The 1-2 Notre Dame Fighting Irish will try to get keep the momentum moving forward on Saturday when they travel to Chapel Hill to take on the North Carolina Tar Heels. According to DraftKings Sportsbook, Notre Dame is a 2 point underdog to UNC with a 55.5 point over/under.
Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for details.
Now it’s time for the OFD Staff to unleash their own picks. Here are a few thoughts from The Emperor’s Elite Pick-Em Force:
This Irish defense has given me no reason to believe they can completely shut down a dynamic offense. That’s not to say they should be expected to, but that feels like what it would take for the Irish to win. I cannot envision Notre Dame’s offense winning them a football game, even against the North Carolina fense (no “D”). Call this a reverse jinx if you want, but it doesn’t feel like Mack Brown will choke this game away...FINAL SCORE: North Carolina 28, Notre Dame 27
This one is going to be close, because that just seems like the theme of the season. The defense is going to need to step up in this one, and they do like they have done overall in the previous three games. UNC scores a lot, but the defense keeps them in check just enough for the offense to finally get that elusive fourth TD in a game. Irish win 31-27.
Since this worked out so well last week, I’m going with a cautiously optimistic attitude again for ND’s trip down south this Saturday. I think the Irish offense builds on the progress it made in the second half of last week’s Cal game, opening up the playbook just enough to score some more points against a bad UNC defense while still keeping things relatively conservative. I think the Irish pass rush has another big day, even if it is muted somewhat by the athleticism of Drake Maye, and the secondary holds up against UNC’s gifted skill players enough to keep them under their typical scoring effort. It won’t be a sexy game and we will still be hurting for big plays, but I’m calling an Irish win somewhere along the lines of 31-24.
Notre Dame still didn’t play up to their abilities on either side of the ball last week, especially on offense, but there were signs of life. Given where the season is now and where it could go, improvement is what matters most and if that continues to show Notre Dame can win this game on the road, but it won’t be easy.
I think the Tar Heels offense will be brought back to reality a bit against their first real opponent in 2022, but even with that I don’t know that Pyne and the boys will have enough firepower to keep up, especially on the road. I predict the Heels will win 33-27, but I hope I’m very wrong and that Audric Estime runs for 500 yards on Gene Chizik’s defense.
As a whole, we continue to use TallySight to keep track of everything. Besides the ND VS Marshall game, I asked the staff to pick:
Wake Forest Demon Deacons VS ClemsonTigers
Florida Gators VS Tennessee Volunteers
Arkansas Razorbacks VS Texas A&M Aggies
Iowa Hawkeyes VS Rutgers Scarlet Knights
USC Trojans VS Oregon St. Beavers
Indiana Hoosiers VS Cincinnati Bearcats
Kansas St. Wildcats VS Oklahoma Sooners