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5 things to watch for in UNC football vs Notre Dame matchup

The North Carolina Tar Heels will host Notre Dame this Saturday with their unblemished record on the line.

UNC enters this match fresh off a bye week for what was once considered their most formidable opponent this season. However, after mediocre play from the fighting Irish, a moral victory in a close loss will not move the needle anymore for UNC. They will need a win to prove they are the real deal.

Notre Dame’s stock has dropped tremendously. Entering this year 5th in the Associated Press poll, they opened the season with the expected loss to Ohio State in week one. Then they became the face of the season’s biggest upset, falling short 26-21 to Marshall.

To make matters worse for the Fighting Irish, they will take the field this weekend without their starting quarterback Tyler Buchner. Notre Dame’s struggles this season only hurt North Carolina, whose record has already been questioned due to opponents and their struggles in those games, making this meeting vital for UNC to take seriously. 

(Watch and stream Saturday’s game live on ESPN+)

As we await the showdown, we look at five things to watch for in the North Carolina vs. Notre Dame matchup.

How will the defense look fresh off the bye week?

Sep 10, 2022; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels linebacker Chris Collins (17) celebrates after a stop against the Georgia State Panthers in the second half at Center Parc Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

The biggest problem for UNC this season has been their defense, or lack thereof. The unit has struggled to make stops, giving up an average of 468.33 yards per game. North Carolina’s defense is also heavily penalized, with an average of 2.25 penalties on that side of the ball, an uptick from the league’s 1.66 average.

The expectations were high this season for UNC defense, with top…

Source link : https://sports.yahoo.com/5-things-watch-unc-football-185554440.html?src=rss

Author : Tar Heels Wire

Publish date : 2022-09-21 18:55:54

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