Well that was no fun. After a solid start, North Carolina ended up getting mostly steamrolled by Notre Dame on Saturday. There’s not a ton to be positive about, and as a result, it’s hard to find a good choice for player of the game for the 45-26 loss.
On the defensive side of things, we can pretty much rule everyone out outright. In addition to the 45 points, they gave up 576 yards to a team that hadn’t topped 400 so far this season. Those yards came at 6.8 yards per play. That number was well over seven following the first two drives where UNC actually got stops. In the second quarter, where the game pretty much changed for good, the Irish’s yards per play was 9.7. Even beyond just the stats, they also racked up the penalties, especially late in the game. While you could maybe quibble with a couple, they were called, and as a result UNC kept allowing Notre Dame to keep drives alive and/or advance down the field. Not to mention, the one turnover that they forced was on a play where Notre Dame was literally about a foot away from scoring another rushing touchdown, only for UNC to recover a fumble in the endzone.
The final stats of the offense aren’t terrible, but it also wasn’t enough. Garbage time made some of the numbers look better, but there are some players who had at least solid games.
Drake Maye ended with 301 yards on 32 attempts and five touchdowns, and ran for another 36 yards. However, three of those scores came with Carolina already down double digits. Antoine Greene was good too, as he caught two of those touchdowns, and ended up with 150 yards on three catches.
Other than them, there’s also not a ton of options on the offensive side of things either. After a nice first drive that ended up going for a touchdown, they didn’t do a ton in the first half, when the game was still in the balance. They only went for 4.5 yards per play in the first half. Not that this is all their fault, but when your defense can’t stop anybody, you need a little bit more than that.
That leaves...someone on special teams, I guess? Ben Kiernan averaged 48.4 yards per punt, that’s fine, I suppose. What a bleak game.