Blue and Gold Illustrated

Oct. 9, 2017

Blue & Gold Illustrated: America's Foremost Authority on Notre Dame Football

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40 OCT. 9, 2017 BLUE & GOLD ILLUSTRATED BY LOU SOMOGYI GOT THEIR NUMBER When Notre Dame and North Car- olina meet in Chapel Hill Oct. 7, it will be the 20th contest in football between the two schools. That will make the Tar Heels the 16th team to face the Fighting Irish at least 20 times. Notre Dame has dominated no one more in terms of winning percent- age with at least 20 meetings than North Carolina, against whom they have a 17-2 advantage. Another vic- tory would elevate the winning per- centage to .900 (18-2), while a defeat would drop it to .850 (17-3) — which would be tied with Navy for the top winning percentage versus one foe. Other teams that have played the Irish at least 20 times and lost to them at least 80 percent of the time are another ACC member in Geor- gia Tech (29-6-1, .814) and Indiana (23-5-1, .810). In their most recent meeting in 2014, North Carolina had a fourth- quarter lead on the Irish before Notre Dame pulled out the 50-43 conquest. The last time the two teams squared off in Chapel Hill, in 2008, the Tar Heels won 29-24 after trailing 16-7 at halftime. Although the series has been lop- sided, there have been some special moments. In chronological order, our top five for Notre Dame include: 1949: Notre Dame 42, North Caro- lina 6 — The first game between the two, a substitute for the 10-year sus- pension of the Notre Dame-Army series, was in New York's Yankee Stadium. The No. 1-ranked Irish were tied at halftime (6-6) with the Tar Heels before scoring 36 straight points in the second half on their way to their third national title in four years. North Carolina finished 7-4, won the Southern Conference and finished No. 16 in the country. Especially notable was this outing matched the winner of that season's Heisman Trophy, end Leon Hart of Notre Dame, and the runner-up, North Carolina's Charlie "Choo Choo" Justice. Hart won it in a land- slide, 995 points to 272, with SMU's Doak Walker finishing third (229). Two other Irish teammates, quar- terback Bob Williams and fullback Emil Sitko, finished fifth and eighth, respectively. 1956: Notre Dame 21, North Caro- lina 14 — In his final home game at Notre Dame, quarterback Paul Hor- nung scored all the points for the Irish on three touchdowns and three extra points. It earned him a ride off the field from the student body, with the Irish snapping a school-record five-game losing streak during their 2-8 campaign. Hornung still was awarded the Heisman Trophy. 1971: Notre Dame 16, North Car- olina 0 — It was the third straight shutout of the Tar Heels by the No. 7 Irish dating back to 1965, but this one carried more value because the Tar Heels won the ACC with a 6-0 re- cord, finished No. 18 in the UPI poll and recorded the most victories (9-3) of any North Carolina team the Irish have faced. 1975: Notre Dame 21, North Caro- lina 14 — Maybe the most histori- cally significant game in the series because the Tar Heels entered the fourth quarter with a 14-0 lead in Chapel Hill. Notre Dame sophomore quarterback Joe Montana was in- serted in the fourth quarter and di- rected the Irish rally that culminated with an 80-yard scoring toss to Ted Burgmeier, on what began as a sim- ple out pattern, with 1:03 remaining. It was the first of what would be seven spectacular fourth-quarter comeback wins from double-digit deficits during Montana's college career. 2014: Notre Dame 50, North Caro- lina 43 — The highest scoring Notre Dame game in the past 100 years that did not include overtime, and the most points yielded by the Irish in a victory. Under new defensive co- ordinator Brian VanGorder, the 5-0 Irish ranked near the top nationally GAME PREVIEW: NORTH CAROLINA Top STorylineS Notre Dame has won 17 of its first 19 meetings with North Carolina, including a 50-43 shootout at South Bend in 2014. PHOTO BY BILL PANZICA

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