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Notre Dame Fighting Irish vs. North Carolina Tar Heels Pick & Prediction NOV 27TH 2020

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A week off might have been good for No. 2 Notre Dame, but the Fighting Irish must return to action ready for more challenges.

"There are still some things out there for us that we need to get better," coach Brian Kelly said. "Get ready for this stretch drive because it's going to be a tough one. A lot work left for this football team."

A matchup with No. 25 North Carolina comes next for Notre Dame on Friday at Kenan Stadium in Chapel Hill, N.C.

"We definitely understand this is a big opportunity for our team and it's a tremendous challenge against a team like Notre Dame," North Carolina quarterback Sam Howell said. "We know the impact a win like this can have on a program. It's definitely a game we want to win and we're going to put in all the work."

With three games remaining, Notre Dame (8-0, 7-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) still has work to do to qualify for the ACC championship game. Clemson and Miami, both with one loss, are in the mix, while North Carolina (6-2, 6-2) can stay in contention by defeating the Irish.

Notre Dame and North Carolina have similar firepower, though that's often produced in varying fashions.

In its most recent game, North Carolina wiped out a 21-point second-half hole to overcome visiting Wake Forest 59-53 on Nov. 14. Later that day, Notre Dame followed its conquering of then-No. 1 Clemson by winning 45-31 at Boston College.

Howell posted a school-record 550 passing yards against Wake Forest.

"If you look at them, certainly the first thing is the big-chunk plays," Kelly said. "... Eliminating the big-chunk plays, making them earn it down the field, I think is job (No.) 1. They have schemes for everything. We have to do a good job of keeping them to minimum gains. They're going to move the ball."

Kelly said the Irish continue to evolve at the cornerback position, which includes true freshman Clarence Lewis on one side. In order to keep the Tar Heels in check, controlling the line of scrimmage will be important.

"We still have to work a rotation to get a pass rush," Kelly said.

Notre Dame limits opponents to an ACC-best 85.1 rushing yards per game. North Carolina running backs Javonte Williams (108.5) and Michael Carter (100.9) both average more than that on the ground individually. Williams has a league-high 18 touchdowns, 15 coming on the ground.

Howell tops the ACC with 338 yards per game of total offense and 23 touchdown passes.

"We definitely have a lot of confidence that we can score as many points as it takes to win," Howell said. "We are going to have a really good plan."

Notre Dame quarterback Ian Book has thrown for 11 touchdowns with one interception. Irish running back Kyren Williams has posted 97.1 rushing yards per game.

North Carolina has given up some large point totals. The Tar Heels could have some new looks this week.

"We're also throwing in some wrinkles in practice to make sure we're on top of everything," linebacker Jeremiah Gemmel said. "Notre Dame likes to attack your weaknesses, and we've seen that on tape throughout the year."

Notre Dame will have adjustments to make on the offensive line.

Four-year starting right guard Tommy Kraemer underwent an appendectomy and will miss the North Carolina game, according to reports out of South Bend, Ind. Notre Dame is already without center Jarrett Patterson because of a broken foot.

This is North Carolina's final ACC home game, though the Tar Heels will attempt to play a nonleague home game next week against Western Carolina.

That game, which was added to the schedule after the Tar Heels' attempts to play nonconference contests in September were derailed, was pushed up from Dec. 11 to Dec. 5 amid numerous rescheduled ACC games.

The Tar Heels play at Miami on Dec. 12.

--Field Level Media

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Notre Dame Fighting Irish

North Carolina Tar Heels

alignments not yet available

Notre Dame Fighting Irish

North Carolina Tar Heels

  • Match Start
  • Period 1
  • MIN 1
    • scoring-play
    • Touchdown
    • Pass
    • 4 Yards
    • Pass Receiver: Kyren Williams
    • Conv Kicker: Jonathan Doerer
    • Passer: Ian Book
  • MIN 2
    • scoring-play
    • Touchdown
    • Rush
    • 1 Yards
    • Rusher: Sam Howell
    • Conv Kicker: Grayson Atkins
  • MIN 5
    • scoring-play
    • Touchdown
    • Rush
    • 2 Yards
    • Conv Kicker: Jonathan Doerer
    • Rusher: Kyren Williams
  • MIN 9
    • scoring-play
    • Touchdown
    • Pass
    • 6 Yards
    • Passer: Sam Howell
    • Pass Receiver: Emery Simmons
    • Conv Kicker: Grayson Atkins
  • Period 2
  • MIN 0
    • scoring-play
    • Field Goal
    • 32 Yards
    • FG Kicker: Jonathan Doerer
  • MIN 1
    • scoring-play
    • Field Goal
    • 42 Yards
    • FG Kicker: Grayson Atkins
  • Period 3
  • MIN 7
    • scoring-play
    • Touchdown
    • Rush
    • 13 Yards
    • Conv Kicker: Jonathan Doerer
    • Rusher: Ben Skowronek
  • Period 4
  • MIN 1
    • scoring-play
    • Touchdown
    • Rush
    • 1 Yards
    • Conv Kicker: Jonathan Doerer
    • Rusher: Kyren Williams
  • Match End

