Previewing Saturday's Notre Dame-North Carolina game in South Bend

The 11th-ranked Notre Dame Fighting Irish will be looking for their 22nd consecutive win over an Atlantic Coast Conference opponent when North Carolina comes to South Bend Saturday night. It will also be the 22nd time the two programs have met.

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No. 11 Notre Dame (6-1) vs. North Carolina (4-3) 

Kickoff: Saturday at 7:30 p.m. EDT 

Where: Notre Dame Stadium 

TV: NBC/Peacock 

Radio: WSBT (AM 960), WNSN-FM (101.5) 

Line: Notre Dame by 3 1/2 

Preview coverage

For the second straight week, the Notre Dame defense will be stressed having to cover one of the game's top receivers in North Carolina sophomore Josh Downs.

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Converted Notre Dame wide receiver Xavier Watts has been taking coaching from injured safety Kyle Hamilton this week in practice.

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Notre Dame’s Houston Griffith (3) celebrates during the Notre Dame vs. USC NCAA football game Saturday, Oct. 23, 2021 at Notre Dame Stadium in South Bend.

► How does No. 11 Notre Dame beat North Carolina? By following these four keys to the game

Irish items

WEEK 8 VS. NORTH CAROLINA

♦ Saturday will be the 22nd meeting between Notre Dame and North Carolina since the teams first met in 1949. The Irish lead the overall series 19-2 with Tar Heel victories coming in 1960 and 2008. 

♦ The Irish won the most previous meeting Nov. 27, 2020 in Chapel Hill, 31-17, as well as the last meeting at Notre Dame Stadium, 50-43, in 2014. 

♦ Head coaches Mack Brown of North Carolina and Brian Kelly of Notre Dame rank first and third respectively in active coaching wins. Brown with 263 wins is tied with Alabama’s Nick Saban while Kelly is next with 257. 

♦ Both Brown (88) and Kelly (108) are the all-time win leaders at their respective programs.  

♦ North Carolina QB averaged 298.8 yards passing with a completion percentage of 62.5 over the first five games while tossing 14 touchdowns. In his past two games the junior has averaged 178.1 yards passing with a completion percentage of 59.25 and four touchdowns. 

♦ Notre Dame will be without All-American safety Kyle Hamilton due to a knee injury. Hamilton, who leads the team with three interceptions missed the second half of last season’s game against UNC after being ejected for targeting. 

♦ With last week’s 31-16 win over USC, the Irish have now won 38-straight games when scoring more than 30 points and 37 consecutive games over unranked opponents. 

Oct 9, 2021; Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA;  North Carolina Tar Heels head coach  Mack Brown looks on from the sidelines against the Florida State Seminoles at Kenan Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

Who will play

NOTRE DAME TW0-DEEP

OFFENSE

Quarterback

17 Jack Coan | 6-3, 223 | Graduate

12 Tyler Buchner | 6-1, 215 | Freshman

Running back

23 Kyren Williams | 5-9, 199 | Junior 

25 Chris Tyree | 5-10, 190 | Sophomore (optimistic to return, turf toe)

Field receiver

0 Braden Lenzy | 5-11, 182 | Senior 

21 Lorenzo Styles Jr. | 6-1, 195 | Freshman

Slot receiver 

3 Avery Davis | 5-11, 202 | Graduate 

29 Matt Salerno | 6-1, 199 | Senior 

Boundary receiver

4 Kevin Austin Jr. | 6-2, 215 | Senior 

16 Deion Colzie | 6-5, 207 | Freshman 

Tight end

87 Michael Mayer | 6-5, 251 | Sophomore

85 George Takacs | 6-6, 247 | Senior

Notre Dame’s Michael Mayer (87) gets brought down by USC’s Drake Jackson (99) during the Notre Dame-USC NCAA college football game on Saturday, Oct. 23, 2021, at Notre Dame Stadium in South Bend.

