The Notre Dame football team pulled out their first victory of the season against Cal. The road for the squad does not get easier this week with a game against North Carolina.
This week, the Notre Dame football program travels to Chapel Hill to play against the North Carolina Tar Heels. Last week, Slap the Sign batted .667 on bold predictions.
Here are this week’s bold predictions for Notre Dame’s battle against the Heels.
Notre Dame football at UNC: Bold predictions in Week 4
Notre Dame will force their first turnover (seriously)
Last week, this writer boldly predicted that Notre Dame football would force their first turnover of the season. At that time, the Fighting Irish were one of eight teams yet to intercept a pass or recover a fumble. If captain linebacker J.D. Bertrand did not target a Cal player, Clarence Lewis’ interception would have marked their first takeaway of the year. Now, Notre Dame finds itself among four teams who are turnover-less.
The Tar Heels protected the ball well in their first two games of the season – only losing a fumble. Their most recent contest against Georgia State told a different story. North Carolina coughed the ball up three times – an interception and two fumbles.
It is becoming a statistical anomaly that Notre Dame football will continue without forcing a turnover.
The Fighting Irish will score 30 points or more
North Carolina’s defense rivals Notre Dame’s offense in their ineptitude. The Fighting Irish attack ranks 115th among all FBS programs. The Tar Heels, equally as embarrassing, surrender 37.7 points per contest – ranking 119th. North Carolina compiled these statistics against FCS Florida A&M, App State, and Georgia State.
The two FBS programs that battled the Tar Heels rank 45th and 87th, respectively. App State, who ranks 45th in scoring, would rank 100th if they did not score 61 points against the Tar Heels.
To be fair, Notre Dame’s offense is equally as appalling but showed some signs of improvement against a decent California defense. With a more settled Drew Pyne and progressing offensive line, Notre Dame will certainly score more than 30 points against the Tar Heels. The Irish need to score at this rate to hope to win.
Notre Dame will have a 100-yard rusher
Thus far, the Tar Heels have yielded 261.5 yards per contest against FBS schools. North Carolina did not face Georgia and Alabama in their games against FBS schools. They played App State and Georgia State. As Notre Dame continues to grow along the offensive line, the Irish will be able to run the ball against Heels.
In three games this season, Notre Dame failed to generate a single 100-yard rusher. Sophomore running back Audric Estime came closest – rushing for 76 yards against Cal. Whether it is Estime or his running mate Chris Tyree, the Fighting Irish are almost guaranteed a 100-yard rusher against North Carolina.