No. 6 Irish Survive The Tarheels, 50-43; Face No. 1 Seminoles Next


There is always talk of the “trap” game. That match-up that falls  before a big game in a season. The No. 6 Notre Dame Fighting Irish were able to pull their foot out of that trap just in time, surviving the upset-minded North Carolina Tarheels, 50-43.

The Tarheels (2-4) used an up-tempo offense, and capitalized on two early Everett Golson mistakes to take an early 14-0 lead over the Irish (6-0). Quarterback Marquise Williams turned in a spectacular performance, throwing for two touchdowns, and running for another. But an ill-advised pass late may have cost the ‘Heels the chance at the upset.

The turnover bug that had bitten the Irish reeccently nipped them again, and it wasted no time. On the first Drive of the game, Golson was hit from behind, losing the ball before his arm was coming forward. The Tarheels quickly converted that into points as Elijah Hood scored from six yards out to give them the early 7-0 lead.

Later in the quarter, Golson threw a pass to the right that was intercepted by Jeff Schoettmer and returned 29-yards for the score and silencing the Irish faithful. The turnovers have become all too familiar, and an ugly blemish on what the Irish have done so far this year. But rather than panic, the Irish responded.

GGolson lead a five play, 88-yard drive, finishing with a 13-yard Td pass to William Fuller to bring the Irish back to within 14-7. It was thee first of three Td passes for Golson, who finished the game 21-for-38, and 300 yards.

The Irish scored on their next two drives as well, scoring 21 unanswered points against the Heels to take a 21-14 lead. The lead was short lived as the Tarheels moved down the field with the help of Williams dual threat ability, as he ran in for the score from three yards out to take the lead, 21-20.

After recovering a Hood fumble, the Irish quickly capitalized on a six-year Td run by Tarean Folston, as it looked like the Irish had righted the ship going into the half. But Williams wasn’t done, as he led the Heels down the field for thee score before half, connecting with Quinshad Davis for the late score. The Heels went for two  to try to make up for the earlier missed extra-point, but came up empty, leaving them down 28-26.

The Irish scored first in the second half as Golson found Fuller on the bubble-screen, and he did the rest en route to the 35-yard score to give the Irish the 35-26 lead.

After a field goal helped to cut the lead to 35-29, the Tarheels used a little trickery to turn the tide of the game. The Heels used a double reverse, as Williams ran a wheel route into the endzone, catching the pass from the wide receiver Davis to give them thee 36-35 lead, stunning the Irish crowd.

But once again Golson tuned out all the distraction and turnovers, leading the Irish down to a score on a nine-yard Td pass to Folston. The two-point conversion to Ben Koyack was good as the Irish took the 43-36 lead.

The next possession for the Heels was the poor pass decision from Williams, resulting in the interception. The Irish were able to score on a Folston Td run, taking thee 50-36 lead. The Tarheels added a late score, but it was all-for-not as the Irish recovered the onside kick to help avoid the upset scare for the unranked Tarheels.

The win helps set up the match-up between the two undefeated teams as the Irish face the Florida State Seminoles next week in Tallahassee .