Left tackle

76 Joe Alt | 6-8; 305 | Freshman

79 Tosh Baker | 6-8, 307 | Sophomore

Left guard

73 Andrew Kristofic | 6-5, 295 | Junior

50 Rocco Spindler | 6-5, 300 | Freshman 

Center

55 Jarrett Patterson | 6-5, 307 | Senior 

52 Zeke Correll | 6-3, 295 | Junior

Right guard 

62 Cain Madden | 6-3, 310 | Graduate 

56 John Dirksen | 6-5, 306 | Senior 

Right tackle

75 Josh Lugg | 6-7, 305 | Graduate  

79 Tosh Baker | 6-8, 307 | Sophomore

DEFENSE

Vyper defensive end

7 Isaiah Foskey | 6-5, 260 | Junior 

9 Justin Ademilola | 6-2, 255 | Senior 

Defensive tackle

57 Jayson Ademilola | 6-3, 280 | Senior 

99 Rylie Mills | 6-5, 283 | Sophomore 

Nose guard

41 Kurt Hinish | 6-2, 300 | Graduate

56 Howard Cross III | 6-1, 275 | Junior 

Notre Dame’s Kurt Hinish (41) during Notre Dame’s 32-29 win over Virginia Tech in an NCAA college football game on Saturday, Oct. 9, 2021, in Blacksburg, Va.

