This One Could Get Ugly: UNC vs. Notre Dame

(Note to my professor, BC: the event I blogged for JOMC 711 is UNC vs. Wake Forest. However, giving extra credit is always welcome.)
Today UNC is traveling to South Bend, Ind. to face the 11th ranked Notre Dame Fighting Irish, and I am once again reporting from Shorty’s on West Franklin St. Notre Dame will certainly display their offense with Brady Quinn at Quarterback, Darius Walker at Tailback and Jeff Samardzija (yes, that’s how his name is spelled) at Wide Receiver. Believe it or not, John Bunting visited South Bend before as a player in 1972. I believe the final score was a Notre Dame victory, 32-0. I wouldn’t be surprised if UNC were to get beaten worse than that today. Who knows? maybe UNC pull off the upset…and maybe the Heels will hire Michael Jordan as their new coach.

2:45 pm: First play of the game: Connor Barth kicks the kickoff out of bounds, Notre Dame stars at the 35. You cannot make those kinds of mistakes and expect to win.

I just saw this graphic: UNC is 93rd in the country in total defense, 108th in scoring defense, and 115th in run defense. Not good.

Just like that, ND drives down the field and scores a touchdown. 7-0 ND, and were only two minutes into the game. Quinn tore our defense apart. Ugh.

2:50 pm: WAY off topic: This past week my family and I were looking for a good concert to go to close to New Year’s 2007 in Myrtle Beach, SC. While searching I found Shinedown, a band from Jacksonville, FL who will be performing at the MB House of Blues on new Year’s Eve. You should definitely take a listen to this band.

Joe Dailey gets the nod this week. Right as I speak, sack, near interception, 3-and-out for our offense.

3:00 pm: UNC forces a punt thanks in no small part to a sack by E.J. Wilson. Both occurrences have been quite rare this season.

COACH UPDATE: Butch Davis is allegedly in serious negotiations with Carolina.

3:05 pm: UNC is 108th in scoring offense and scoring defense this year. Just as I say that, Carolina is in the red zone thanks to a big Ronnie McGill run followed by a big Hakeem Nicks catch from Dailey.

3: 08 pm: TOUCHDOWN!!! Dailey throws a high pass caught in the end zone by Jesse Holley. It’s now tied, 7-7.

3:10 pm: Rameses, our mascot has made the trip to South Bend. Just thought you should know.

Interesting sidenote: Natre Dame is in South Bend, Ind. My Uncle Jeffrey and his family live in Bloomington, Ind., home of the Indiana Hoosiers, who crushed Michigan State last week, after which MSU coach John L. Smith resigned. They will be competing against us for coaching candidates. It’s a small world, isn’t it?

3:15 pm: ND takes back the lead as Samardjiza fights his way to the goalline. He’s a very powerful wide receiver, and has a bright future ahead of him in the NFL. 14-7, ND.

About Samardjiza: He’s a two-sport athlete; he’s also an MLB caliber pitcher for the baseball team. He has yet to decide which path he will choose in the pros, but like I said, the future is bright.

3:20 pm: My bewilderment with Bunting continues. Right after Dailey leads UNC to a huge touchdown drive, in goes Cam Sexton. Someone please explain this to me.

UPDATE: Maryland beats Clemson on a last-second field goal, 13-12. They are now in good position to possibly win the Atlantic. I want to see them win because I want to see them try to throw Ralph Friedgen up in the air in celebration.

3:33 pm: 333: one half the number of beast. Wait, forget I said that. ND scores another touchdown, 21-7. If Brady Quinn’s Heisman hopes are revitalized it will be because of this game.

3:40 pm: UNC has been completely unable to move the football with Cam in the game. In this possession they went 3-and out, losing 14 yards in the process and giving ND great field position. I’m going to scream now.

3:45 pm: A little off-topic: Louisville was impressive Thursday in their win against West Virginia, 44-27. It looks like if they run the table, they’ll get to the National Championship game against the winner of Ohio State vs. Michigan on Nov 18th, which is shaping up to be the game of the new century. My cousin will be rooting for Ohio State, which means you can bet I’ll be cheering for the Wolverines. Come on, you know you have a relative whom you always disagree with by default.

3:52 pm: ND kicks a field goal, and UNC runs the kickoff back for a Touchdown!!! But they miss the extra point. Still, what a play by Brandon Tate! 24-13, ND.

4:00 pm: Dailey finally goes back in, but the offensive momentum seems to be gone. 3-and-out, as Dailey is sacked. ON the very next play, Tom Zbikowski returns the punt for the Touchdown. 31-13, ND.
The Breeders’ Cup is on TV right now, and they’re reporting an injury to a horse. I can’t think of horse racing without thinking about Barbaro.

4:05 pm: Do you have any idea what it’s like to try and blog live, watch the game, AND eat a quesadilla at the same time? Awesome, that’s what it’s like.

4:15 pm: The half ends, 31-13. ND is dominating this game. So why does Charlie Weis have the face of someone undergoing a prostate exam?

I just saw a Citi commercial with a weird Russian guy. “Revording! Very, very, very Revording!” bizarre.