GAMES

Last 10

W 80% L 20%
8 2
  • @Alabama L 14 - 31
  • Clemson L 34 - 10
  • Syracuse W 21 - 45
  • @North Carolina W 31 - 17
  • @Boston College W 45 - 31
  • Clemson W 40 - 47
  • @Georgia Tech W 31 - 13
  • @Pittsburgh W 45 - 3
  • Louisville W 7 - 12
  • Florida State W 26 - 42
W 60% L 40%
6 4
  • Texas A&M L 41 - 27
  • @Miami W 62 - 26
  • Western Carolina W 9 - 49
  • Notre Dame L 31 - 17
  • Wake Forest W 53 - 59
  • @Duke W 56 - 24
  • @Virginia L 41 - 44
  • NC State W 21 - 48
  • @Florida State L 28 - 31
  • Virginia Tech W 45 - 56

Last Meetings

  • Fighting Irish @ Tar Heels 31-17
  • Fighting Irish @ Tar Heels 33-10
  • Tar Heels @ Fighting Irish 43-50
  • Fighting Irish @ Tar Heels 24-29
  • Tar Heels @ Fighting Irish 26-45

Atlantic Coast

AtlanticWL DPRCGBHOMEAWAYPAST L10
Clemson Tigers101 0.9090.00.00.0 6-04-19-0-1
NC State Wolfpack83 0.7272.00.00.0 5-13-27-0-3
Boston College Eagles65 0.5454.00.00.0 4-22-35-0-5
Wake Forest Demon Deacons44 0.5004.50.00.0 3-11-34-0-4
Louisville Cardinals47 0.3646.00.00.0 4-20-53-0-7
Florida State Seminoles36 0.3336.00.00.0 3-20-43-0-6
Syracuse Orange110 0.0919.00.00.0 1-50-51-0-9
CoastalWL DPRCGBHOMEAWAYPAST L10
Miami Hurricanes82 0.8000.00.00.0 4-14-18-0-2
North Carolina Tar Heels83 0.7270.50.00.0 5-13-27-0-3
Pittsburgh Panthers65 0.5452.50.00.0 4-22-35-0-5
Virginia Cavaliers55 0.5003.00.00.0 5-10-45-0-5
Virginia Tech Hokies56 0.4553.50.00.0 3-32-34-0-6
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets37 0.3005.00.00.0 2-41-33-0-7
Duke Blue Devils29 0.1826.50.00.0 1-41-52-0-8

Big Ten

EastWL DPRCGBHOMEAWAYPAST L10
Ohio State Buckeyes60 01.0000.00.00.0 4-02-06-0-0
Indiana Hoosiers61 0.8570.50.00.0 3-03-16-0-1
Penn State Nittany Lions45 0.4443.50.00.0 2-32-24-0-5
Rutgers Scarlet Knights36 0.3334.50.00.0 0-53-13-0-6
Maryland Terrapins23 0.4003.50.00.0 1-11-22-0-3
Michigan Wolverines24 0.3334.00.00.0 0-32-12-0-4
Michigan State Spartans25 0.2864.50.00.0 1-31-22-0-5

Conference USA

EastWL DPRCGBHOMEAWAYPAST L10
Marshall Thundering Herd72 0.7780.00.00.0 5-22-07-0-2
Florida Atlantic Owls53 0.6251.50.00.0 4-01-35-0-3
Western Kentucky Hilltoppers56 0.4553.00.00.0 3-22-45-0-5
Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders36 0.3334.00.00.0 0-33-33-0-6
Charlotte 49ers24 0.3333.50.00.0 1-11-32-0-4
Florida International Panthers05 0.0005.00.00.0 0-30-20-0-5

Mid-American

EastWL DPRCGBHOMEAWAYPAST L10
Buffalo Bulls51 0.8330.00.00.0 3-12-05-0-1
Kent State Golden Flashes31 0.7501.00.00.0 2-01-13-0-1
Miami (Ohio) RedHawks21 0.6671.50.00.0 1-01-12-0-1
Ohio Bobcats21 0.6671.50.00.0 2-00-12-0-1
Akron Zips15 0.1674.00.00.0 1-20-31-0-5
Bowling Green Falcons05 0.0004.50.00.0 0-20-30-0-5

