Let’s talk about North Carolina’s offense instead of ours… (3 players to watch out for on UNC)

Feeling a little better after the win this week? I still am entirely disheartened by our offense but I have to say each day I am farther from the Marshall game, I believe I am a little happier. The California win was okay, but now that we got the first win, I need Marcus Freeman’s first good win. A win against UNC would be a good win in my book. So, I just wanted to take some time to highlight three players on UNC to keep an eye on going into the matchup in Chapel Hill.

North Carolina is absolutely destroying Notre Dame on each offensive statistic heading into Saturday. For those who have paid any attention to Drake Maye, you are well aware the Irish defense is due for a brawl with North Carolina’s offense. Drake Maye has been everything that we had thought Tyler Buchner would be this year. Drake Maye has racked up 930 yards, 11 touchdowns, and only 1 interception in 3 games this season. An absolute highlight film, Drake Maye is making the throws we had hoped Buchner would be heading into this season. Honestly, I don’t know how the Irish will respond to the game of the 6’4” 220 lb. quarterback. While defense hasn’t been our largest problem, it hasn’t been an absolute asset. If our secondary comes out looking to make up for lack of precision with a surplus of effort, that just will not do against Maye and the Tarheels. Any missed assignments will absolutely be exploited by North Carolina to far more irreversible results than any of the three we’ve played previously.

Pressure is key (go figure)

No duh, Drake Maye. For the second player I want to highlight Josh Downs. While Downs has been out since the Tarheel’s opening win over Georgia State, he led North Carolina last year in both receptions and receiving yards. If he’s back in action come Saturday. Look for him to be another issue through the air that the Fighting Irish must address, if he’s even in this one.

While I would usually look to highlight at least one defensive player for the Tarheels (which would have been DE Kaimon Rucker, guy’s getting after it for North Carolina’s edge rush) I want to highlight another receiver, because I believe it will ultimately be up to stopping UNC’s offense in this one. For my last player to highlight I’m looking at the receiver who has stepped up in Josh Down’s absence, Kobe Paysour. Kobe Paysour has only started since Downs went down. In the last two games since, he’s hauled in 14 catches for a total of 172 yards. The redshirt freshman is a key piece in a devastating tandem in North Carolina. Freshman stud QB. Freshman stud receiver. North Carolina may have some air raid seasons heading their way.

Big task to game plan for the air raid this weekend.

While we thought Notre Dame’s defensive line would be an identity defining aspect of this team. They’ve fallen short of our most likely overzealous expectations to begin this season, but they began showing up a bit more each week. If we stand a chance in this one, the Irish defensive front will need to continue crawling in the right direction and bring another facet to their game Saturday.

Not the most comprehensive stuff here for sure. Just some dogs I thought should be highlighted heading into this one. While we can circle opposition all day, it ultimately amounts to nothing if the Irish come out as offensively limp as they have. With no signs indicating otherwise, I am going to be irrationally hopeful that through divine intervention Tommy Rees has figured it out this week. With no offense, best you can hope for is a tie. Here’s hoping that the Irish have what it takes to figure it out and put a product on the field that we can rally around and finish this season on notes of hope for the next.

Thanks again for taking the time to read. You can check back with me here at flyoverwire.com tomorrow for my pre-game thoughts.

Play like an absolute champ,

-Big Red

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