After their first bye week of the season, the Tar Heels are getting set to take on the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. This will be the Heels’ first home game since their win over Florida A&M, and the first home game against a Power Five team of the season. That is of course if you consider Notre Dame to be lumped in with actual Power Five conferences (sorry, low-hanging fruit).
In all seriousness, the Heels need to have their best game of the season to take down the Irish. Sure, Notre Dame hasn’t looked very good compared to their normal standards, but UNC’s leaky defense could make this game way more difficult than it needs to be, and it ultimately could result in a loss. Defensive coordinator Gene Chizik insisted that no adjustments needed to be made and that they just need to play better, which is why it will be pretty damning if they come off of a bye looking just as bad as they did in their first three games.
As for the offense, Drake Maye will get back star receiver Josh Downs, which will only make this group more dangerous than they were before. Notre Dame’s defense has been pretty good if we’re to focus on the fact that they held #2 Ohio State to just 21 points, so Phil Longo’s group also needs to play their best game so far. There’s no clear magic formula when it comes to attacking them, but thankfully UNC has been good both the run game and in the air, so ultimately we will just have to wait and see what happens.
As always, we will be back after the game with post-game analysis and takes. Until then, Go Heels!