When talking about the 2021 Notre Dame Fighting Irish schedule, there is a glaring omission of a top five opponent. That’s not to say that Notre Dame’s schedule is easy, but at the same time, quite a few of us are guilty of shouting out, “SHOW ME THE LOSS!” when discussing how things will shake out.
Notre Dame does have kind of a tricky tough schedule for how it’s laid out, but their toughest games are at home (and one in Chicago). The five game stretch of the Wisconsin Badgers, Cincinnati Bearcats, Virginia Tech Hokies, USC Trojans, and North Carolina Tar Heels sticks out like a sore thumb — it’s not the toughest stretch, but it ain’t easy either.
North Carolina continues to be a sexy pick by media members as a school ready to explode with a great season — with most of that based on returning quarterback Sam Howell and all of their offensive line starters — despite being ranked 104th nationally in sacks allowed per game. They practically beg you to forget about their top two receivers and top two running backs from last year have left for the NFL — mostly because it fails to fit their narrative.
But that’s not what I’m pointing out here today. I’m not here to beat my chest about a defense without Kyle Hamilton allowing exactly ZERO points in the 2nd half to UNC. Nope... I have something else, and admittedly it is a BOOM POW thing, but it’s still interesting none the less.
Notre Dame will face North Carolina inside Notre Dame Stadium — a place the Irish haven’t lost in since September of 2017. Their current winning streak at home is at 24, and by the time the Tar Heels roll into town, it could be at 28 which is the current school record.
The Tar Heels, on the other hand, aren’t exactly the greatest on the road. Over the last two years UNC is 6-5 on the road (2019 3-3, 2020 3-2). None of those games were against the Clemson Tigers (in case you were wondering). Their two losses on the road were against Florida State 31-28 and Virginia 44-41. Their three wins on the road came against Boston College, Miami, and Duke with a combined score of 144-72.
This is all to say that over the last few years, Notre Dame is a very good home team and North Carolina — although not terrible — is not a very good team on the road. How much this matters on October 30th is still unknown, but it ain’t nothing.