By Megan Walsh, GoHeels.com
Rather than preparing for a specific attribute of Saturday's matchup against Miami, coach Larry Fedora and the Carolina football team took time this week to be selfish.
"This week it's just been about us," Fedora said following Wednesday's practice. "It's about our preparation and making sure that we prepare the way we have the last three weeks. If we do that, I think everything else will take care of itself."
For the Tar Heel defense, that means making the Hurricanes one-dimensional.
Fedora pointed to Miami's speed at every position as the biggest challenge for Carolina this weekend. Both Miami's passing and running game will be supported by a strong offensive line that Fedora called the best North Carolina has faced all year.
UNC's energy level has continued to climb following a home ACC win against Virginia Tech last weekend. Now Carolina's test will be whether or not that effort can continue in Miami Gardens.
"We're going on the road," Fedora said. "It's going to be about our energy level and our mental attitude. We've got to take that from home and do it on the road."
But for players like Jabari Price and Tre Boston, a trip to Miami is anything but going far from home.
Price, a Pompano Beach, Fla., native, said playing against the U will be a welcomed homecoming for the team's Florida players.
"It gives me that extra push mentally and physically to go out there and make plays," Price said. "I know they're going to come out and try to hit us in the mouth, and I know some of the guys on that team. You've just got to go out there and compete and show them what we're made of."
He expects family and friends will add up to no less than 48 people for him alone in the stands. Boston, who hails from Ft. Myers, Fla., also said he expects more than 20 people to show up and support the Tar Heels.
With bragging rights on the line, putting on a show for those family and friends is more than enough motivation for Boston.
"When I first came up here and they told me, 'us vs. Duke, us vs. State,' I didn't really understand those," Boston said. "Now I do, but to me going back home is something special - me against the guys down there, me against family.
"When you talk to your family down there they only care if you beat Florida State or you beat Miami. Coming down there and playing this game is really big for me. Hopefully we'll get a 'W.'"