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Notre Dame at North Carolina: Who, what, when, where, why and by how much?


Leon Halip

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, 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.

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

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

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
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