Scoring summary: No. 11 Notre Dame 44, North Carolina 34

Tom Noie
ND Insider


Oct. 30, 2021 

At Notre Dame Stadium, South Bend 

North Carolina 0 | 13 | 14 | 7 | — 34

Notre Dame 7 | 10 | 14 | 13 | — 44


Notre Dame 7, North Carolina 0

Score: Avery Davis 7 pass from Tyler Buchner (Jonathan Doerer kick) at 3:25.

Drive: Seven plays, 41 yards, 3:19 elapsed time following North Carolina punt.

Key plays: Kyren Williams returned the punt 52 yards to the Tar Heel 41 to set up the drive. Buchner ran for six yards on third-and-three before going for 14 two plays later,  three plays before the score.


Notre Dame 7, North Carolina 7 

Score: Ty Chandler 3 run (Grayson Atkins kick) at 14:55. 

Drive: Eight plays, 81 yards, 3:23 elapsed following Notre Dame kickoff.

Key plays: On third-and-eight from the Irish 47 and with one second left on the play clock, Sam Howell hit Josh Downs for a juggling catch and a 41-yard gain to the Irish 6. Howell also found Justin Olson for 16 yards earlier in the drive.

Notre Dame 10, North Carolina 7 

Score: Doerer 31 field goal at 10:01Play and time 

Drive: 13 plays, 62 yards, 4:54 elapsed following North Carolina kickoff.

Key plays: The promising drive included four pass plays of at least eight yards as Jack Coan found Michael Mayer for eight, Lorenzo Styles Jr., for nine and Davis for 10 and 20 before the drive stalled.

Notre Dame 10, North Carolina 10

Score: Atkins 31 field goal at 3:22.

Drive: 13 plays, 62 yards, 6:34 elapsed time following Notre Dame kickoff. 

Key plays: Howell got real comfortable in the pocket, completing passes for 15, 19 and 31 yards to three different receivers – Antoine Green, Bryson Nesbit and Downs. 

Notre Dame 17, North Carolina 10 

Score: Kevin Austin 21 pass from Coan (Doerer kick) at 1:23

Drive: Six plays, 75 yards, 1:59 elapsed following North Carolina kickoff.

Key plays: Coan connected with Mayer up the middle of the field for 30 yards on the second play of the drive, which later was kept alive after a 14-yard personal foul (facemask) call on Trey Morrison on fourth down.

Notre Dame 17, North Carolina 13 

Score: Atkins 26 field goal at :02

Drive: Seven plays, 51 yards, 1:13 elapsed following Notre Dame kickoff. 

Key plays: Working the final 57 seconds without a timeout, North Carolina gained nine, 13 and seven yards on three consecutive plays to get within field goal range. The sequence included a Howell to Downs pitch and catch for 13 yards. A 40-yard kickoff return by Ja'Qurious Conley set up the drive.


North Carolina 20, Notre Dame 17

Score: Chandler 53 run (Atkins kick) at 13:21.

Drive: Five plays, 79 yards, 1:33 elapsed following second-half kickoff. 

Key plays: Howell found Downs twice on the drive for completions of seven and 13 yards.

Notre Dame 24, North Carolina 20 

Score: Coan 21 run (Doerer kick) at 12:23

Drive: Three plays, 75 yards, ;58 elapsed following North Carolina kickoff.

Key plays: It was a trio of big plays on the drive, culminating in Coan's touchdown scamper. Williams opened with a 14-yard run before Coan and Styles connected for 40.  

Notre Dame 31, North Carolina 20 

Score: Logan Diggs 1 run (Doerer kick) at 4:56.

Drive: Eleven plays, 81 yards, 5:24 elapsed following North Carolina punt. 

Key plays: Spelling an injured Williams, Diggs ran four times for 20 yards in the drive before scoring his first career touchdown. Coan and Styles also connected for 25 yards after an earlier Styles drop.

Notre Dame 31, North Carolina 27

Score: Green 33 pass from Howell (Atkins kick) at 2:48.

Drive: Six plays, 75 yards, 2:08 elapsed following Notre Dame kickoff.

Key plays: Howell found Chandler for 18 yards two plays after the Carolina drive was aided with a personal foul/shot to the head penalty by Irish linebacker J.D. Bertrand on Howell.


Notre Dame 38, North Carolina 27

Score: Williams 91 run (Doerer kick) at 14:27

Drive:  One play, 91 yards, :17 seconds elapsed following North Carolina pooch punt. 

Key play: What else? Williams broke two tackles behind the line of scrimmage and Mayer added a key block in what NBC's Mike Tirico dubbed the "play of the year" for the Irish. 

Notre Dame 41, North Carolina 27 

Score: Doerer field goal at 11:52

Drive: Five plays, 13 yards, 2:28 elapsed following D.J. Brown interception return. 

Key play: Davis ran for 10 yards on first down for first-and-goal from the Carolina 5 before the drive stalled.

Notre Dame 41, North Carolina 34 

Score: Howell 31 run (Atkins kick) at 7:23.

Drive: 10 plays, 75 yards, 4:29 elapsed following Notre Dame field goal.

Key plays: Howell connected with Green for seven yards and Downs for double that - 14 - to keep the Irish defense guessing.

Notre Dame 44, North Carolina 34

Score: Doerer 21 field goal

Drive: 13 plays, 73 yards, 5:46 elapsed time following North Carolina kickoff. 

Key plays: Coan went to Austin on a sideline route for eight yards on third-and-eight to keep the drive alive before Williams ran for 20 yards to move into Carolina territory. The drive was aided by a pass interference call on Carolina, which gave the Irish first and goal on the Tar Heel 5.


Atlantic Coast Conference crew: Duane Heydt (referee); James Hyson (umpire); Brian Perry (linesman); Hugh Campbell (line judge); Michael Griffith (back judge); Conor Clougherty (field judge); Tony Tarantini (side judge); Larry Sanders (center judge).

Game-time details

Kickoff weather: Cloudy, 51 degrees (feels like 49) north/northwest winds 6 mph.

Attendance: 71,018 (Notre Dame Stadium capacity 77,622)