Quick Hitters – North Carolina vs. Notre Dame

Sep 24, 2022; Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels wide receiver Josh Downs (11) reacts after scoring a touchdown in the second quarter at Kenan Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 24, 2022; Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels wide receiver Josh Downs (11) reacts after scoring a touchdown in the second quarter at Kenan Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports /

Isaac Schade presents Quick Hitters from UNC Football’s 45-32 home loss to Notre Dame on Saturday afternoon.


Condensed Game:

  • The game got off to the exact start you want if you’re North Carolina: Drake Maye drove the team down the field for a touchdown and then the defense forced a three-and-out (including two passes tipped at the line).
  • However, things went downhill rather quickly from that point. After that initial three-and-out and a missed field goal, the Irish scored on their next six possessions and seven of the next eight (six of which were touchdowns).
  • North Carolina’s offense went the exact opposite direction: After the opening drive touchdown, the Tar Heels accumulated just one first down across the next three drives.
  • The final margin of 13 points indicates to anyone simply looking at the box score that this game was close-ish. Anyone watching, however, knows that this game was not close in any way.
  • Coming into the game, Notre Dame had scored just 18.3 points per game (55 total in the first three games). Today they almost matched that three-game mark by posting 45.
  • Marcus Freeman’s team was averaging 330 yards of total offense – 117.7 on the ground and 182.7 in the air. Today they amassed 287 rushing yards and 289 receiving yards, good for 576 yards of total offense. Yikes.
  • In a bit of good news, the Tar Heels got back several offensive players who had been out injured. The starting offensive line was back to full strength with Spencer Rolland’s return, Drake Maye got back two of his starting wide receivers in Josh Downs and Antoine Green, and RB Caleb Hood returned as well.
  • Green and Downs each collected two touchdowns, with Green’s coming on plays of 80 and 64 yards. With numbers like that, it’s no surprise to hear that he finished with three catches for 150 yards. Downs had fewer receiving yards but was rather productive in catching all five balls thrown his way for 32 yards and those aforementioned touchdowns.
  • In another bright spot, even in the loss Drake Maye still threw for over 300 yards (301 to be exact) and five touchdowns with no interceptions (although he did lose a fumble).  The redshirt freshman now has 16 passing TDs on the season and will likely stay among the nation’s leaders when stats refresh after Saturday’s games are all complete.
  • Maye has still thrown just one interception in his college career.
  • For the first time this season, UNC held their opponent scoreless in the first quarter. Buuuuut they then proceeded to give up 24 points in the second quarter. 24 points is the second-highest single scoring quarter for an opponent this season (I don’t need to remind you what quarter holds the top spot on that list).
  • Notre Dame’s Michael Mayer is the top-rated tight end in the nation for a reason. He is a really impressive football player and an incredibly reliable option whenever you need to go to him. He finished with seven receptions on nine targets for 88 yards and a touchdown.
  • There were some rather strange penalties whistled in the game that I would term “letter of the law” penalties, but were still scenarios in which the refs probably didn’t need to reach for their flags. Cedric Gray was whistled for DPI on a 4th-&-goal play that probably should have gone uncalled, Ray Vohaskek was penalized for an out-of-bounds hit after being tripped by Des Evans, Antoine Green was flagged for spinning the ball after his second touchdown. None of these caused Carolina to lose, but they certainly didn’t help.
  • Thankfully for North Carolina, they still have conference play ahead of them with a seemingly-wide open Coastal Division race ahead of them. The Tar Heels will need to regroup and really figure out how to get things straight with the defense before Virginia Tech comes to town next weekend to begin that ACC slate.

Mack Brown Postgame Press Conference

Remember to check in for Quick Hitters after every North Carolina football game. Next up is a home game against Virginia Tech on September 30. Kickoff and TV are TBA.

Next. UNC Football: Downs returns against Notre Dame. dark

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