Despite what the final score was and how the game stats read, the defense was probably the better unit for UNC in their loss to Notre Dame. They ended up allowing 487 yards, but there was only so much they could do having to spend that much time on the field with the offense doing nothing.
Before things got out of hand, there were a couple moments for UNC that looked like they had the potential to get the Tar Heels within striking distance. Two of them came on interceptions from Myles Dorn.
The North Carolina secondary hasn’t exactly been the team’s strength this season, but defending the pass was probably the best thing the Tar Heels did against Notre Dame. They held quarterback Ian Book to 146 yards on 17-31 attempts, Dorn leading the way with his two interceptions.
The first came late in the first half with UNC down seven. He picked off a Book pass at Notre Dame’s 47 and set the Tar Heels up in opposing territory with 3:39 left in the half. UNC’s only touchdown of the game come on the next drive.
Dorn’s second interception came early in the second half. Notre Dame was now up 19-7 and was driving towards another potential score. His pick set them up deep in UNC’s own half of the field, but at that point a touchdown would have gotten them right back in the game.
The problem was, the offense didn’t really take advantage of the turnovers. They did score following the first, but a later drive that half ended in a safety and sent them into halftime down nine.
Besides the interceptions, he also finished with nine tackles, and broke up one other pass attempt.
There have been games this season where the defense has deserved a decent amount of the blame. Despite the final results of the Notre Dame game, it’s difficult to fault them too much. Myles Dorn and the defense gave it a pretty good effort, it just wasn’t enough.