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UNC and Notre Dame both come in to next week’s game with reasons to be nervous

Both fanbases can’t be feeling 100% confident about next Saturday, but who has it worse?

NCAA Football: California at Notre Dame Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

Tar Heel fans were as calm as they could reasonably hope to be this weekend on account of a bye. Plenty of fingernails have already been chewed through with closer-than-expected wins over App State and Georgia State. What would happen when a real top-25 team comes to town?

Preseason #5 Notre Dame should have been the perfect bogeyman, but the Irish have not been off to the best start. Nobody will fault them for losing to Ohio State in Columbus, but the Marshall loss at home had folks taking notice.

Notre Dame righted the ship with a win over Cal, but were in the same shoes Carolina wore in Boone—sweaty and nervous. The Irish had the added agony of watching a pick-six taken off the board and were then subjected to some endzone nonsense that could have ended up going the other way:

So does either team feel confident about their matchup next Saturday in Chapel Hill? Carolina will be in front of a sell-out crowd at Kenan Stadium and have been home monsters for the past two seasons. The Heels are undefeated, even if it doesn’t feel that way sometimes. And UNC could see Josh Downs return after sitting out three weeks with a knee injury suffered in the home opener against Florida A&M.

Notre Dame quarterback Drew Pyne didn’t exactly set the world on fire with his performance yesterday (17/23 passing, 150 yards, 2 touchdowns) and now has this video to follow him around on the internet for the rest of his life:

But all it takes for a pedestrian quarterback to turn into a superstar is one game against Carolina’s suspect secondary, so we have that to look forward to.

All told, I have no idea how optimistic or full of dread to be for next weekend’s game. Both teams are bad enough to absolutely blow this game. But we do have Drake Maye, which makes me feel surprisingly confident. If you asked me right now, I’d say that Carolina will look threatening for large periods of the game, only to lose at the last minute due to some Irish miracle, reminiscent of our famous men’s volleyball loss to Yale.

So grab the Pepto and buckle up. This college football season has been an anxiety roller coaster and doesn’t look like it’ll end anytime soon. And at least we beat App, even after their furious 40-point fourth quarter rally. That win is looking better by the day. And the Mountaineers aren’t immune to this crazy season by any means. They’re one of the main culprits: