Notre Dame Knocks Off 19th-Ranked North Carolina

The No. 2 Notre Dame Fighting Irish earned a 31-17 road victory over No. 19 North Carolina
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Notre Dame (9-0) went on the road and earned a hard-fought 31-17 victory over the 19th-ranked North Carolina Tar Heels (6-3).

It was a rough start for the Irish defense, who gave up scores on the first two drives of the game, but the offense responded with two scores of their own. After the rough start the Notre Dame defense settled in and began to dominate.

North Carolina scored 14 points and had 125 yards on its first two drives but had just three points and 173 yards the remainder of the game. The Tar Heels were held to a season-low 298 yards and a season-low 87 yards on the ground.

Tar Heel quarterback Sam Howell had 211 passing yards, which was also a season low total.

Notre Dame's defense was highly disruptive, registering six sacks and four pass break ups, and much of the damage came after star safety Kyle Hamilton was ejected for targeting.

Linebacker Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah led the defense with nine tackles and defensive end Adetokunbo Ogundeji had a team best two sacks.

The Notre Dame offense did its job early, matching the Tar Heels score for score to tie the game at 14-14. It couldn't put the game away for much of the second half, missing several opportunities to put the game away, but when a long, time consuming drive was needed the offense answered. Notre Dame went on an 8-play, 89-yard drive that took 4:32 off the clock. 

That drive was capped by a Kyren Williams touchdown run that made it 31-17 with just over two minutes left.

Notre Dame scored just twice in the second half, but the drives went for 97 and 89 yards, and those drives took a combined 10 minutes off the clock.

Quarterback Ian Book completed 23-33 passes for 279 yards. Running back Kyren Williams went for 124 yards on 23 carries and a pair of scores, and wideout Javon McKinley hauled in six passes for 135 yards.

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