CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) — Jacory Harris had an opportunity to look at his statistics but he declined. He already knew everything he needed to know.
Harris passed for 267 yards and three touchdowns to help Miami beat North Carolina 30-24 on Saturday.
“I'm just happy we got the W,” Harris said.
The Hurricanes (3-3, 1-2 Atlantic Coast Conference) nearly lost a 24-point lead, surviving a sluggish second half for their first road win under Al Golden.
Miami, which gained 263 of its 311 total yards in the first half, avoided the first 0-3 start in league play in program history. The Hurricanes also picked up their first win in five tries at North Carolina.
“This was very key,” linebacker Sean Spence said. “We feel like we're back in the ACC race now.”
Miami's Lamar Miller entered the game as the ACC's leading rusher but his streak of five consecutive 100-yard games ended. He managed just 29 yards on 16 carries.
Miami found other ways to move the ball, jumping on the Tar Heels for a 17-0 lead after one quarter. North Carolina had outscored its opponents by a combined margin of 42-3 in the first quarter before the Hurricanes rolled into town.
“We didn't want to be their next victim,” Golden said. “I think we started fast but you still have to execute. I think we did that today.”
The fact that the Hurricanes scored on their first five possessions helped them overcome a second half in which they punted five consecutive times and managed just two first downs. Harris passed for 233 yards in the first half, the highest output for a half in his career.
“Coach told us we wanted to score five times in the first half,” Harris said. “That was our goal. But we wanted five touchdowns.”
Photo: Jacory Harris