Redshirt freshman quarterback N’Kosi Perry passed for only 125 yards in his starting debut, but No. 16 Miami made that stand up by tying a school record with three defensive touchdowns in a 47-10 victory over North Carolina on Thursday night in Miami Gardens, Fla.
The Hurricanes (4-1, 1-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) came up with six takeaways that led to 24 points and held the Tar Heels (1-3, 1-1) scoreless in the second half.
Miami defensive end Joe Jackson and striker Romeo Finley both returned interceptions for touchdowns, with Finley’s covering 83 yards on the first play of the fourth quarter.
Defensive end Jonathan Garvin also scored for Miami’s defense by recovering a fumble forced by linebacker Shaq Quarterman and returning it 9 yards for a touchdown. It marked the first time since a 47-10 win at West Virginia on Sept. 23, 2000, that the Hurricanes scored three defensive touchdowns in a game.
Cornerback Jhavonte Dean also returned an interception 25 yards in the closing seconds of the first half to set up a Bubba Baxa’s 28-yard field goal for a 33-10 Miami lead as time ran out.
The six turnovers were one more than North Carolina’s total for the season entering the game.
Quarterback Chazz Surratt, seeing his first playing time after serving a three-game suspension to start the season, threw all three of Carolina’s interceptions while sharing time with starter Nathan Elliott.
Perry was intercepted once in going 8-for-12. He threw a 5-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Darrell Langham in the second quarter.
North Carolina had some success early running the ball against Miami, rushing for 140 yards in the first half. However, the Tar Heels managed only 215 rushing yards for the game and came up empty on four drives into Miami territory in the second half. They turned the ball over on two turnovers (fumble and interception) and on downs, and Freeman Jones missed a 48-yard field goal attempt.
Hurricanes running back DeeJay Dallas produced 114 yards and a touchdown on 11 carries.
—Field Level Media