Where: Notre Dame Stadium, South Bend, IN
When: Saturday, November 4th, 2:30 PM
Records: UNC 1-7, 0-5 ACC Notre Dame 7-1
The head says UNC has no chance here. On paper this game has already been decided and all that is required is they actually play the game and record the stats. My head tells me that UNC will go to South Bend and come back to Chapel Hill with their 8th loss of the season probably by an wide margin. And while I do find solace in the fact that UNC's pass defense is ranked a respectable 35th in the nation and they are playing a Notre Dame team which depends on the pass, it is very difficult to overcome certain logical conclusions and the probablity that the Irish will turn to the run more in light of UNC's defensive weaknesses. The wounds of this season run awfully deep and even in beating I-AA Furman it just seemed like this team was wholly incapable of stopping anyone, regardless of how the matchups look on paper. That is the head talking and the head says Notre Dame wins 45-14.
However, the heart of the fan is flush with hope and the undying belief that phrases like "any given Saturday" or "anything could happen" might be true for their team. And while the head points to 1-7 record facing a 7-1 team on the road, the heart cries that maybe Brady Quinn fumbles a snap or two with his back to his own goal leading to a UNC touchdown. The heart believes that perhaps Cam Sexton or Joe Dailey will have the game of their lives by carving up a vulnerable Notre Dame defense and for once not throwing key interceptions. The heart hopes that Ronnie McGill for one day will be Bo Jackson and that the UNC defense will playing totally and utterly out of this world. And the heart holds fast to the notion that somehow with four seconds left in a tied game, Connor Barth will split the uprights from 41 yards out and shock the college football world with an upset of Notre Dame in South Bend. And for one day at least, a UNC team which has been both laughing stock and rival's scorn will earn a season's worth of respectability. That is the beauty of being a sport's fan, to hope and dream, that this Saturday might end with a victory of historic proportions defying the wisdom of convention and the pleas from the head.
So, the head says I am woefully wrong in this prediction, but it is a wrong I am willing to take for all the right reasons.
UNC 23 Notre Dame 20