Game Insider: Notre Dame 33, North Carolina 10

October 8, 2017

Records: North Carolina 0-3, 1-5; Notre Dame 5-1.

Why the Tar Heels lost: Injuries are at least partially responsible, with four wide receivers out, but Carolina’s offense was out of sorts from the start and only briefly found any type of rhythm. Notre Dame was in the backfield all day, sacking quarterback Chazz Surratt twice and hurrying him another 11 times. Carolina managed just seven yards in the first quarter and finished with 265 overall.

Why the Irish won: It wasn’t necessarily pretty, but Notre Dame did what it does best and ran the ball effectively while shutting down the Carolina rushing attack. Josh Adams ran for a 73-yard touchdown and Deon McIntosh had a 35-yard carry for a score, helping to make up for an uneven passing performance from backup quarterback Ian Book.

The big play: Trailing 14-0 midway through the second quarter, the Carolina offense fond its footing for the first time all day, picking stringing together four first downs to reach the Notre Dame 19-yard line. On its first play from the Irish red zone, Carolina quarterback Chazz Surratt lost his grip and Notre Dame recovered the fumble to crush the Tar Heels’ momentum.

What it means for Carolina: An nonconference win doesn’t much affect the Tar Heels, especially one that many expected them to win even before the wheels came off this season. The final numbers don’t necessarily reflect it, but this was a positive step for the Carolina defense, which held Notre Dame to 14 points in the first half. Bowl eligibility is slipping away for the Tar Heels, needing five wins over the next six games.

Stars: Carolina: Anthony Ratliff-Williams 5 catches, 55 yards, TD; Myles Dorn 9 tackles, 2 INT; Cayson Collins 15 tackles. Notre Dame: Deon McIntosh 12 carries, 124 yards, 2 TD; Josh Adams 13 carries, 118 yards, TD; Drue Tranquill 7 tackles, forced fumble, fumble re-covery.

Up next: Carolina at Virginia, 3:30 p.m. (Fox Sports Carolinas).