UNC football lands in USA TODAY Sports misery index

We all knew it was coming eventually.

For three games, the UNC football program was able to live with the poor performance of the defense and win three games to start the year at 3-0. But eventually, the defense would need to get better if the Tar Heels wanted to find consistent success this season.

On Saturday, it was more than just a reality check for UNC. It was an embarrassing showing in allowing Notre Dame to score 42 points and rack up 500-plus yards of offense in Chapel Hill as UNC fell to 3-1.

With that performance, the Tar Heels see themselves in Dan Wolken’s Misery Index on USA TODAY Sports as miserable but not miserable enough:

There was a lot of hype about Mack Brown bringing Gene Chizik back to Chapel Hill to run the defense, given some moments of relative success in that role in 2015 and 2016 as well as their successful partnership years ago at Texas. But this iteration is going poorly to say the least. The Tar Heels gave up 335 yards to Florida A&M, 649 to Appalachian State and 421 to Georgia State, but it didn’t really bit then until Saturday in a 45-32 loss to Notre Dame. The Irish, which hadn’t scored more than 24 points in any game this season, exploded for 576 yards. North Carolina seems to still be a long way from contending for anything significant.

As expected, it was the defensive side of the ball that got the blame here and rightfully so. It’s the only reason why the Tar Heels are in the misery index this week as the offense has held up their end of the bargain so far.

If this defense doesn’t get fixed, the Tar Heels are going to be in trouble..

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Story originally appeared on Tarheels Wire