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The offense moved the ball when it counted and the defense locked in to close it out but the special teams certainly weren’t special for North Carolina in the season-opening win over South Carolina.

With that in mind, Mack Brown plans to make some especially quick changes with Miami visiting Kenan Stadium on Saturday night.

“We’ve changed a lot of personnel on special teams because we were so thin with our suspensions and our injuries last week and some guys didn’t play very well and that was their opportunity,” he said. “We’re going to put some more different guys — older guys, more experienced guys — there.”

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Not only did the special teams mistakes cost the Tar Heels at least three points on a blocked field goal, there were numerous issues in kick coverage that allowed the Gamecocks to break a 24-yard punt return in the first quarter, a 60-yard kick return that led to a quick touchdown in the third and a Bryan Edwards’ 38-yard punt return in the final minutes, surprising the defense when he fielded the ball.

“Entirely too many mistakes in the kicking game on coverage, which put us in a position where we lost field position by 10 or 15 yards and that really hurt us during the ballgame,” Brown said.

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Myles Wolfolk’s second interception bailed the Tar Heels out on the Edwards return, but the poor coverage allowed South Carolina to flip the field and take a few shots at the end zone.

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With Patrice Rene and Dominique Ross having served their suspensions, as well as the ability to use Cam’Ron Kelly in the defensive gameplan, Brown plans to stick more starters into key roles on the kick teams.

It certainly doesn’t hurt that it’ll be about 20 degrees cooler on Saturday night than it was for the 3:30 p.m. kick in Charlotte.

“It’ll be cooler on Saturday night than it was last week so you can also put the Dominique Rosses, the Myles Dorns and Myles Wolfolk, you can put those guys on special teams now that you can more than you could last week,” Brown said. “Especially a (Chazz) Surratt and (Jeremiah) Gemmell because you had no linebackers. We feel like special teams will be a whole lot better this week and they need to be because Miami is so fast.”

In the first week, Carolina is one of five teams to allow a kickoff return of 50 or more yards and one of four teams to allow multiple punt returns of 20 or more yards.

Miami didn’t get much of an opportunity for returns in its opener vs. Florida, but the Hurricanes ranked third last season in punt return average at 19.2 yards as both DeeJay Dallas and Jeff Thomas had touchdowns.

The Hurricanes were also solid on kick returns in 2018, ranking 27 with an average of 23.2 yards.

With that in mind, the Tar Heels won’t be taking chances in the return game this week and plan to utilize veterans and starters.

“You’d like for your younger guys to be able to help with it, but this special teams this weekend will be as good as any we see all year, so it’s really important that we pick it up,” Brown said.