It was a Thursday night game.
The Miami Hurricanes are hosting the North Carolina Tar Heels under the lights.
The Hurricanes did not announce the starting quarterback for the game after announcing the defensive starters. If you do the math, 21 starters were announced until N’Kosi Perry jogged on the field for the opening drive for the Hurricanes.
Perry who was the number three-ranked dual-threat quarterback in the 2017 ESPN 300, made his first career start. It was the Hurricanes defense who outshined his debut.
Miami tied a school record with three defensive touchdowns; Perry threw for a touchdown in his first start and the No. 16 Hurricanes devoured the Tar Heels 47-10.
“It was a sight to see,” Miami defensive coordinator Manny Diaz said. “We always say, turnovers, they seem to come in bunches. The fact that we turned defense into offense on those was quite a sight to see.”
The turnover chain was shinning all night, and it was a party in Miami Gardens.
It was a night of firsts. Perry’s start, along with the defense’s first touchdown of the season. The Hurricanes (4-1, 1-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) forced six turnovers in all. It was Miami’s first time forcing six turnovers in an ACC game since a win over North Carolina State in 2012.
“He was excited to play. I don’t think it was too big for him,” Hurricanes coach Mark Richt said. “He made good decisions, threw the ball extremely well. He got us in the right defenses.”
Miami had more points than plays, 47-46. Deejay Dallas rushed 11 times for 114 yards and a touchdown for the Hurricanes; they won their 12th straight home regular-season game matching the school’s longest in 15 years.
The three defensive touchdowns were a first for Miami since a game against West Virginia on Sept. 23, 2000. The Hurricanes became the first ACC team with three defensive scores in a game since Boston College in 2006, and are now one of two teams nationally this season to do so — along with Akron, which did it against Northwestern earlier this month.
This is Miami’s most convincing win of the season. Perry at quarterback illustrated the talent at wide receiver and depth at the running back position. The first half offensively look impressive, the second half was concerning.
The beat goes on; it is Florida State week. Hurricanes snapped a seven-game losing streak to the Seminoles with a dramatic win last season.
The Tar Heels host Virginia Tech who is coming off an upset loss to Old Dominion.