What the experts are predicting: Notre Dame vs. North Carolina

·3 min read

Going into the season, Saturday’s game between Notre Dame and North Carolina was hyped up one to watch. Instead, there is less attention on this game now the Irish aren’t a lock for the College Football Playoff and the Tar Heels have not performed up to preseason expectations. Still, that doesn’t mean we won’t have a good one in South Bend. Things could turn unpredictable despite one being ranked and the other not.

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

CFN Experts

Eric Bolin, RazorbacksWire.com: Notre Dame
Adam Dubbin, GatorsWire.com Notre Dame
Jeff Feyerer, CFN: Notre Dame
Pete Fiutak, CFN: Notre Dame
Phil Harrison, BuckeyesWire.com: Notre Dame
Jeremy Mauss, MWwire.com: Notre Dame
Johnny Rosenstein, SportsBookWire.com: Notre Dame
Nick Shepkowski, FightingIrishWire.com: Notre Dame
Scott Steehn, WinnersandWhiners.com: Notre Dame
Joe Vitale, UGAWire.com: Notre Dame
John Williams, SoonersWire.com: Notre Dame
Clucko the Chicken, CFN: North Carolina

CONSENSUS PICK: Notre Dame

Kerry Miller, Bleacher Report

“Better late than never for Notre Dame’s running game.

After just an awful first five games of the season on the ground, the Fighting Irish have put Kyren Williams to good use, rushing for at least 170 yards and multiple touchdowns as a team in back-to-back wins over Virginia Tech and USC.

Up next is a North Carolina defense allowing nearly 200 rushing yards per game over its last four contests. The main reason it’s the last four and not the last five is because Virginia didn’t need to run the ball while throwing for 553 yards against UNC. And while Notre Dame’s defense hasn’t been exquisite, it should stop Sam Howell enough times to capitalize on that lackluster D.”

Notre Dame 35, North Carolina 31

Brad Crawford and Chris Hummer, 247Sports

Hummer:

“I really don’t like picking North Carolina. It feels like every time I’ve done so they’ve laid an egg (Virginia Tech, Florida State). But coming off a bye week, I really do like the Tar Heels. North Carolina is a flawed team, but it can usually move the ball even against good defenses. And Notre Dame will be without star safety Kyle Hamilton. North Carolina rights the ship a bit after the bye week and knocks the Irish out of playoff contention. … North Carolina 27, Notre Dame 24.”

Crawford:

“This line stinks and I’ll try and hit the middle. Notre Dame is a better team than North Carolina, so why are the Irish only a field goal-favorite in South Bend? Notre Dame remains in New Year’s Six contention with a victory while the Tar Heels hope to repair their reputation during a season that has fallen well short of expectations. … Notre Dame 30, North Carolina 27.”

Other 247Sports predictions

Bill Bender, Sporting News

“The Tar Heels had an extra week to prepare, and they will look to turn the tempo up on the Irish on the road. This is North Carolina’s second true road game of the season, and the Irish are picking up in the running game around Kyren Williams. This line is going to tick up for Notre Dame. Catch it now.”

Notre Dame 34, North Carolina 26

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