October 10, 2014

NORTH CAROLINA (2-3) at No. 6 NOTRE DAME (5-0), 3:30 p.m. EDT (NBC)

Line: Notre Dame by 16.5

Series Record: Notre Dame leads 16-2.

WHAT'S AT STAKE

The Fighting Irish are hoping to qualify for a berth in the four-team playoff and can't afford a loss to a struggling team. The Tar Heels are looking to end a three-game losing streak and win for the first time in 12 tries at Notre Dame Stadium.

KEY MATCHUP

Everett Golson vs. the North Carolina defense. Golson, who originally committed to North Carolina in high school, leads an Irish offense averaging 31.4 points a game, which is on pace to be Notre Dame's best scoring season since 2005. The Irish go from facing the nation's top scoring defense last week in Stanford (8.6 points a game) to one of the worst in North Carolina, which is giving up 42 points a game. The Tar Heels have intercepted eight passes this season and recovered four fumbles, an area where Golson has struggled. Golson has thrown three interceptions and fumbled the ball away three times the past two games.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

North Carolina: Running back Elijah Hood, a freshman who was a five-star recruit out of Charlotte Catholic, originally committed to Notre Dame before switching to the Tar Heels. He is physical back who is second on the team in rushing with 166 yards and tied for the lead with three touchdowns.

Notre Dame: Receiver Will Fuller leads the Irish with 28 catches for 371 yards and five touchdowns. His speed could be a problem for a North Carolina secondary that has been giving up a lot of big plays and is allowing 319 yards a game through the air.

FACTS & FIGURES

Notre Dame hasn't given up a point yet this season in the third quarter, outscoring opponents 31-0. ... The highest ranked team North Carolina has ever beaten on the road was No. 8 Duke in 1937 and No. 8 Michigan in 1966. The last top 10 team the Tar Heels beat was No. 4 Miami 31-28 in 2004. ... Notre Dame Stadium is marking the 84th anniversary of its opening, a 26-2 victory over Navy.

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