards. "I think our guards have got to do a better job of protecting. I think they've gotten better, but we can't lose one-on-one battles."

Joey Knight, Times staff writer

Comments

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