An unseasonably warm and sunny afternoon turned dark quickly on Saturday afternoon at Kenan Stadium, the lingering clouds on the horizon rolling in just after kickoff, clearing only after the damage had been done and fans had headed for the exits.
Marcus Paige is one of the most beloved athletes in North Carolina basketball history for his contributions both on and off the court.
Losers of three straight, there's little hope the skies will clear any time soon for Carolina. "I don't think we're even close to being at the level we know we can be at". "I'm not thinking about down the road with him", North Carolina coach Larry Fedora told reporters of Surratt. I think the team tried to find it, but it just wouldn't click. North Carolina allowed 403 rushing yards in a 33-7 loss at Georgia Tech last week and enters the week ranked 113th in FBS with an average of 221.8 yards allowed on the ground.
Notre Dame finished with 487 yards, 341 coming on the ground.
That's how it went all day for the Carolina offense; a step forward with a high-tempo attack, only to be undone by three turnovers or myriad unforced errors. We're never just satisfied with where we're at. We were just off, and it stayed off. "Probably most of it was execution".
Top Performer: Despite losing a fumble during the quarter, Surratt kept the Tar Heels within striking distance by completing 5 of his 14 passes in the quarter for 82 yards while facing much duress from the Notre Dame defense.
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"At times, but I'm taught to keep my eyes downfield", Surratt said. When I say it was bad that day, this is what I mean.
Dillard said the Irish "brought more than we could handle". "Credit to them on their defense's part, doing that". The final numbers don't necessarily reflect it, but this was a positive step for the Carolina defense, which held Notre Dame to 14 points in the first half. "It hurts. Our defense was playing well there".
Notre Dame could be set for a big afternoon against North Carolina (1-4), which ranks 112th nationally by allowing almost 222 yards rushing per game.
As for turning it around, cornerback M.J. Stewart said there's no major shift needed. "We need to create turnovers and limit their possessions". "But now that it's raining really hard they started actually running the damn ball", she said.
Junior shooting guard Kenny Williams returns from injury this year, and rising start Luke Maye will take center stage for the Tar Heels after becoming the unlikely hero of the team's NCAA Tournament run last season.
"It may look like we didn't do a good job, but one play went for, what, (seventy-three yards)?" he said.