On Sunday, the football program announced that after searching for an opponent to fill this week’s opening in the schedule, they were turning their attention towards the October 3rd road game with Boston College. In the statement, though, the team did announce that if something changed, the team would still be open to possibly adding someone to schedule. On Tuesday, that something may have changed.
As first announced by Pete Thamel of Yahoo Sports, the game scheduled between Notre Dame and Wake Forest has officially been postponed due to seven positive cases of COVID-19 within the Notre Dame football program. This has led to the question from some as to whether or not the Tar Heels should reach out and attempt to set up a game for this Saturday.
It is an interesting conversation that is at least worth having. The Tar Heels could really use another tune up game ahead of the matchup in Chestnut Hill against the Eagles, but this would be a tough ask for both sides to prepare for a matchup in just three days. If there was an opponent on the schedule this season that the Tar Heels could handle not having a ton of time to prepare for, though, it would probably be this Demon Deacons team that has really struggled defensively in the first two weeks of the season. It’s also helpful that travel won’t be difficult with the Demon Deacons, who are just down the road in Winston-Salem. If both sides want to make this happen, this is a game that could happen a lot easier than some of the other last minute matchups that could potentially be thrown together.
If the Tar Heels were to add the Demon Deacons to the schedule this week, the question would be if the conference would move the game scheduled later in the season up or if it would just be deemed an out of conference matchup, similar to the meeting a year ago. Moving the game that is scheduled for later this year in Chapel Hill makes a lot of sense on paper, but that would throw the Demon Deacons matchup with the Fighting Irish in limbo considering the only bye week that those two share is next weekend. With the uncertainty of the Fighting Irish being ready to play by that time, it seems highly unlikely that the ACC would be willing to take that chance. That would leave the two sides to have to play each other out of conference and twice in the same season. In any other season, there would be no chance of this happening, but in 2020, anything is possible.
The Tar Heels really wanted to have another tune up instead of a three week layoff in between games and they have now been presented with the opportunity. If there was a guarantee that Notre Dame would be cleared and ready to go for the next week, there would definitely be a chance this game could happen. However, when you combine the uncertainty that there is around Notre Dame’s status going forward and the fact that this cancellation is happening when it is, it looks likely that the Tar Heels will keep their focus on Boston College.