GAMEDAY College Football

Notre Dame 45, North Carolina 32

By BOB SUTTON
Associated Press

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. - Drew Pyne threw three touchdown passes and Notre Dame finally clicked on offense in a 45-32 victory over North Carolina.

Audric Estime rushed for two touchdowns and 134 yards and Chris Tyree ran for 80 yards and a score for the Fighting Irish (2-2). Pyne completed 24 of 34 passes for 289 yards.

"We focused all week on executing," Pyne said. "We scored on a lot of drives and it all starts with the O-linemen."

The outcome resulted in the first road win under first-year coach Marcus Freeman.

The way the Irish attacked offensively by relying on the offensive line is how Freeman envisions a Notre Dame offense.

"It's what you hope Notre Dame football is going to be about," Freeman said. "We're preparing better. The result of that preparation is what you saw today."

The Tar Heels (3-1) were denied their first 4-0 start to a season since 1997.

North Carolina quarterback Drake Maye threw five touchdown passes, two going to Josh Downs in the first half and two more - covering 144 yards -- to Antoine Green in the second half. Maye was 17-of-32 for 301 yards.

"It is a big learning experience," Maye said. "We didn't come out ready to play football in the second half. Big games like this, we've got to show up."

With 576 yards of total offense, the Irish produced lots of positives.

"The beauty of it is there is always room to do better," Freeman said.

Pyne's favorite target was tight end Michael Mayer, who caught seven balls for 88 yards.

"Getting the ball in his hands is something our team can really benefit from," Pyne said.

NICE TO KNOW YOU

Notre Dame, which has a scheduling agreement with the Atlantic Coast Conference and played as a league member during the pandemic-impacted 2020 season, has won 25 consecutive regular-season games against ACC opponents. This was the first of four meetings against ACC members this year.

AN AREA TO TARGET

After eight penalties a week ago against California, Notre Dame was flagged for just five infractions for 46 yards. But a targeting call with 11:46 remaining against captain JD Bertrand proved costly.

The linebacker, who sat out the first half Saturday because of a targeting call a week earlier, will have to miss the first half of the Brigham Young game. Freeman said there needs to be an emphasis on proper tackling technique during the extra week before the Irish hit the field again.

"We have to understand that's the way the refs call it," Freeman said.

THE TAKEAWAY

Notre Dame: The Fighting Irish unleashed a balanced offense, producing more than 285 yards both on the ground and in the air. After three games with tight margins into the fourth quarters, this turned out to be a relatively stress-free final 15 minutes.

North Carolina: The Tar Heels were coming off an open week, but they didn't solve defensive woes that threatened to derail them in their previous two games. They're done with non-conference games, so they'll have to sort out the defensive shortcomings in ACC play.


Scoring Summary
First Quarter NDUNC
UNC TD 9:53 Josh Downs 4 yd pass from Drake Maye (Noah Burnette kick) 0 7
Second Quarter NDUNC
ND TD 12:57 Michael Mayer 10 yd pass from Drew Pyne (Blake Grupe kick) 7 7
ND TD 10:01 Lorenzo Styles 30 yd pass from Drew Pyne (Blake Grupe kick) 14 7
UNC TD 6:55 Josh Downs 3 yd pass from Drake Maye (Noah Burnette kick) 14 14
ND TD 2:37 Audric Estime 1 yd run (Blake Grupe kick) 21 14
ND FG 0:23 Blake Grupe 40 yd FG 24 14
Third Quarter NDUNC
ND TD 12:18 Logan Diggs 29 yd pass from Drew Pyne (Blake Grupe kick) 31 14
ND TD 10:21 Audric Estime 1 yd run (Blake Grupe kick) 38 14
UNC TD 4:08 Antoine Green 80 yd pass from Drake Maye (failed 2pt pass) 38 20
Fourth Quarter NDUNC
ND TD 13:04 Chris Tyree 1 yd run (Blake Grupe kick) 45 20
UNC TD 9:47 Omarion Hampton 4 yd pass from Drake Maye (failed 2pt pass) 45 26
UNC TD 1:44 Antoine Green 64 yd pass from Drake Maye (failed 2pt pass) 45 32
Team Stats
  Notre Dame North Carolina
First downs 35 18
  Rushing 17 7
  Passing 12 7
  Penalty 6 4
3rd Down Efficiency 8-14, 57% 6-14, 43%
4th down efficiency 0-1, 0% 2-2, 100%
Rushes-Yards 51-287 28-66
Passing Yards 289 301
Return Yards 43 28
Completions-Attempts-Int 24-34-0 17-32-0
Sacks-Yards Lost 1--7 3--20
Punts 1 5
Punts-Average 54 48.4
Fumbles Lost 1-1 1-1
Penalties - Yards 5-46 9-64
Time of Possession 38:13 21:47
Notre Dame Passing
Player Cmp Att Yds TDs Int
D. Pyne 24 34 289 3 0
North Carolina Passing
Player Cmp Att Yds TDs Int
D. Maye 17 32 301 5 0
Notre Dame Rushing
Player Carries Yds Avg TDs
A. Estime 17 134 7.9 2
C. Tyree 15 80 5.3 1
L. Diggs 10 50 5.0 0
D. Pyne 6 20 3.3 0
B. Lenzy 1 7 7.0 0
North Carolina Rushing
Player Carries Yds Avg TDs
D. Maye 13 36 2.8 0
O. Hampton 10 28 2.8 0
D. Jones 1 3 3.0 0
C. Hood 2 1 0.5 0
G. Pettaway 2 -2 -1.0 0
Notre Dame Receiving
Player Rec Yds Avg TDs
M. Mayer 7 88 12.6 1
L. Styles 5 69 13.8 1
L. Diggs 3 65 21.7 1
C. Tyree 4 24 6.0 0
J. Thomas 2 24 12.0 0
B. Lenzy 2 12 6.0 0
M. Salerno 1 7 7.0 0
North Carolina Receiving
Player Rec Yds Avg TDs
A. Green 3 150 50.0 2
J. Jones 2 71 35.5 0
J. Downs 5 32 6.4 2
B. Nesbit 1 23 23.0 0
G. Blackwell 1 8 8.0 0
K. Morales 2 7 3.5 0
O. Hampton 1 4 4.0 1
K. Paysour 1 3 3.0 0
G. Pettaway 1 3 3.0 0
Notre Dame Interceptions
Player Int Yards
North Carolina Interceptions
Player Int Yards
Notre Dame Punting
Player Punts Yards Avg
J. Sot 1 54 54.0
North Carolina Punting
Player Punts Yards Avg
B. Kiernan 5 242 48.4
Notre Dame Punt Returns
Player Ret Yards Average
B. Joseph 3 43 14.3
North Carolina Punt Returns
Player Ret Yards Average
C. Kelly 1 3 3.0
Notre Dame Kick Returns
Player Ret Yards Average
North Carolina Kick Returns
Player Ret Yards Average
O. Hampton 1 18 18.0
J. Brooks 1 7 7.0
Notre Dame Missed FG
Player Length
B. Grupe 44
North Carolina Missed FG
Player Length




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