North Carolina coach Larry Fedora talks about the Tar Heels loss to the Notre Dame Fighting Irish at Kenan Stadium in Chapel Hill, NC Saturday, Oct. 7, 2017. UNC
North Carolina coach Larry Fedora talks about the Tar Heels loss to the Notre Dame Fighting Irish at Kenan Stadium in Chapel Hill, NC Saturday, Oct. 7, 2017. UNC

College Sports

North Carolina struggles offensively against Notre Dame, losing 33-10

By Jonathan M. Alexander

jalexander@newsobserver.com

October 07, 2017 7:11 PM

CHAPEL HILL

In order for North Carolina to beat No. 21 Notre Dame, a lot had to go right.

But on Saturday, it all went wrong, as the Tar Heels lost to the Fighting Irish 33-10.

UNC’s offense was about as ugly as it could get.

The Tar Heels (1-5, 0-4 ACC) either punted or turned the ball over on 12 of its first 13 drives. Eight of those drives ended in a three-and-out. Two ended in a turnover. And one drive ended in a safety with just 28 seconds left in the first half.

Sophomore quarterback Chazz Surratt had probably his worst performance of the season. He was never really given much time in the pocket, as he was pressured constantly. He completed 19 of 42 passes for 179 yards. He threw one touchdown and one interception and lost one fumble.

UNC quarterback Chazz Surratt on his team's loss to Notre Dame

North Carolina quarterback Chazz Surratt talks about the Tar Heels' loss to Notre Dame at Kenan Stadium in Chapel Hill, NC Saturday, October 7, 2017.

Jonathan Alexander jalexander@newsobserver.com

Despite being on the field for much of the game, UNC’s defense, which was ranked 113th heading into Saturday’s game, played fairly well. Sophomore Myles Dorn, a 6-2, 210-pound safety, intercepted Notre Dame second-string quarterback, Ian Book, twice during the game, including one inside the 20-yard line.

Notre Dame (5-1) scored the game’s first points. On its fourth drive of the game, the Irish ran the ball effectively and came up with timely throws. The 15-play, 80-yard drive ended in a 6-yard touchdown pass from Book to wide receiver Cam Smith, with 14:54 left in the second quarter.

Notre Dame forced UNC into a three-and-out on its next possession. All it took was took was two plays before Notre Dame running back Josh Adams took it 73 yards for a touchdown and the Fighting Irish led 14-0.

Notre Dame running back Josh Adams (33) breaks free from North Carolina defensive end Tomon Fox (12) to score on a 73-yard touchdown run during the first half of UNC's game against Notre Dame at Kenan Stadium in Chapel Hill, NC Saturday, Oct. 7, 2017.
Ethan Hyman ehyman@newsobserver.com

UNC didn’t score until 1:50 left in the first half, taking advantage of a Dorn interception. Surratt found sophomore wide receiver Anthony Ratliff-Williams in the corner of the end zone for a 17-yard touchdown.

North Carolina wide receiver Anthony Ratliff-Williams (17) pulls in a 25-yard touchdown reception as Notre Dame cornerback Julian Love (27) defends during the first half of UNC's game against Notre Dame at Kenan Stadium in Chapel Hill, NC Saturday, Oct. 7, 2017.
Ethan Hyman ehyman@newsobserver.com

The second half was much of the same.

UNC’s offense never got going. When it did, the drives often ended in turnovers.

Its only score in the second half came on a 16-play, 56-yard drive. UNC got the ball down to the Notre Dame 17-yard line. But the drive stalled and the Tar heels were forced to kick a field goal.

UNC's Holcomb: 'You just gotta take your licks and just keep chopping away'

North Carolina linebacker Cole Holcomb talks about the Tar Heels loss to the Notre Dame Fighting Irish at Kenan Field in Chapel Hill, NC Saturday, October 7, 2017.

Jonas Pope jpope@heraldsun.com

Jonathan M. Alexander: 919-829-4822, @jonmalexander

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