Southeastern

EastWL DPRCGBHOMEAWAYPAST L10
Florida Gators83 0.7270.00.00.0 4-24-17-0-3
Georgia Bulldogs72 0.7780.00.00.0 3-14-17-0-2
Missouri Tigers55 0.5002.50.00.0 4-21-35-0-5
Kentucky Wildcats46 0.4003.50.00.0 3-21-44-0-6
Tennessee Volunteers37 0.3004.50.00.0 1-42-33-0-7
South Carolina Gamecocks28 0.2005.50.00.0 1-41-42-0-8
Vanderbilt Commodores09 0.0007.00.00.0 0-50-40-0-9

Sun Belt

EastWL DPRCGBHOMEAWAYPAST L10
Coastal Carolina Chanticleers110 01.0000.00.00.0 6-05-010-0-0
Appalachian State Mountaineers83 0.7273.00.00.0 5-13-27-0-3
Georgia Southern Eagles75 0.5834.50.00.0 6-11-46-0-4
Georgia St. Panthers54 0.5565.00.00.0 3-22-25-0-4
Troy Trojans56 0.4556.00.00.0 2-33-34-0-6

Mountain West

MountainWL DPRCGBHOMEAWAYPAST L10
Boise State Broncos52 0.7140.00.00.0 2-13-15-0-2
Air Force Falcons33 0.5001.50.00.0 2-11-23-0-3
Wyoming Cowboys24 0.3332.50.00.0 1-11-32-0-4
New Mexico Lobos25 0.2863.00.00.0 2-10-42-0-5
Colorado State Rams13 0.2502.50.00.0 1-00-31-0-3
Utah State Aggies15 0.1673.50.00.0 1-30-21-0-5

Pacific-12

NorthWL DPRCGBHOMEAWAYPAST L10
Stanford Cardinal42 0.6670.00.00.0 0-14-14-0-2
Oregon Ducks42 0.6670.00.00.0 2-02-24-0-2
Washington Huskies31 0.7500.00.00.0 3-10-03-0-1
Oregon State Beavers25 0.2862.50.00.0 2-30-22-0-5
California Golden Bears13 0.2502.00.00.0 1-10-21-0-3
Washington State Cougars13 0.2502.00.00.0 0-11-21-0-3
SouthWL DPRCGBHOMEAWAYPAST L10
Southern California Trojans51 0.8330.00.00.0 2-13-05-0-1
Colorado Buffaloes41 0.8000.50.00.0 2-12-04-0-1
Utah Utes32 0.6001.50.00.0 2-11-13-0-2
UCLA Bruins34 0.4292.50.00.0 2-21-23-0-4
Arizona State Sun Devils22 0.5002.00.00.0 0-12-12-0-2
Arizona Wildcats05 0.0004.50.00.0 0-30-20-0-5

American Athletic

TeamsWL DPRCGBHOMEAWAYPAST L10
Cincinnati Bearcats90 01.0000.00.00.0 7-02-09-0-0
Memphis Tigers73 0.7002.50.00.0 6-01-37-0-3
Southern Methodist Mustangs73 0.7002.50.00.0 3-14-27-0-3
Tulsa Golden Hurricane62 0.7502.50.00.0 3-03-26-0-2
Central Florida Knights63 0.6673.00.00.0 2-24-16-0-3
Tulane Green Wave65 0.5454.00.00.0 3-23-35-0-5
Houston Cougars34 0.4295.00.00.0 2-21-23-0-4
East Carolina Pirates36 0.3336.00.00.0 1-32-33-0-6
Navy Midshipmen37 0.3006.50.00.0 1-42-33-0-7
Temple Owls16 0.1437.00.00.0 1-20-41-0-6
South Florida Bulls18 0.1118.00.00.0 1-30-51-0-8

Big 12

TeamsWL DPRCGBHOMEAWAYPAST L10
Oklahoma Sooners82 0.8000.00.00.0 5-13-18-0-2
Iowa State Cyclones83 0.7270.50.00.0 5-23-18-0-2
Oklahoma State Cowboys73 0.7001.00.00.0 4-13-27-0-3
Texas Longhorns63 0.6671.50.00.0 3-23-16-0-3
Texas Christian Horned Frogs64 0.6002.00.00.0 3-33-16-0-4
West Virginia Mountaineers54 0.5562.50.00.0 5-00-45-0-4
Kansas State Wildcats46 0.4004.00.00.0 2-32-34-0-6
Texas Tech Red Raiders46 0.4004.00.00.0 4-20-44-0-6
Baylor Bears27 0.2225.50.00.0 2-20-52-0-7
Kansas Jayhawks09 0.0007.50.00.0 0-40-50-0-9