Apparently, A Wisconsin player ran into Joe Paterno today and injured his leg. I have the greatest respect for JoePa and I wish him a fast recovery, but the scene of him being carted off the field with the cart they use for injured players and him still sporting the wise guy look was oddly funny in a very politically incorrect way. I will now wait for the Almighty to smite me for that joke.
UPDATE (11/6/06): JoePa suffered a broken tibia and two torn knee ligaments, but his surgery was successful and he intends to coach on Saturday against Temple. My mom is convinced his speedy recovery is because the Italian food keeps him from getting osteoperosis. You have to love JoePa.

4:45 pm: I just spent halftime venting out my frustrations about this game on the Dartboard they have here at Shorty’s. Joe Dailey starts the second half, and the Tar Heels put a good drive together and Dailey throws a touchdown pass to Hakeem Nicks… and UNC misses the extra point again! Connor Barth is having a really bad day. I hope it doesn’t come down to a field goal. 31-19, ND.

4:50 pm: A toddler is running all around restaurant right now. I have no idea how to interpret this. As I type Samardjiza catches another touchdown. 38-19, ND.

4:55 pm: TOUCHDOWN CAROLINA! Hakeem Nicks slips down, gets back up, catches a pass, and runs it in 70 yards for a touchdown. Barth finally makes an extra point. 38-26, ND.

5:05 pm: Notre Dame was forced to punt. Horse Update That horse that was injured in the Breeders’ Cup: his name was Pine Island, and he was euthanized after falling head first. It’s bad enough that a horse died, but what I don’t understand is that after the death of a horse on the track, the organizers are going to continue the remaining races of the Breeders’ Cup today. Shouldn’t they at least wait a day or two after something so tragic before resuming? Maybe it’s just the PETA side of me (I am not a member of PETA but I am an animal lover), but something is just morally wrong about putting horses under such physical stress at such a young age.

5:10 pm: Bizarre Ad alert: new GEICO ad with a caveman in an airport.

5:15 pm: End of the 3rd quarter. ND 38, UNC 26. We actually outscored ND 13-7 in the 3rd quarter.

5:20 pm: I just saw an ad for John Boy and Billy’s radio show. It was a lot of fun to listen to them when I was commuting from Chapel Hill to Louisburg, NC every day for two years. They broadcast on local station 106.1 FM, which used to be a classic rock station but is now a country station. In Chapel Hill we’re now down to two rock stations, one in Raleigh (96 Rock) and in Greensboro (100.3 FM). Neither of them play modern rock anymore. Why this is the case, I have no idea. You might not find this interesting or useful, but I crammed it into your brain anyway.

5:30 pm: Notre Dame drives down the field again and Darius Walker caps it off to make the score 45-26.

5:35 pm: McGill gets injured from being tackled after a screen pass. It takes a while to get him off the field. With about 10 minutes left in the 4th quarter I think any hope of a comeback has ended at this point.

5:44 pm: It’s 4th down, UNC’s down 19 points, there’s 7 minutes left…and they’re punting? There’s no excuse for this. Even if it’s 4th and 20, you have to go for the first down to stay in the game. Excuse me while I vent my frustrations on the dartboard.

5:50 pm: Notre Dame has sent in their backups. This is a good strategy for three reasons:

  1. The game has already been won; there’s no need to run up the scoreboard.
  2. It’s important to keep starters from getting injured if it isn’t necessary for them to be out there.
  3. Inexperienced players can get playing time.

On the down side, it really rubs it in to the other team that the game’s over.

Bizarre commercial alert: “Vonage. One smart decision among many, many stupid ones.” One bad decision: playing that infernal tune in all of their commercials. WOOHOOO, WOOHOOHOOO…” They’ve been advertising for about 18 months, and the song got old at least 12 months ago.

6:00 pm: The game just went final: Notre Dame 45, UNC 26. UNC ran their offense well; Joe Dailey threw 3 touchdown passes and no INTs. The defense, however, could not stop Notre Dame to save their souls. To make matters worse? “Hi, I’m Dan Marino and I lost 22 pounds on Nutrisystem.” (If you don’t get this joke, read my entry on the Wake game.)

UPDATE: Both Michigan and Ohio State got scares today, but survived to stay undefeated.

Final Comments: It looks like Frank Cignetti finally opened up more of his playbook today. The playcalling was much more aggressive than in previous games, and the result was greatly improved offensive production. Notre Dame’s offense proved to be the big difference in this game. UNC defense was overmatched; Quinn drove the ball at will. UNC’s has played a lot better in the past two weeks. But the fact remains that they have yet to beat a division 1A opponent this year. If I had to describe my feelings right now in optimistic terms, it would be this:

I’m very excited about 2007.

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One Response to “This One Could Get Ugly: UNC vs. Notre Dame”

  1. Not so sweet Homecoming: UNC vs. Ga. Tech « Digital Headbutt Says:

    [...] Georgia Tech might have the best defense in the ACC. Remember the Notre Dame offense that lit us up last week? GT held them to a season low 14 points on September 2 and almost pulled out the upset. This is due in no small part to the defensive schemes of defensive coordinator Jon Tenuta, who was the defensive coordinator at UNC in 2001, a year in the Heels ranked 15th in the nation in total defense. Maybe it was Tenuta, maybe it was the NFL-caliber talent we had that year (Julius Peppers, Ryan Sims, David Thornton, Dexter Reid, Michael Waddell, and whatever happened to Joey Evans?), but our defense hasn’t been the same since. Joe Dailey, who finally looked good against Notre Dame (200+ yards, 3 TD, 0 INT), will have his hands full. RB Ronnie McGill also needs to be effective if the Heels want to have a chance. [...]


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