Big defensive end

95 Myron Tagovailoa-Amosa | 6-3, 268 | Graduate

31 NaNa Osafo-Mensah | 6-3, 250 | Junior 

Mike linebacker

40 Drew White | 6-0, 228 | Graduate 

52 Bo Bauer | 6-3, 233 | Senior 

Will linebacker

27 JD Bertrand | 6-1, 230 | Junior

32 Prince Kollie | 6-1, 222 | Freshman 

Rover linebacker

24 Jack Kiser | 6-2, 224 | Junior

10 Isaiah Pryor | 6-2, 217 | Graduate

Boundary cornerback

6 Clarence Lewis | 6-0, 193 | Sophomore 

11 Ramon Henderson | 6-1, 190 | Sophomore 

Field cornerback

5 Cam Hart | 6-3, 205 | Junior

28 TaRiq Bracy | 5-10, 177 | Senior 

Free safety 

2 DJ Brown | 6-0, 200 | Senior 

22 Justin Walters | 6-1, 188 | Freshman

Strong safety

3 Houston Griffith | 6-0, 202 | Senior 

10 Isaiah Pryor | 6-2, 217 | Graduate

Nickelback

28 TaRiq Bracy | 5-10, 177 | Senior  

11 Ramon Henderson | 6-1, 190 | Sophomore

SPECIAL TEAMS

Place-kicker

39 Jonathan Doerer | 6-3, 197 | Graduate 

91 Josh Bryan | 6-0, 183 | Freshman

Punter

19 Jay Bramblett | 6-2, 197 | Junior 

39 Jonathan Doerer | 6-3, 197 | Graduate 

Long snapper 

65 Michael Vinson | 6-2, 230 | Senior 

44 Alex Peitsch | 6-1, 210 | Sophomore 

Holder

19 Jay Bramblett | 6-2, 197 | Junior 

30 Jake Rittman | 6-3, 210 | Senior

Kickoffs

39 Jonathan Doerer | 6-3, 197 | Graduate 

91 Josh Bryan | 6-0, 183 | Freshman

Kick returner

25 Chris Tyree | 5-10, 190 | Sophomore 

21 Lorenzo Styles Jr. | 6-1, 195 | Freshman 

Punt returner

23 Kyren Williams | 5-9, 199 | Junior

29 Matt Salerno | 6-1, 199 | Senior 

NORTH CAROLINA TWO-DEEP ROSTER

OFFENSE

Left Tackle

72 Asim Richards | 6-4, 325 | Jr.)

57 Cayden Baker | 6-5, 305 | So.

Left Guard

75 Joshua Ezeudu | 6-4, 320 | Jr. 

63 Ed Montilus 6-4, 315 | Jr.

Center

68 Brian Anderson | 6-2, 305 | Sr.

69 Quiron Johnson | 6-2, 315 | Gr.

Right Guard

73 Marcus McKethan | 6-7, 335 | Sr.

52 Jonathan Adorno | 6-4, 315 | So.

Right Tackle

74 Jordan Tucker | 6-6, 340 | Sr. 

76 William Barnes | 6-4, 325 | Jr.

Tight End

84 Garrett Walston | 6-4, 245 | Gr.

88 Kamari Morales | 6-2, 250 | So.

Quarterback

7 Sam Howell | 6-1, 225 | Jr.

6 Jacolby Criswell | 6-0, 220 | So.

Notre Dame linebacker Drew White, right, attempts to sack North Carolina quarterback Sam Howell.

Running Back

19 Ty Chandler | 6-0, 210 | Gr.

26 D.J. Jones | 5-10, 205 | So.

Wide Receiver

83 Justin Olson | 6-2, 200 | So.

0 Emery Simmons | 6-1, 195 | Jr.

Wide Receiver

11 Josh Downs 5-10, 180 | So.

12 Stephen Gosnell 6-2, 210 | So.

Wide Receiver

3 Antoine Green | 6-2, 210 | Sr.

5 J.J. Jones | 6-2, 200 | Fr.

DEFENSE

Defensive end

25 Kaimon Rucker | 6-1, 265 | So.

56 Tomari Fox | 6-2, 290 | Jr.

Nose tackle

51 Ray Vohasek | 6-3, 300 | Sr.

98 Kevin Hester Jr. | 6-4, 305 | So.)

Tackle

8 Myles Murphy 6-3, 305 | So.

93 Kristian Varner | 6-4, 300 | So.

Outside Linebacker

12 Tomon Fox | 6-3, 265 | Gr.

10 Desmond Evans 6-6, 265 | So.

Outside Linebacker

17 Chris Collins 6-4, 255 | Jr.

25 Kaimon Rucker | 6-1, 265 | So.

Inside Linebacker

44 Jeremiah Gemmel | 6-1, 225 | Sr. 

23 | Power Echols | 5-11, 220 | Fr. 

Notre Dame running back Kyren Williams (23) rushes past North Carolina's Jeremiah Gemmell (44) for a gain of 11 yards in the fourth quarter last season in Chapel Hill.

Inside Linebacker

33 Cedric Gray | 6-1, 225 | So.

7 Eugene Asante | 6-0, 220 | Jr. 

Cornerback

20 Tony Grimes | 6-1, 190 | So. 

13 Obi Egbuna | 5-10, 190 | Jr.

Free Safety

4 Trey Morrison 5-9, 190 | Sr.

27 Giovanni Biggers | 6-1, 195 | Jr. 

Strong Safety

9 Cam'Ron Kelly | 6-1, 210 | Jr.

3 Cameron Roseman-Sinclair | 5-11, 210 | Fr.

Cornerback

1 Kyler McMichael | 6-0, 210 | Jr. 

29 Storm Duck | 6-0, 205 | So.

Nickelback

0 Ja'Qurious Conley | 6-0, 210 | So.

2 Don Chapman 6-1, 195 | Jr.

SPECIAL TEAMS

Placekicker

17 Grayson Atkins | 5-9, 210 | Gr.

Kickoffs

95 Jonathan Kim | 6-0, 210 | Jr. 

Punter

91 Ben Kiernan | 5-11, 215 | Jr.

Deep Snapper

61 Drew Little | 5-11, 220 | Jr.

Short Snapper

61 Drew Little | 5-11, 220 | Jr. 

Holder

91 Ben Kiernan | 5-11, 215 | Jr.

Kickoff Return

24 DeAndre Boykins | 5-11, 205 | Fr.

0 Ja'Qurious Conley | 6-0, 210 | So.

Punt Return

11 Josh Downs | 5-10, 180 | So.