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Heel Tough Blog: Week 4 Trench Report - Notre Dame


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Saturday was a chance for the Tar Heels to validate their 3-0 start and prove just how far the program has come under Mack Brown. Instead, they fell flat on their faces, losing 45-32 to an unranked Notre Dame team, that had lost at home to Marshall just two weeks prior to visiting Chapel Hill. The Fighting Irish amassed well over 500 yards of total offense, as the Tar Heels had no answers for tailback Chris Tyree or tight end Michael Mayer. Drake Maye still managed to throw for over 300 yards, and 5 more touchdowns, but looked like a freshman for most of the game, not trusting his protection, and bailing on a rather clean pocket. As Carolina’s passing game was in and out of rhythm, the same couldn’t be said for the rushing attack, which never got in sync from the opening kick. The main reason UNC had lost to Notre Dame the previous two seasons was because of a lack of physicality and depth in the trenches, and as this most recent contest proved, they’ve still got a long way to go to compete with the blue bloods in college football.


Offensive Line:

Notre Dame usually features one of the best defensive lines in the country, but that couldn’t be said about this year’s squad, nonetheless, they dominated the UNC offensive line for the third straight season. The Tar Heels were held to just 66 rushing yards on 28 carries, which works out to just 2.4 yards per carry. They also registered 3 sacks of redshirt freshman QB Drake Maye and had him off-balanced all game long, as he completed just 17 of his 32 pass attempts.


Player Grades:

  • Corey Gaynor - Offensive Grade (73.1) Run Block (66.9) Pass Block (85.6)

  • Asim Richards - Offensive Grade (60.6) Run Block (46.5) Pass Block (81.5)

  • William Barnes - Offensive Grade (65.6) Run Block (63.3) Pass Block (73.1)

  • Ed Montilus - Offensive Grade (59.2) Run Block (59.9) Pass Block (57.8)

  • Spencer Rolland - Offensive Grade (61.9) Run Block (63.4) Pass Block (56.3)


Defensive Line:

As disappointing and frustrating as the offensive line performance was, the same could be said, if not overly exaggerated for the defensive line. Once again, Carolina got pushed around up front by an average at best offensive line and had a hard time containing the edge. Notre Dame entered the contest only averaging 117 rushing yards per contest. On Saturday they ran for 287 yards on 51 carries, which equals out to be a 5.6 yards per carry average. They only registered one sack of Drew Pyne, who last week was seen on TV being cussed out by offensive coordinator Tommy Rees the week before, in Kenan Stadium, Pyne looked like the second coming of Joe Montana. The frustrations boiled over to the point where we saw Noah Taylor and Tony Grimes have words on the sidelines, and Ray Vohasek commit as dumb a penalty as you’ll ever in all of college football. As the struggles of the talented defensive line continue, you have to start to question if Tim Cross is the best coach to get the most out of this position group.


Player Grades:

  • Noah Taylor - Defensive Grade (68.1) Run Defense (59.6) Tackling (78.5) Pass Rush (65.7) Coverage 72.7)

  • Kevin Hester Jr - Defensive Grade (61.1) Run Defense (62.1) Tackling (73.0) Pass Rush (57.4)

  • Jacolby Cowan - Defensive Grade (60.1) Run Defense (62.2) Tackling (70.1) Pass Rush (56.3)

  • Myles Murphy - Defensive Grade (58.5) Run Defense (56.3) Tackling (71.9) Pass Rush (60.7) Coverage (60.0)

  • Travis Shaw - Defensive Grade (57.8) Run Defense (57.8) Tackling (69.7) Pass Rush (58.9)

  • Ray Vohasek - Defensive Grade (54.9) Run Defense (58.1) Tackling (33.5) Pass Rush (62.9)

  • Des Evans - Defensive Grade (52.0) Run Defense (56.6) Tackling (73.2) Pass Rush (59.6)

  • Kendrick Bingley-Jones - Defensive Grade (51.7) Run Defense (60.0)

  • Malaki Hamrick - Defensive Grade (50.9) Run Defense (60.0) Pass Rush (59.6) Coverage (60.)

  • Kaimon Rucker - Defensive Grade (45.7) Run Defense (44.0) Tackling (32.6) Pass Rush (57.8)

  • Jahvaree Ritzie - Defensive Grade (46.6) Run Defense (44.0) Tackling (22.5) Pass Rush (61.8)

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