“Sweet Carolina”

Campus Clash

(2) Notre Dame Fighting Irish at (19) North Carolina Tar Heels

Notre Dame: This is the best I’ve seen them look in quite some time. I know they made the playoffs a few years back, but I think this team is better than that group altogether. For this team to succeed, Ian Book needs to be on his a-game. That was a good segue for my next point. Not many mention Ian when discussing quarterbacks in college football. I get he can be inconsistent at times, but when he’s on, these Fighting Irish are tough to beat. Before their bye, I was curious to see how they’d come out against Boston College, especially after a win against a then top-ranked Clemson team the week before. Teams can still celebrate a big win even in the following week. Their debut year in the ACC has been good to them. Next, they’ll travel to Chapel Hill for a showdown on Friday.

North Carolina: Mack Brown was the perfect hire for this program. They needed someone with experience and championship pedigree. Mack has both of those. With him on the sidelines, this is a program that’s headed in the right direction. This offense is one of the more explosive units in all of college football. The Tar Heels average 7.5 yards per play with a quarterback who’s notoriously known for pushing the football down the field and convert those passes in Sam Howell. Also, they are very balanced in their attack. In other words, they put lots of pressure on any defense. On the other side, the defense isn’t necessarily the strong point of the team. They let anyone just about score on them. They’ll be getting ready for a big-time showdown at home on Friday with Brian Kelly’s team coming to town.

Notre Dame X-Factor: Kyren Williams– He’s such an explosive player for them. I know for a fact he gives defenses fits because you think you have him down, he’s still on his feet fighting for additional yards. I look for the Irish to feed Kyren early on.

North Carolina X-Factor: Tomari Fox– Coming into the season, many coaches for the Tar Heels thought he could become the best defensive player for them. That’s saying a lot considering they also have Chazz Surratt. Tomari can also play inside and outside on that defensive line.

Final Thoughts: Talk about a collision course. That’s exactly what this is. This will be a test for that Tar Heels offense as they face the stingy Notre Dame defense. The Tar Heels defense can’t stop the run. Look for the Irish to feed Williams early on to expose their weakness. This isn’t a wash as many are expecting it to be because North Carolina has the offense to keep themselves in this game.

Prediction: Notre Dame 43 North Carolina 40


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