Notre Dame Fighting Irish vs North Carolina Tar Heels prediction, game preview, how to watch. Week 4, Saturday, September 24
How To Watch
- Date: Saturday, September 24
- Game Time: 2:30 ET
- Venue: Kenan Stadium, Chapel Hill, NC
- How To Watch: ABC
- Record: Notre Dame (1-2), North Carolina (3-0)
- Online streaming: You can also tune in online with FuboTV (Try for free.)
Why Notre Dame Will Win
Is that the turning point? Was the broken up Hail Mary and the collective sigh of relief the moment when the pressure valve was released and this Irish team can start playing like it’s supposed to?
Fortunately, North Carolina might be the perfect cure for an ailing offense.
The Irish can’t move the chains, can’t run the ball, and can’t get anything consistently moving. However, the passing game was sharper and more accurate with Drew Pyne in least week – 17-of-23 for 150 yards and two scores – and there’s too much talent up front to not be better.
Florida A&M threw on the North Carolina defense. Appalachian State did everything it wanted to late against it, and Georgia State was able to come up with 421 yards of total offense.
The Tar Heels are 123rd in the nation in total defense, last among ACC teams in scoring D, and not to school shame, but again … Florida A&M, Appalachian State, Georgia State.
The Irish need to get going in this. However …
Why North Carolina Will Win
Maybe Notre Dame really just can’t score.
Maybe this is it. Maybe the team really is just this weak offensively, and that means it’s not going to take much for the rested Tar Heels to put this away.
QB Drake Maye is hitting everything – including a goofy barb against NC State (“People who go to State just can’t get into Carolina”) the irreversibly-depressed world labeled as “inappropriate” – making 74% of his throws with 11 touchdown passes and just one pick.
Star WR Josh Downs should be back after suffering a shoulder injury, the running game that’s been amazing should at least take some of the pressure off, and the offense that’s averaging 51 points per game should be a problem.
Along with the great O, North Carolina has another weapon – punter Ben Kiernan. The Tar Heels lead the nation in net punting. Force the Irish to go on long marches, and assume a whole lot of midfield stalls.
What’s Going To Happen
Don’t just assume Notre Dame’s offense is as awful as you think.
Forgetting that Marshall couldn’t handle Bowling Green – that’s a great D that pitched a gem in South Bend. Ohio State is Ohio State, and Cal has a defense.
Along with struggling against two mediocre teams – to be nice – and Appalachian State, the North Carolina defense isn’t forcing takeaways.
Notre Dame won’t give the ball away enough to matter, Pyne will be efficient, and the running game will start working for the first time this season in a good, grinding win for Marcus Freeman to build off of.
Notre Dame vs North Carolina Prediction, Line
Notre Dame 30, North Carolina 27
Line: North Carolina -1.5, o/u: 55.5
ATS Confidence out of 5: 2
Notre Dame vs North Carolina Must See Rating (out of 5): 4