What the experts are predicting: Notre Dame at North Carolina

·4 min read

Notre Dame will attempt to get to .500 for the first time this season Saturday when it visits North Carolina. It’s all part of the quest to still make a respectable bowl game. We’ll see how far they’ve come in a week and whether that particular bowl goal remains a possibility.

Let’s look at what some college football experts, including fellow College Wire sites, are predicting for this game:

Pete Fiutak, College Football News

“Don’t just assume Notre Dame’s offense is as awful as you think.

Forgetting that Marshall couldn’t handle Bowling Green – that’s a great D that pitched a gem in South Bend. Ohio State is Ohio State, and Cal has a defense.

Along with struggling against two mediocre teams – to be nice – and Appalachian State, the North Carolina defense isn’t forcing takeaways.

Notre Dame won’t give the ball away enough to matter, Pyne will be efficient, and the running game will start working for the first time this season in a good, grinding win for Marcus Freeman to build off of.”

Notre Dame 30, North Carolina 27

CFN Experts

Eric Bolin, RazorbacksWire.com: Notre Dame
Evan Bredeson, CornhuskersWire.com: North Carolina
Tony Cosolo, ColoradoBuffaloesWire.com: North Carolina
Jeff Feyerer, CFN: Notre Dame
Pete Fiutak, CFN: Notre Dame
Cami Griffin, LonghornsWire.com: North Carolina
Dan Harralson, VolsWire.com: North Carolina
Phil Harrison, BuckeyesWire.com: North Carolina
Jeremy Mauss, MWwire.com COMING
Kevin McGuire, NittanyLionsWire.com: North Carolina
Big Game Ben Niewoehner, CFN Notre Dame
E, CFN North Carolina
Tyler Nettuno, LSUTigerswire.com North Carolina
Zack Pearson, TarHeelswire.com North Carolina
Johnny Rosenstein, SportsBookWire.com: North Carolina
Nick Shepkowski, FightingIrishWire.com: Notre Dame
Scott Steehn, WinnersandWhiners.com: Notre Dame
Joe Vitale, UGAWire.com: Notre Dame
Clucko the Chicken (a coin flip), CFN: Notre Dame

CONSENSUS PICK: North Carolina

Ralph D. Russo, Associated Press

“Irish offense has been bogged down, but tackling hasn’t been the Tar Heels’ strong suit.”

Notre Dame 31, North Carolina 27

Kerry Miller, Bleacher Report

“The average Notre Dame game this season has featured just 39.7 total points. Conversely, North Carolina won a game three weeks ago in which it allowed Appalachian State to score 40 points in the fourth quarter alone.

In this coin flip of a game, the team that controls the tempo figures to get the W.

To that end, the status of UNC WR Josh Downs is monumental. He missed the last two games with an injury, but he had a pair of touchdowns in the opener after racking up 101 receptions for 1,335 yards in 2021. If he’s good to go, Notre Dame is going to have a rough time trying to keep this offense bottled up.”

North Carolina 34, Notre Dame 27

Juan Jose Rodriguez, Athlon Sports

“Yet another element of intrigue for this matchup: Notre Dame’s offense is averaging 1.57 points per drive this season (60th out of 65 Power 5 teams), while North Carolina’s defense is allowing 2.83 points/drive so far this season (64th out of 65 Power 5 teams). If North Carolina’s offense presents itself as a nearly irresistible force, consider the matchup on the other side of the ball as a manifestation of the stoppable force going up against the movable object.

All in all, Notre Dame began to move in the right direction last week, the offense finding a bit more structure to do its job while the defense shrugged off a dismal showing against Marshall to slow down Cal’s passing game. Continuing that progress will be crucial against an even more potent Tar Heels team that features dynamic playmakers both on the ground and through the air, but which has historically struggled to score against Notre Dame, averaging a little more than 13 points per game throughout the decades in this series. If Notre Dame is going to win this matchup, it will have to be because the defense prevents it from becoming a true barnstorming shootout.it will do so on the strength of its defense while its offense does just enough, rather than by outdueling the hosts in a barnstorming shootout.”

Notre Dame 34, North Carolina 31

Jackson Caudell, All Yellow Jackets

“This is going to be an interesting matchup of a terrible defense that can’t stop anything (North Carolina) vs an offense that can’t score on anyone (Notre Dame). North Carolina has had an off week to prepare for this game, while Notre Dame was struggling to beat Cal last week.

It is going to be clear that North Carolina has the much better quarterback in this game. Drake Maye has been fantastic this season, but this is going to be a tough Notre Dame defense he has to face. With the game at home in Chapel Hill and the decisive advantage at quarterback, North Carolina finds a way to win this one.”

North Carolina 27, Notre Dame 24

Story originally appeared on Fighting Irish Wire