What a treat we are in store for the day after Thanksgiving when the #2 Notre Dame (8-0, 7-0 ACC) take on the #19 North Carolina Tar Heels (6-2, 6-2 ACC) in a Top 25 Atlantic Coast Conference battle. The bout between the two schools will be a first since the two met in 2017, with the Irish running away with a 33-10 victory. Notre Dame owns an 18-2 overall series record against the Tar Heels. Kickoff is a 3:30 p.m. EST at Kenan Stadium in Chapel Hill, N.C. Notre Dame is a 5-point favorite in the conference tilt.
What to Know – Notre Dame Fighting Irish
The Irish enjoyed a week off last week after a pair of tough wins over Clemson at home and then Boston College on the road. Notre Dame checked in behind Alabama at #2 in the first reveal of the CFP Rankings on Tuesday.
Ian Book completed 20-of-27 passes for 283 yards and three touchdowns the last time out for the Irish. The senior quarterback added a rushing touchdown in the road win also, his 17th (11 passing, six rushing) touchdown of the season.
Notre Dame racked up 274 yards rushing against the Eagles, averaging 5.6 yards per carry. Book led all Irish ball carriers with 85 yards, followed by freshman Chris Tyree (17 carries, 74 yards) and C’Bo Flemister (10 carries, 53 yards, two touchdowns).
Senior wide receiver Avery Davis hauled in two passes for 70 yards, but it was graduate transfer Ben Skowronek who had a career day, grabbing three touchdown pass on five catches for 63 yards.
What to Know North Carolina Tar Heels
The Tar Heels also enjoyed a week off after a close victory at home over Wake Forest. North Carolina sits in fourth in the ACC standings with two conference games to play.
North Carolina is averaging 51 points per game over their last four games, and most of that is due to the arm of sophomore quarterback Sam Howell. Howell had a career day against the Demon Deacons, passing for 550 yards and six touchdowns in the victory. Both of those totals were career-highs for the gunslinger.
Junior running back Javonte Williams added 13 carries for 101 yards and a score in the rushing department. The Tar Heels piled up 742 yards of total offense against Wake Forest’s defense.
Wide receivers Dazz Newsome (ten catches, 189 yards, two touchdowns) and Dyami Brown (eight catches, 163 yards, two touchdowns) each hauled in a pair of touchdown passes and surpassed the 150-yard receiving mark. Backup running back Michael Carter and tight end Garrett Walston also snagged touchdown receptions in the victory.
The Pick is In
The Tar Heels have been gashed by rushing teams all season, so look for the Irish to continue to run the football and control the clock. With the ball in their hands, the Irish will keep the North Carolina offense on the sidelines. This should be an exciting game with the Irish pulling out a victory by a touchdown or more.
The Pick: Notre Dame -5