On Saturday, October 11th, the Tar Heels will travel up to to South Bend to play the Fighting Irish. In 2008 when these two teams played, 22nd ranked North Carolina beat Notre Dame 29-24. Cameron Sexton (remember him?) threw for 201 yards and rushed for a touchdown on the way to the victory.
To learn more about the 2014 Notre Dame Fighting Irish Football team, we enlisted the help of Andrew Hall of Slap the Sign. The questions are in bold and his answers are below.
What are the strengths and weaknesses of the 2014 Notre Dame Football team?
The strength of the 2014 Notre Dame Football team is definitely their offensive skill players. The Irish have three running backs, McDaniel, Folston, Bryant, who should be able to carry the load at any point. Their wide receivers and tight ends are young but talented. They are lead by veterans wide receiver DaVaris Daniels and tight end Ben Koyack.
On the other hand, the weakness of the 2014 team is the defensive front seven. Notre Dame will start players with limited experience including converted safety John Turner and former walk-on Joe Schmidt at linebacker. Behind the players with limited experience are freshman who are likely not ready to play and players who have never really been able to figure it out at Notre Dame. Notre Dame will need a player or two to step up big-time for the Irish to have a stout front seven like they had in 2012 (or even 2013).
How do you think Everett Golson will play after a year off? Will he be the same player he was in 2012?
Assuming Everett Golson wins the job (which all signs point to the fact that he will), Golson should be much better than he was in 2012. It is a myth that he set the world on fire in 2012. To the outside world, it appeared like the Everett Golson left causing Notre Dame to go from 12-1 to 9-4. Golson only threw for 2405 yards with 12 touchdowns and 6 interceptions. He also rushed for 298 yards. Golson should exceed these numbers in 2014. Maturing and working with George Whitfield will pay huge dividends for Golson.
Who is one player set to have a breakout season for the Irish?
Greg Bryant is poised to break on to the scene for the Fighting Irish. Last year, he was probably the most talented running back that was on Notre Dame’s roster. However, he was unable to pick up to the playbook and was injured early on in the season. In the Spring Game, Bryant rushed for 95 yards on 12 attempts with a long of 51 yards. Bryant may not be Notre Dame’s first option when the season opens but he will be by the time the season concludes.
What are the general feelings of Irish fans about joining the ACC for five games a year?
I think there is general excitement about playing teams like North Carolina and Florida State this year (and Clemson, Virginia Tech in the future). But, there is also a contingent of Irish fans that are upset that Notre Dame will be breaking some of its traditional match ups. For example, Notre Dame will not be playing Michigan State this year.
Who do you think wins- North Carolina or Notre Dame- and why?
Many fans probably have written this off as a Notre Dame victory. But, Notre Dame traditionally struggles with mobile quarterbacks. Marquise Williams was a difference maker last year for the Tar Heels. He could be the difference in beat Notre Dame this year. Notre Dame with the slight edge because of home field advantage 31-28.