Independents I-A

TeamsWL DPRCGBHOMEAWAYPAST L10
Brigham Young Cougars101 0.9090.00.00.0 7-03-19-0-1
Notre Dame Fighting Irish101 0.9090.00.00.0 6-14-09-0-1
Liberty Flames91 0.9000.50.00.0 6-03-19-0-1
Army Black Knights92 0.8181.00.00.0 8-01-28-0-2
Massachusetts Minutemen04 0.0006.50.00.0 0-00-40-0-4

Big Ten

WestWL DPRCGBHOMEAWAYPAST L10
Iowa Hawkeyes62 0.7500.00.00.0 3-13-16-0-2
Northwestern Wildcats62 0.7500.00.00.0 4-02-26-0-2
Wisconsin Badgers33 0.5002.00.00.0 2-11-23-0-3
Minnesota Golden Gophers34 0.4292.50.00.0 1-22-23-0-4
Nebraska Cornhuskers35 0.3753.00.00.0 1-22-33-0-5
Purdue Boilermakers24 0.3333.00.00.0 1-31-12-0-4
Illinois Fighting Illini26 0.2504.00.00.0 0-32-32-0-6

Conference USA

WestWL DPRCGBHOMEAWAYPAST L10
Texas-San Antonio Roadrunners74 0.6360.00.00.0 5-12-36-0-4
UAB Blazers63 0.6670.00.00.0 3-13-26-0-3
Louisiana Tech Bulldogs54 0.5561.00.00.0 3-12-35-0-4
North Texas Mean Green45 0.4442.00.00.0 2-42-14-0-5
Texas El Paso Miners35 0.3752.50.00.0 2-11-43-0-5
Southern Miss Golden Eagles37 0.3003.50.00.0 2-51-23-0-7
Rice Owls23 0.4002.00.00.0 0-22-12-0-3

Mid-American

WestWL DPRCGBHOMEAWAYPAST L10
Ball State Cardinals61 0.8570.00.00.0 3-03-16-0-1
Western Michigan Broncos42 0.6671.50.00.0 2-12-14-0-2
Toledo Rockets42 0.6671.50.00.0 2-12-14-0-2
Central Michigan Chippewas33 0.5002.50.00.0 1-22-13-0-3
Eastern Michigan Eagles24 0.3333.50.00.0 1-21-22-0-4
Northern Illinois Huskies06 0.0005.50.00.0 0-30-30-0-6

Mountain West

WestWL DPRCGBHOMEAWAYPAST L10
San Jose State Spartans70 01.0000.00.00.0 5-02-07-0-0
Nevada Wolf Pack62 0.7501.50.00.0 4-02-26-0-2
San Diego State Aztecs44 0.5003.50.00.0 3-11-34-0-4
Hawaii Rainbow Warriors44 0.5003.50.00.0 3-21-24-0-4
Fresno State Bulldogs33 0.5003.50.00.0 1-12-23-0-3
UNLV Rebels06 0.0006.50.00.0 0-30-30-0-6

Southeastern

WestWL DPRCGBHOMEAWAYPAST L10
Alabama Crimson Tide110 01.0000.00.00.0 5-06-010-0-0
Texas A&M Aggies81 0.8892.00.00.0 4-04-18-0-1
Auburn Tigers64 0.6004.50.00.0 4-12-36-0-4
Louisiana State Tigers55 0.5005.50.00.0 2-23-35-0-5
Mississippi Rebels45 0.4446.00.00.0 2-32-24-0-5
Arkansas Razorbacks37 0.3007.50.00.0 2-31-43-0-7
Mississippi State Bulldogs37 0.3007.50.00.0 2-31-43-0-7

Sun Belt

WestWL DPRCGBHOMEAWAYPAST L10
UL Lafayette Ragin' Cajuns91 0.9000.00.00.0 3-16-09-0-1
South Alabama Jaguars47 0.3645.50.00.0 2-42-33-0-7
Arkansas St. Red Wolves47 0.3645.50.00.0 3-21-54-0-6
Texas State Bobcats210 0.1678.00.00.0 1-51-52-0-8
UL Monroe Warhawks010 0.0009.00.00.0 0-50-50-0-10

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