WHO? No. 21 Notre Dame (4-1) at North Carolina (1-4). The better question pertaining to “Who?” would be whom the Irish will start at quarterback, but that answer will likely not be confirmed until around 3 p.m. ET, give or take 30 minutes.
WHAT? The second of Notre Dame’s five games against the ACC this season, the Tar Heels represent possibly the easiest remaining game on the Irish schedule. That is not meant as a knock on North Carolina as much as it is a warning about the latter half of the slate, Wake Forest’s legitimacy pending.
WHEN? 3:30 p.m. ET. For anyone worried about rain, showers are predicted for much of the game, but they are not the massive storm you have heard about approaching the southeast. That will not reach Chapel Hill, N.C., until Sunday morning. (At least, by this reading of weather.com, that is.)
WHERE? Kenan Memorial Stadium, Chapel Hill, N.C. Capacity: 62,562.
If wondering who in the world was “Kenan,” that would be William R. Kenan, Jr., a dairy farmer-turned-successful businessman and a North Carolina graduate. The more you know, right?
WHY? Notre Dame isn’t allowed to have two bye weeks before facing USC, especially considering the Trojans do not have any bye weeks this regular season.
BY HOW MUCH? As of Friday night, the Irish are favored by 14.5 with a combined points total over/under of 63. Those metrics point toward a 38-24 final.
It should be noted, that spread was in the 16- or 17-point range before Notre Dame junior quarterback Brandon Wimbush became a “day-to-day” injury concern (grade one right foot strain). This space considers that gap a more likely one, no matter who the Irish rely on at quarterback.
Notre Dame 45, North Carolina 17. (4-1 record on the season.)
STAT TO REMEMBER: Nationally, third downs are converted 37.4 percent of the time. The Irish have converted 41.3 percent of theirs thus far. The Tar Heels have allowed first downs 42.2 percent of the time.
FACT TO REMEMBER: North Carolina has lost 15 players for the season, including 10 starters.
THIS WEEK’S INSIDE THE IRSH READING:
— Monday Morning Leftovers: Notre Dame’s defensive depth and youth bodes well for the future
— Questions for the Week: Stepherson vs. the depth chart; Notre Dame’s rush vs. North Carolina’s lack of D
— Notre Dame’s Opponents: Georgia, Miami & Navy remain undefeated; one of those to be tested this week
— Notre Dame QB Brandon Wimbush “day-to-day” with soft tissue right foot injury
— On Brandon Wimbush’s (in)accuracy and Notre Dame’s plans to adjust to it
— And In That Corner … The injured Tar Heels of North Carolina
— Things To Learn: How injured is Wimbush; Can Mack and/or Stepherson provide reliability?
— Notre Dame QB Wimbush to be a game-time decision
— Friday at 4: A 2014 win over Stanford helped create Notre Dame’s current offense
INSIDE THE IRISH COVERAGE FROM THE MIAMI (OH) GAME
— Notre Dame puts Miami (OH) away early and often
— Adams moves up Notre Dame record books while awaiting national attention
— Things We Learned: Notre Dame is focused, but continues to struggle in the secondary & with Wimbush’s accuracy
— Sunday Notre Dame Notebook: Irish take to self-scouting weekly; (lack of) injury update
THIS WEEK’S OUTSIDE READING:
— Grey’s Anatomy: Chapel Hill
— RB Efficiency Rankings: Notre Dame’s Josh Adams shapes himself into a complete player
— Cornerback and the Degree of Difficulty
— Under Review (if overdue): Inside the Bob Davie investigation
— Bob Stoops wants you to stop thinking he’s coming back to coaching
— Notre Dame Stadium in talks to host outdoor Blackhawks game
— Suspension over, Vikings WR Michael Floyd says he’s ready to ‘make plays’
— D1 Council introduces football staff size change
— Arrested drunk man claims he time traveled to warn of aliens